« More Case Options | Main | Cleaner and Quieter »

Taking Another Tilt At The Windmill

A few years ago now, I made an attempt at explaining what a roleplaying game is, with an intended audience of Someone Who's Never Played One. I've fiddled with it now and again since, but in the last couple of months I thought I'd try rewriting the whole damned thing.

One of my ideals is to avoid simile and comparison as much as possible, especially the overused "Let's Pretend with rules" or "ancient tradition of sharing stories around the campfire" schticks.

The revised article is still a work in progress, but I think it's at the stage where some more attention would do it good (I'm a little worried that I'm getting a bit too wordy). Please, have a look and tell me what you think. Please feel free to comment here or in the discussion tab of the article (you'll need a login, though).

If you liked this post, please check out more Editorials and Musings , RPG Notes


I like the headings.
It makes it easier to read.

Suggestion: Add WOW to the examples of MMORGs. It will be more recognisable and relevant as it is more prolific at the moment.

Correction: The Rules, subsection random elements, second paragraph -
"In the end, the result will be compared with a "difficulty number" or somebody else's roll. If the participant whose alter ego has the favourable result (it may need to be equal to, higher than or lower than toe poopsing number, depending on the rules, then the alter ego is successful; either way, the action and outcome occur in the imaginary world."
Open parenthesis.
Typo - 'toe poopsing'

Suggestion: Include a explaination of diceless games in the genre section.

Suggestion: Flesh out the stats section a bit more. Explain how a round is played out.

Suggestion: I am usually asked how we decide what "wins"... I liken the stats to the HSC, where everyone is given a ranking that reflects how they compare with everyone else in the world. So if we were asked to write an essay in game, we wouldn't sit down for 30 mins and each produce essays... We'd roll a dice, and then add bonuses we get from our rankings. (Say we both rolled a 5... I'm average at writing essays, so I don't add anything to my 5. You are good at essays, so you get to add a +3. Our friend Joe is crap, so he gets a -2 penalty. You win, because your 8 beats my 5 and Joe's 3.)

Yep, updated it to include WoW. I also like your example of rolling, and ahve added that. Thanks for picking up those typos too!

Not sure about explaining a round, as a lot of games fo things differently and the rule book does a better job of the specifics. Same for the stats section - I want to give people tools that they can use to get an idea themselves of what they're looking at when looking at a character sheet / rule book / game session, and I fear that gettign int specific examples of rules will start throwing people. We'll see, though.

I'll be sure to put a note on diceless games in, as well.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)