RPG in English means role-playing game .This is a game in which the players assume the paper of imaginary personages,in a fictitious world. RPG games can be played in several ways. The most common are through literal acting, in which players act, talk and dress like their characters, and tabletop RPG.
In any RPG mode, stories are guided by a player named “master,” who dictates the plot, scenarios, and control the enemies that other players face. Meanwhile, the other players make their decisions freely according to the situations narrated by the master.The main features of RPG are interactivity and group work. It is very rare for players to come together to play RPG in a competitive way. It is collaborative game in which players can only win if they work together.
RPG Game Elements
To play RPG you need three elements: rule system, narrative and players.
RPG games are conducted through predetermined rule systems. Generally these systems are produced by companies specialized in the subject and made available in the market through books, magazines or the internet. However, nothing prevents players from creating their own rules or adapting existing rules.
Some examples of RPG systems are:
- 3D & T
- D & D
World, Scenery Or Narrative
Another element of RPG games is the world, scenario or narrative, which consists of the fictional context in which the characters are inserted. Like systems, RPG worlds can also be created and made available by companies or made by the players themselves. In this way, RPG games can take place in medieval, futuristic, fantastic, dystopian, realistic, and so on scenarios.
Some examples of RPG narratives are:
- Vampire, The Mask
- Werewolf, The Apocalypse
System Vs Narrative
It is important not to confuse rule systems with game narratives. Although several narratives are designed to support a single system of rules, some are adaptable to more than one. As an example, Storm is a fantastic medieval narrative in which players can assume the identity of magicians, elves, centaurs, dwarves, etc., and can be played through more than one system such as 3D & T and D & D.
Players create their characters based on the rules system and the narrative to be used. To do this, players fill out forms containing all of their character’s characteristics, attributes, abilities and items. The card is constantly updated as the character evolves.
One of the players will assume the role of game master, who will be responsible for dictating the plot and describing in detail the scenarios that the players meet. The master must act impartially with respect to the players and must follow the rules provided in the system.
Another assignment of the game master is to control the so-called NPC ( non-player character ), which are the fictional characters not controlled by the players. Thus, the master interprets the coadjuvantes and extras found in the story, as well as the enemies faced by the players.
The master must conduct the game in such a way that players can act with freedom in the story. For this reason, the role of the master always involves improvisation to ensure that players interact with the fictional world in any way they want, but nevertheless, the story goes on.
RPG Dice and Trays
One of the factors that gives emotion and unpredictability to RPG games is the use of data. In any rule system, players often have to roll dice frequently to see if they have succeeded or failed in an action. For example:
Depending on the rule system used, matches may require the use of different types of data. Simpler systems typically use only traditional 6-sided dice (d6), while more complex systems use unique RPG data such as 4, 8, 10, 12, or 20 sides.It is common for games to also be played on trays that represent the scenario described by the master. In these cases, thumbnails are used that demonstrate the location of each character player and also those controlled by the master. As the characters dislocate, the players move the miniatures across the board.
RPGs are usually played in campaigns instead of games. This means that whenever players gather to play, they continue from the point where they last stopped using the same character. This enhances the feeling of immersion and makes players cherish their lives in the game.
Dungeons and Dragons
The first invented RPG was released in 1974 under the name of Dungeons and Dragons. D & D, as it is known worldwide, has given rise to the tabletop RPG industry, in which, despite the strong competition, it still remains the market leader.
The game debuted the mechanics of using data, character cards and board. In addition, its turn-based combat mechanics, in which players alternate their moves with their enemies to simulate real-time combat, have inspired a variety of video games of the same genre.
The success of traditional RPG games inspired the creation of several electronic games of the same genre. Although video game games do not involve any kind of acting, the role-playing game name was retained since all other features were preserved.
Electronic RPG games are marked by the high level of freedom that players have to explore the scenario, make decisions, and evolve their characters.
Some examples of electronic RPG games are:
- The Legend of Zelda
- Final Fantasy
- The Witcher
- Dark Souls
MMORPG is a subgenre of electronic RPG games. The term is the acronym in English for multi massive online role-playing game , that can be translated like game of mass online interpretation for multiplayer.
In MMORPG players enter their characters on a server that provides an open and interactive world for millions of players around the world. Like other types of RPG games, the level of freedom is very high and the characters evolve as they gain experience points.
MMORPGs are known to be “infinite games” since they are extremely interactive and do not have a fixed conclusion. In them, players gather and dictate the direction their characters will take.
Some examples of MMORPG are:
- World of Warfract
- Perfect World
RPG Playing Example
Medieval fantasy is considered a classic theme in RPG games. In a typical adventure, four heroes try to rescue the daughter of the righteous king Albert, kidnapped by an evil sorcerer:
NARRATOR: You follow the dark, dank corridors of the fortress’s underground. Your torch light shows a fork ahead. As you approach, you notice a glow on the right side, as if someone is holding a torch too, beyond the corner. What are you going to do?
PEDRO – I stop and say quietly to the group: “Hey, guys?”
HUGO – I say, “Erase that torch, otherwise you can see us too!”
PETER: Good idea! I turn off the torch and make my knight take the shield.
JORGE: I’ll get ready too! There might be some monster in the front. Sack my ax!
NARRATOR: Okay. You turn out the lights and pull out your guns, preparing for the worst. And you, Bianca?
BIANCA – I’ll wait for them to stop this noise and make my character try to hear something, to know if there is danger or not.
NARRATOR – Okay, Bianca! Let’s roll the dice! If you pass the test I’ll tell you what your character has heard ..