I have been asked by several people "What is a Role Playing game and how does it work?"
I can just see that my role playing buddies are reading this with open mouths of shock...
Yes, guys, there is a few people out there who have no clue what a RPG is. That's OK.
Role Playing is to assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of another in a make-believe situation, or in an effort to understand a different point of view or social interaction.
Children role play when they play cops and robbers, nurse, or mommy.
Authors role play (to a point) when they build the history, personality, and characteristics of a new character for a book......... okay, so authors really do role play as they write a fictional novel. Period. They are just doing it alone, instead of with a group of people....
Role Playing can be done in person with someone else, on video games, or, more popularly, in literary form. Literary form can be done via instant messaging, email, or in public forums online.
Two popular places for Role Playing is ProBoards and InvisionFree. Other popular places for "RPing" is in the forums of online games and online adoptable sites, such as Dragon Cave, Chicken Smoothie, and MagiStream. (If you know of any young people who want to role play, or who might be watching while you role play, I would suggest those last three links. Not only are they more fun, IMHO, but they are child-friendly.)
A Role Playing Game, or RPG is a game in which players create and assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting and collaboratively create a story/stories.
Players determine the actions of their characters (sometimes lovingly called "Charries" or "Skellies") based on their character's personality and characteristics (called characterization). The actions of each character may succeed or fail, according to the rules of the RP and the actions of other players characters, and their choices often shape the direction and outcome of the story.
Books, movies, and games are often used as a base for role plays because they already have a plot, and a world (setting) that they take place in.
Players can either play established characters from those books/movies/games, or they can create original characters instead to replace or exist alongside the original characters.
RPG's can also be completely original. The owner(s) can create an original world, peoples, and back story, then add original characters to that. In my experience, these are the most fun, because they allow more freedom for creativity.
Since I enjoy literary RPGs, they will be the ones I will be talking about.
Joining a RPG:
First, you will need to fill out a character form, or Skeleton, for the character(s) you will be playing. These may be original characters, or established characters from a book or movie.
Most literary RPGs require you to fill out a character form and most of them supply you with a form that the owner(s) have created.
It will look something like this:
~-Down To Basics-~
Full Name:: (your character's whole name will go here)
Nickname:: (if your character has a long or weird name, put the shortened version here.)
Gender:: (man or woman, male or female...)
Species:: (this is for fantasy or animal based RPs where you say if you are human or elf, dog or cat, etc.)
Age:: (put your character's approximate age here...)
~-Get To Know You-~
Relationship status:: (Single, engaged, married...)
Hometown/country:: (If countries and cities are listed, your character will come from one, so you will list that here.)
Preferred weapon:: (Depending on the type of RP, your character may be limited to only medieval weapons, or your character could be allowed to have something like Ironman's suite...)
Personality:: (Now we start "fleshing out" your character: is he/she a dominant type, or a submissive type of person? Is his/her temperament sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable), choleric (ambitious and leader-like),melancholic (analytical and thoughtful), or phlegmatic (relaxed and quiet)? Go into as much detail as you can, but don't overdo it.)
History:: (Where does your character come from? Who was his/her parents? How did they get to this point in their life? What in their life has formed their personality? Again, put as much as you can, but don't go overboard. Some people put nothing, and others put too much. Just try to stay in-between.)
Other:: (Any extra details that don't fit into the above categories such as favorite clothes, past times, or pets, go here.)
~-Aren’t You Lovely-~
Height:: (What is your character's approximate height?)
Weight:: (basic weight?)
Hair:: (color, short, long, wavy, straight? What style do they keep their hair in?)
Eyes:: (color, shape?)
Looks:: (Here you put more. You either put a picture that explains your character's looks the best, or you describe your character in as much detail as you can: muscular? Curvy? Long legs? Short waist?)
Once you are accepted into the RP, then you must not be shy: find a reasonable space or place or scenario to fit your character into, then jump in and start playing! Sometimes, it won't be easy to find a spot, and you may feel like your character is teetering and wobbling all over the place, but keep at it, make good posts, and you will fit right in soon enough! And then, you will be immersed in a whole new world, ready for your hands, and the hands of others, to mold it...
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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