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Role Playing Games

RPGs involve the players controling the actions of characters in an extemporary, collaborative narrative. Usually one player, the GM, manages the developing situation in which the characters find themselves, including contolling the actions of opponents and playing the parts of minor characters. Each of the other players controls usually one but sometimes a few of the more important, more central characters. The game can be a brief and self-contained incident, or it may extend through a series of more-or-less episodic adventures, or may be a long continuous narrative with continuity overwhelming the episodes.

RPGs usually employ game mechanics to provide a quantitative description of the abilities of characters and to determine (often using randomising methods such as dice) results of uncertain endeavours. It is customary for the GM to act as a system arbiter and neutral referee of the game mechanics when one is needed.

Different RPGs as played by people with differing tastes place emphasis on different aspects of the RPG experience, resulting in a range of styles. For instance, some players put more attention into and get more reward out of pitting their wits against the obstacles devised by the GM, and play RPGs rather like a skirmish wargame. Others emphasise dramatic aspects, playing RPGs a bit like a participative improvisational drama, with emphasis either on an exciting story or on convincing world and characters. Many RPGs combine elements from all styles.

Some RPGs are comedy driven, or based in other familiar genres like horror, science-fiction, adventure and westerns.

RPGs can be played face to face, either in a 'tabletop' style in which players describe their characters' actions verbally and using counters or miniatures, or in a 'free-form' or 'live-action' style that involves more acting out their characters' actions. They can also be played using teleconferencing and voice-over-internet conference calls, by e-mail, or using special Internet software.

RPGs Ranked by Popularity

This tag is used to describe 488 tags other tags: 'RPGs':

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    174. Looking for more players via SKYPE
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    178. Nuke-Con Aftershock in Lincoln, Nebraska
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