What is a roleplaying game?
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The majority of the rule books give an answer to this question, with not much originality I might add and believe me I added a lot... shake

I challenge you to find something that is original, different or even funny and add to this list, in fact I beg you!

And also feel free to comment on the descriptions. What would you change and which book nails it?

Good Luck snore



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1. RPG Item: 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:195]
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A role-playing game is a group experience where you portray characters in an imaginary setting.


Short and to the point.
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2. RPG Item: A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Quickstart [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:3909]
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In a roleplaying game, you and other players take the roles of characters in an adventure story.

One of the players, called the Narrator, takes on the job of starting the story and telling you about the situations your characters find themselves in. The players decide what their characters do, and the game rules determine how successful they are. The Narrator then moves the story along by describing what happens next, and so forth. As the game unfolds, you detail an entire story involving your characters, like the chapters of a novel or the episodes of a television series.

Roleplaying games are unique in that no one player “wins” the game, since the goal is for everybody to have fun creating the story. A roleplaying game also has no predetermined
ending; play can continue for as long as you and the other players wish, and your story
can stretch over many different play sessions, just as a novel does over many chapters, and even many books in an ongoing series.

A typical definition.
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3. RPG Item: Active Exploits Diceless RPG Take2 [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:7365]
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Roleplaying is similar to the production of a film and it requires two or more people.

One person assumes the role of director, who sets the stage and casts the actors and extras. The remaining players are the actors, assuming the personalities of their respective characters within the confines of the game.

The most important function of the director is to produce an interesting story which flows smoothly and quickly. He should also give the players room to explore their characters while preventing them to get out of control.

There are many different schools of thought as to how roleplaying games should be played. Some people let the dice determine their fate, while others prefer to narrate their own destinies. Whatever your preference roleplaying is a storytelling game meant to entertain.

I love how the GM is the Director.
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4. RPG Item: Aeternal Legends [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Æternal Legends is designed for experienced roleplayers. It doesn’t dwell on common terms and concepts. To learn more about roleplaying games, try Wikipedia’s article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roleplaying_game.

Roleplaying is a form of cooperative storytelling. In Æternal Legends, most players take on the role of Legends: adventurers with special powers. One player is the GM (Game Master). He portrays villains, allies and bystanders, describes the world and introduces conflicts to move the story along.

The GM also “chairs” the group during discussions about how to apply a particular game rule. This last point brings up something specific to Æternal Legends and other Ready2Run system games. The rules are “high trust:” loosely designed, so that different groups can interpret them to taste. Some groups will want to apply Aptitudes broadly and on the fly, while others want clearly defined limits.

Make sure your group is prepared to trust each other and apply the rules in ways that best suit the games you all want to play.

There is something not inviting in this description. Maybe because it starts with ''don't waste our time and ink'' and then it continues with a basic description after all.
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5. RPG Item: Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2943]
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Roleplaying is like a board game with out the board, where the fundamental element is your imagination.

In a roleplaying game there are two types of participants: the players and the game master.

The players portray the fictional characters who are the protagonists of the story that will unfold. Their objective is to bring ''life'' to those characters and to follow them through all sorts of events. The players decide how the characters behave at every moment and what they do to try to succeed at whatever task that has been put before them.

The Game Masters (GM) runs the game and portrays the rest of the characters who appear (those not controlled by the players). The GM is the writer of the basic plot, which the players will later develop extemporaneously. He will also be the game's referee, applying the rules and deciding the outcomes of events

I like this definition because I find it balanced between the players and the GM. Also describing roleplaying like ''A board game with out a board'' is pretty bold considering how many people are using this as a derogatory term to describe other RPGs.

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6. RPG Item: Basic RolePlaying (2008) [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:220]
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The writers here are aiming at the absolute beginners with 4 pages of detailed information.

Some highlights:
Quote:
...a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones— and with dice determining whether the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to
do.

Quote:
Roleplaying is a form of social gaming, akin to acting out a novel.

Quote:
The purpose of roleplaying is to have a good time. It’s fun to deal with dangers that are not truly dangerous, threats that vanish when everyone rises from the table, and monsters who evaporate when the lights go on. If you play well, you and your friends enter an exciting new world for a while, find strength in coping with it, and perhaps know victory.

Emerging, you return to a world that is a darker or a brighter place because of what you experienced, and you see yourself as more active in it.

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7. RPG Item: Blue Rose (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3229]
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Roleplaying is much like cooperative fan fiction or simulation gaming, where a group of people work together to build a fun and exciting story.

Although it’s the Narrator’s job to portray the various antagonists in the story, as well as the heroes’ allies, the Narrator isn’t playing against everyone else.

In fact, it’s the Narrator’s job to help ensure everyone has fun and the group tells an enjoyable story.

Think of a roleplaying game like an extended version of the various games of make believe we all played as children, only with rules to help guide the story and a central Narrator to set the stage and keep things moving along.

I don't agree with the narrator being responsible for everyone's entertainment. I think all the player's are responsible for that.
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8. RPG Item: A Game of Thrones Deluxe Limited Edition (d20 & Tri-Stat) [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:1583]
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For many people a role-playing game (RPG) is the “mature” or “advanced” version of the games we used to play as children such as “House,” “Cops and Robbers,” “Monsters and Maidens,” or “Come into my Castle.”

...

RPGs are not table-top board games — the games take place in the imagination of the players, occasionally assisted by visual aids such as pictures, figures, maps, and other props. Role-playing can also be likened to improvisational theatre where everyone involved in the game must respond to the actions or decisions of the other players, but must do so from their character’s perspective (called playing “in character”).

These character-character interactions are often the primary focus of the entire game, and the heart of the role-playing experience.

Excerpt from a detailed well written description. But wait, is it original? Scroll down to find out.
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9. RPG Item: Dogs in the Vineyard [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:42]
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A nice friendly approach:

Quote:
You and your friends sit around a table or the living room, talking. You’re collaborating on a story about these characters, these Watchdogs of God, their adventures and the challenges they face. Each of your friends acts for one of the characters, making decisions and taking action and speaking pretty much for that character alone. Anybody can suggest anything to anybody, but when it comes to that character, the buck stops with that player.

Quote:
The game works best when the players all contribute, all the time. You should all call out suggestions, kibitz, laugh, digress, ooh and aah, say what’s cool and boo the villains. I’m serious, just because your character’s out of the scene doesn’t mean you have to sit quiet.


This is where DotV deviates from the norm:

Quote:
Furthermore, the game calls for a pretty particular division of power between players and GM, one you might not be accustomed to. For instance, it’s never the GM’s job to plan what’ll happen. The GM’s job is to create a town at a moment of crisis (which I’ll tell you how to do in good detail) and from then on, only respond. Play the NPCs up to your elbows but then be willing to let them die.


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10. RPG Item: Don't Rest Your Head [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:157]
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...the book doesn’t spend much time explaining the basics of what such games are. Familiarity with other RPGs will help this text make sense to you here and there, but nothing should be so opaque that a lack of experience will make it impossible.

A much much better wording than Aeternal Legends

And some non traditional stuff:

Quote:
...Both players and GM push the story forward by suggesting scenes...

But it still provides some basic information:

Quote:
But here are the basics.
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11. RPG Item: Earthdawn Player's Guide [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1534]
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Everyone has read a book or seen a movie where the protagonist does something so utterly wrong that the reader or viewer wants to shout a warning to the character. But no warning from the audience can keep that character from doing what the plot demands, no matter how much trouble it lands him in. The readers and viewers can’t change the character’s behavior; we’re just along for the ride.

A roleplaying game turns this situation on its ear. In a roleplaying game the players control the actions, or play the roles, of their characters and respond as they wish to the events of the plot...

And it continues describing the same old thing about the players and the GM.

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12. RPG Item: Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:1854]
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For many people a role-playing game (RPG) is the “mature” or “advanced” version of the games we used to play as children such as “House,” “Cops and Robbers,” and “Superheroes.”

If that sounds familiar it's because it is! That's exactly like the description on A game of Thrones here! The whole ''What is Roleplaying'' definition in this book is almost the same or vice versa, I am not sure since both have been published in 2005.


Example:
A Game of Thrones Role-Playing Game is played in sessions. Sessions are often 2 to 8 hours in length, and are typically held on a weekly or biweekly schedule.

The Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne RPG can be played in sessions, episodes and/or campaigns. A session is the period of time in which the players gather to play the game. Sessions are often 2 to 8 hours in length, and are frequently held on a weekly or biweekly schedule.

And so on.

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13. RPG Item: Faery's Tale Deluxe [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:533]
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One person, the Narrator, describes the world, acts the part of the other characters in the story, and presents challenges to be overcome. The others play the roles of the faeries who are the heroes of the story -- you decide what your faery says or does about the events presented by the Narrator.

Nothing exciting here.
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14. RPG Item: HeroQuest Core Rules Book [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:399]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Experienced roleplayers have read versions of this section many times before. Move along; there’s nothing new to see here. As for Neophytes, keep reading.

Thank you!



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15. RPG Item: Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:24]
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Roleplaying games are peculiar and unique. They require a lot of imagination and investment from the players. This creative input is also what makes roleplaying games great. We get to wrap our imaginations around a variety of interesting situations and explore them.
(...)
In play, you decide what your character is doing and who he is talking to. It’s sort of like acting out a part in a play or movie, except there’s no script. Between takes, we roll dice and make a few notes rather than sitting in our trailers or waiting off stage.

Like little mice actors do.
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16. RPG Item: My Life with Master [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:406]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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It is a game with a not-so-traditional style of play that could well give you the creeps...though other games may have not.

This was one of the first RPGs I read so I couldn't exactly understand what was the not-so-traditional about it
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17. RPG Item: Mythic [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:1440]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Those veterans who are still with me are probably groaning now. You have seen this headline in various forms about a zillion times. For those of you new to this genre of
games, you’re in for a treat. A role-playing game is, basically, virtual reality. People sit around a table, pretend to be characters (just like in a movie), and go on quests and missions.

Yeah, I groan yuk

Whoever got this far reading this geeklist is probably groaning as well 'cause we have read the same thing 16 times...

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18. RPG Item: No Dice: The Core Book [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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When I talk about role playing I am talking about a group of people coming together to participate in an act of communal storytelling

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Whereas each player in the game will be in charge of their character the Host is in charge of the rest of the game world. The Host is there to cater to the expectations the players have for their experience. That doesn't mean the players will get everything the way they want for their characters, rather it means the players will trust you to be impartial.

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19. RPG Item: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:39]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Think of it as a cooperative storytelling game, where the players play the protagonists and the Game Master acts as the narrator, controlling the rest of the world.

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20. RPG Item: The Shadow of Yesterday (Revised Edition) [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:451]
Richard
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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If you’re not familiar with role-playing games, they’re a form of play where you and your friends make up stories. The rules of the game are there to give the story structure. You could call it a story construction kit.

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21. RPG Item: Shadowrun [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:226]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Think of it this way: everyone has read a book or seen a movie in which the lead character does something that the reader or viewer finds so utterly wrong that he or she wants to shout out a warning. But no matter what we say, the character will do what the plot demands; we’re just along for the ride. Even throwing popcorn won’t help.

Hey! Tha's is also familiar, they are copying Earthdawn 3e! See for yourselves or is it the other way around? This book has been published in 2005. Earthdawn 3e in 2009...

Excerpt from Shadowrun: In roleplaying, stories (the adventures) evolve much like a movie or book, but within the flexible storyline created by the gamemaster.

Excerpt from Earthdawn 3e: In roleplaying, stories (the adventures) evolve much as they do in a movie or book, but within the flexible story line created by the gamemaster.

Who knows...
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22. RPG Item: The Pocket RPG [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Gaming (the verb for "playing role-playing games") is a sophisticated way for adults to play make-believe.

It's basically an activity where some of your friends come to your house, eat your food, and pretend to be people they aren't while improvising an imaginary story with one another.

It is an interactive pastime, an adventurous escape from the mundane world for a few hours, just like going to the movies with your friends. At its best, roleplaying is a healthy expression of creativity and problem-solving skills. At its worst, a harmless waste of time for geeks the world over.


Can you tell I am bored with my own geeklist?
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23. RPG Item: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Set [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:94]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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How do you play a roleplaying game? What do the different players do during a game session? How do you and your friends work together to tell a story? What does it mean to be “in character” when you’re playing?

Be sure to visit www.FantasyFlightGames.com to download a free primer on roleplaying games and to learn the answers to your questions!

Now that's a first!
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24. RPG Item: WitchCraft [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1416]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Simply put, it is a combination of board game, strategy game, and improvisational theater. It is a more mature version of the games of “let’s pretend” that we all played as children. The rules are meant to avoid the old disputes about exactly what happened (“I shot you! You’re dead!” “Am not!”).

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25. RPG Item: World of Darkness [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:316]
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My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Darn! Seven. Not even close. I need more dice." Mitch Hedberg
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Everybody involved in the game participates in telling a group story. The players create and act out the roles of their characters, and the Storyteller creates and reveals the plot, introducing allies and antagonists with which the players characters interact.

The players choices throughout the course of the Storytelling experience alter the plot. The Storyteller's job isn't to defend his story from any attempt to change it, but to help create the story as events unfold, reacting to the players' choices and weaving them into a greater whole, introducing secondary characters and exotic settings
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