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Subject: Hey, you Role Players, why do you RP? rss

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Brent Mair
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I've spent a few years of my life Role Playing, mainly D&D, but a few other systems, and I must say that the main reason I did so was because of the dungeon crawl. I enjoyed killing monsters, leveling up, and using my skills to do the former. I don't know that I "role played" much. I never got inside the head of my character and spoke or acted like the character. This didn't always jive with my game group, but moving to CCGs then board games was an easy transition to me since I enjoyed the rolling of the dice, killing, and exploring more than the other aspects. Spend an hour in town at the Hungry Hippogriff trying to dig up information? No way. I suppose I always looked at these games as a dungeon crawl and didn't understand the other parts to the game.

So those of you that do role play, what do you like best about it? Is it the dungeon or space crawl, is it getting inside your character, or something completely different?
 
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Paul DeStefano
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I DMed multiple groups, which had crossovers several times a year, with big 13-15 player parties doing titanic quests that intermingled.

These days were 15 hour games that were huge social gatherings.

The games often became very "Dawson's Creek" like as characters formed relationships with each other and NPCs. If you were touching the table, you were in character. Speaking out of character was done usually by raising both hands slightly to show you were out of contact with the world.

We played for character interaction. If one week was a hack-n-slash, there was a good chance that next week would have absolutely no combat, just plot and story.

At the end of every session, all players shook hands with all others and left the game behind, since characters were often nothing like the real personalities, and various nastiness would occur in-game, but not extend real world.
 
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Chris Talbot
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I've been playing (mostly running) RPGs for about twenty years. I've taken breaks from RPGs here and there, but I do keep coming back to them. My tastes in RPGs have changed considerably over the years, though. I finally burned out on D&D and the dungeon crawl (for the second time in my life) over a year ago. After a short break, I started looking into running other types of games that I'd neglected for awhile. Right now, I'm really into the idea of some of the so-called "indie RPGs" that get talked up a lot over at RPG.net, as well as the idea of cinematic RPGs and the so-called Principle of Narrative Truth, where what the players say actually happens rather than saying what they want to do, rolling dice and waiting for the GM to tell them if they succeed or not.

Despite my tastes changing, I still think I play for many of the same reasons I did when I was a kid running through my first dungeon. I enjoy the company of friends. I enjoy the stories that take place. I enjoy the ability to live a fictional character's life. I enjoy the in-character dialogues. I enjoy the flexibility of gameplay and storytelling that RPGs offer. I enjoy the humour that always seems to come about spontaneously during sessions. I even enjoy rolling the dice and screaming out "Booyah! Natural 20!"

Chris
 
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Philip Thomas
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I play for the imaginative possibilities in world and character creation. I am almost always the DM, and the game is almost always Dungeons and Dragons (although for the past 2 years the game has been online and related to D&D somewhat loosely). But I enjoy the ability to create stories and situations and then see what the characters do with them.
 
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Jay Little
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Clearly it's because of the chicks. Chicks dig pasty guys who play make believe in their basements.

But seriously, it's the escapism and break from the every day. I love immersion in storylines, characters and concepts outside of the normal. I love the chance to flex my creativity and storytelling as the DM, and the opportunity to explore motivations and submit to my imagination as a player.

RPGs have been a big part of my life since, well, about seven years old, when I got my first copy of Dragon magazine and my older brother got the old red box Basic D&D set and we would play into the wee hours.

It's an even bigger part now, allowing me to connect and interact with other people in a way boardgaming doesn't allow -- a shared, collaborative experience that features some moments, storylines and events that we still talk about years (decades) after they happened. That sort of memorable resonance doesn't happen as often with boardgaming.
 
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Geosphere wrote:
I

The games often became very "Dawson's Creek" like as characters formed relationships with each other and NPCs. If you were touching the table, you were in character. Speaking out of character was done usually by raising both hands slightly to show you were out of contact with the world.
.


Sounds like you RP'ed with a bunch of women. I hate to admit this, but I hated RP'ing with women. We had the occasional women gamer, but usually we tried to avoid them all together. Added to much fluff for my liking. I don't like Dawson Creek, I like Deadwood.

I played RPG's for good story development. It was like reading a book in my mind.

 
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Andrea Jørgensen
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MWChapel wrote:

Sounds like you RP'ed with a bunch of women. I hate to admit this, but I hated RP'ing with women. We had the occasional women gamer, but usually we tried to avoid them all together.


Really??

MWChapel wrote:

Added to much fluff for my liking.


Could you explain that?


When I was younger I enjoyed the dungeon crawl a lot! And the social aspect - being with friends, having fun, make a lot of jokes, go on adventures together etc. Now I focuse on the storytelling and most of the things Chris Talbot mentions in his post, but I also love the escapism, the hunt for great adventures/stories and the possibility of being someone completely different from yourself! (e.g. having supernatural powers or being really mean to the other characters devil ).

 
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Dave Riedy
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Never really got into the "funny-voices" version of role-playing. We always talk about our characters in the third-person. It's like telling a story together, as others have said. I'm in it because I like the swords & sorcery world and I like the people I play with (which includes men and women). Our sessions are almost never serious (unless we're all dying) and are always full of laughter and jokes and dumb songs made up about characters and the DM. I almost never laugh as hard anywhere else as I do when we play D&D.
 
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Joel Glidden
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Man! I'm with you, Brent. It's all about the dungeon crawl. I suppose I never much liked actual RPGs. I was (and still am) always there for the unique blend of exploration game coupled with tactical miniatures combat coupled with strategical character development (as in stats and equipment). I've never gotten into the "become your character" thing.
 
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Neil Carr
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I've recently gotten back into RP, via D&D 3.5... mostly because it's a mini-maxing powergamer's dream. I enjoy spending hours and hours pouring over the books trying to find various power combinations and other odd effects and then bringing them to the table. The character builds I make aren't necessarily optimal, but rather try and tease out a particular way of exerting power, often in unusual ways.

Now I know this isn't exactly roleplaying, more roll-playing, but I do roleplay a bit. I talk in a funny voice and I embellish my actions to draw more flavor out of the character, though I'd never ever do anything that would restrict my actions in such a way that it would deny me getting more powerful in a heroic sort of manner.

I've always seen my characters as essentially myself, transported into some fantastical body and unbound by the normal fears of harm and the moral world of greys that we normally inhabit. Instead it's a world of black and white where actions are clear and direct. Further, I have the power of the "metagame" that lets me see that this is a story with narrative structure and thus I can anticipate how events will flow and act accordingly.

I doubt I would enjoy playing in rpg games where I had to build up relationships and drive myself through complex motivations. I have to do that all the time in real life and playing games is supposed to be an escape from that. I have no problem roleplaying to some degree, but it's all garnish on my plate of system analysis and creative exertion of power.

I guess ultimately, roleplaying for me is to recreate two dimensional comic book storylines and characters, who happen to know that they are in a story, but without the spandex.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Castles and Crusades is the game that looks darn good to me right now. 1st Edition feel with the good stuff thrown in from 3rd. 3.5 doesn't interest me in the least. I haven't played an RPG for years, but collect interesting supplements and am toying with the idea of starting a campaign.

Why RPG? Usually a more immersive gaming experience than any boardgame, and very much more open-ended.

Probably a controversial view, but ive always had the feeling that the most creative work in gaming is happening on the RPG side of the hobby.
 
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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I roleplay because it's the only real opportunity for open-ended gaming, exercise for my imagination. With a good GM, you have all the possibilities of real life, without any more baggage or stress than you deliberately introduce.

Of course, you can wander over to any number of sites that will throw all kinds of jargon and "deep" topics and "theory" at you. Gah. I can take it for a while, but eventually I get a little nauseous.
 
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Chris Tannhauser
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Communal storytelling, creative problem solving, emergent gameplay.

Quite simply, a good RPG is like nothing else. It's not like real life, it's not like any other kind of game, it's not like a good novel or movie. But somehow, magically, it contains just the right aspects of all of those things.

The result is a near-complete suspension of disbelief, a loss of the everyday to a level I've never experienced any other way. It's my favorite hallucinogen.

I suppose that for RPGers, 'make believe' never stopped being fun.

Chris

PS. And the residue of the trip is stories--scary stories, sad stories, hilarious stories--that get told for years to come...
 
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Brett Ritter
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Initially it was problem solving. Unlike most, I first really played Shadowrun, and found D&D to be stiffling (levels and classes?).

Over time I've grown into more of a roleplayer, and now I play for the stories. For me, it's just like reading a book or watching an engrossing movie.

Boardgames grew along with it, first into involved and long war games, and more recently into shorter Eurogames that I can play more often.
 
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Alexander B.
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A really good RPG can be on of the most immersive experiences I know of. Being a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy books, RPGs take this to the next level by being interactive.

Creativity, fun, challenge, immersion, social environment... hard to beat them!

Regarding women... depends on the woman. My sister really got into the GAME aspect of it and was great to RPG with. I've also played with other women who didn't really like the violence and wanted to turn it into a soap opera... nothing wrong with that, but I was usually more in the mood for a horror/fantasy sort of story than a romance novel, so it didn't always mesh well in that case: certainly not good to generalize though, I've played with guys who were... um, not very easy to game with, to put it nicely
 
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Tom Hancock
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Even if you are a hack-n-slash type, such as the OP, and don't roleplay in your RPG sessions, I think RPGs have a lot to offer that many board games cannot. In an RPG (depending on which one you play, obviously)you get a level of detail regarding one character that is rarely obtained in board games.

Games like heroquest, descent, arkham horror, and other rpg-like board games offer a lot of character detail compared to other board games, but they offer very little compared to many RPGs. For some, thats where the draw of it is, even if you don't like the character relationships and the immersive parts of RPGs. You fall in love with how cool your character is.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Spielguy wrote:
I've spent a few years of my life Role Playing, mainly D&D, but a few other systems, and I must say that the main reason I did so was because of the dungeon crawl. I enjoyed killing monsters, leveling up, and using my skills to do the former. I don't know that I "role played" much. I never got inside the head of my character and spoke or acted like the character. This didn't always jive with my game group, but moving to CCGs then board games was an easy transition to me since I enjoyed the rolling of the dice, killing, and exploring more than the other aspects. Spend an hour in town at the Hungry Hippogriff trying to dig up information? No way. I suppose I always looked at these games as a dungeon crawl and didn't understand the other parts to the game.

So those of you that do role play, what do you like best about it? Is it the dungeon or space crawl, is it getting inside your character, or something completely different?


A string of dungeon crawls can get pretty tedious for the DM.... If he can't throw out some hooks and give some choices, or play some good NPC's, the DM's job devolves into reading flavor text for rooms in some dungeon, which can get pretty dull. A major part of the fun for a DM is deciding what campaign setting to use, what the pantheon of gods are, etc.

We never RP'ed too much, tended to speak in the first person though, which speeds things up.
 
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Matthew M
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Roleplaying was for the story and character development first and foremost. Combat for combat's sake was never as good as combat that contributed to the story in one way or another. Likewise, minimaxing a character was nowhere near as fun as intentionally crafting interesting but flawed characters - watching them exhibit mastery in areas of specialty and watching them squirm when they were out of their depth.

If I want a hack-and-slash dungeon crawling experience I'll play a board or video game.

-MMM
 
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Alexander B.
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Octavian wrote:
Roleplaying was for the story and character development first and foremost. Combat for combat's sake was never as good as combat that contributed to the story in one way or another. Likewise, minimaxing a character was nowhere near as fun as intentionally crafting interesting but flawed characters - watching them exhibit mastery in areas of specialty and watching them squirm when they were out of their depth...



One of my favorite characters was in a Call of Cthulhu game. He was a 69 year old counterfeiter who had already been caught trying to pass his low quality funny-money.

His hand shook so much that he could barely hit anything with his .45. He was always bumbling around and getting into trouble... his only redeeming trait did come in handy though, and that is he was such a hard-boiled and insensitive person that seeing some spawn of Cthulhu that would drive many people insane didn't impact him much: not that he could hardly even see them given his poor eyesight!
 
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Greg Jones
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Dungeon crawl. I mostly play video game RPGs, but when I play board game ones its been Hero Quest, Runebound. I especially like when you can level up or acquire items and then get access to new abilities. Runebound is pretty good for that - but I prefer to find my kick-ass items rather than buy them. It's a better feeling of accomplishment. Anybody could buy the item if they defeat 100 wumpuses for 1 GP each, but to find the item you might have to make your way through a maze and defeat the scaly razor beast at the end.

For comparison, one Euro that kind of gives the same kind of reward is Cities and Knights of Catan, where you can spend commodities to buy upgrades. If you upgrade each category enough, you get a cool special ability.
 
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Aaron Tubb
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It's just plain fun. Plus, I get to use my imagination and creativity more than just about any other time. I almost always GM/DM, and the only RPG I do anymore is Star Wars 2nd ed. I used to do a lot of D&D, but I find the absence of levels, classes, hit points, and armor class refreshing.
 
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I am slowly migrating to the "indie" as well. I find DND with too many meaningless rules. The combat is looking more and more like a mini's game. If I want to play a miniature combat game, I will just go ahead and play a real one. No need for that in my RPG. Having said that, I am really grateful that 3.5 exists, as I believe it is still the main connection that brings people to play RPGs.
 
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Jeff King
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I mosstly GM, but I get to play from time to time. For me it was always story, but I never minded a good dungeon crawl/super hero brawl either.

I typically only play in online games these days, although I have sat in on some convention and local store demos recently. But playing online it tends to become even more about the story because of the time you have to make replies and the email interaction, etc.

I mostly play Heroes Unlimited these days, but I am preparing a Mutants and Masterminds demo for our next game day, and a Contagion demo as well. Contagion is an AWESOME RPG that a few of our members demo'd at a convention recently. It is the war between heaven and hell and how us mere mortals are now getting involved. It is produced by Aegis Studios. We cannot recommend it enough.
 
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chris schott
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i haven't played an rpg in decades, but when i did it was AD&D. Rick, one of the older kids in the scout troop, was talking about it and a few of us were entranced. he was a pretty good story teller, using facial expressions, gestures and sound effects. every word seemed fascinating - "character", "experience level", "sphere of annihilation". i can remember the sound of the sphere, it's like a guy sucking up a whole milkshake in one slurp.

later when Rick led us through a game, my friend George and i killed a shambling mound. we had never even heard of one previously, but immediately we were able to see it in our minds. decades later the subject will sometimes come up when we meet and we talk about it as if it actually happened.

sometime after that first game, i got all the books, learned about all the monsters and DMed some games. the fun started to decline. knowing the amount of hit points for every monster removed some mystery. it could be a drag having to manage high school friends who would rather make silly wiseass remarks than help propell things along. with disparate schedules, many adventures started and never completed.

at it's best, playing an rpg was more real than watching a movie; it was like stepping through the screen and being part of the movie, wholly and completely. i might try it again, but i doubt it will ever be possible to immerse myself so totally as i did when i first played. you can only kill your first shambling mound once.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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I’ve been playing and game mastering for over thirty years now. In the beginning, it was all hack and slash. Monty Haul all the way. After a while I wanted more and role-playing became more important. Now I primarily play two different styles.

The first style is one-on-one. One player and one game master. This allows for intense role-playing. There are sessions where nobody swings a sword, but we have lots of fun, because it is just me and the other guy, weaving a story between us.

The second style is the standard, one game master and several players. Because nobody can monopolize the game master, there is less role-playing and more combat oriented adventuring. Everything that happens forwards (hopefully) the plotline of the story that the game master has planned for our group. This is the style with some min-maxing and dungeon crawling.
 
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