Roleplaying Basics

What Is Roleplaying

Roleplaying Issues

Books About RPG's




Some RPG Games

For Novice Players

Vampire the Masquerade

Live Action

Introduction to Roleplaying

by Dave

The Basics

Hello, welcome to my site devoted to roleplaying games.

The most obvious question that one can start with is, "What is roleplaying?" There are many answers to this question, but I have written an article that attempts to answer the question of what roleplaying is, or not. You will have to decide whether the answer is satisfactory for yourself, but there are other considerations to take into account here.

Gaming is a hobby for most of the people who play roleplaying games and other similar types of games. Roleplaying games are quite interesting, have a lot of creativity and imagination that has gone into the creation of the adventures for the roleplaying experience. Many times the person who runs the game, called the Dungeon Master, GamesMaster, Storyteller, or any other number of titles, has gone to great lengths to research one or more aspects of the adventure, also called a scenario, that he or she is about to run. Some players devote way too much time to playing role-playing games, but this is equally true of all hobbies where it turns into quite an obsession. One just have to exercise self-restraint when playing the games.

One of the most positive aspects of the roleplaying game is that it is much like a social game, very much involving interaction between the players and allowing those who play to develop their social and cultural skills. Roleplaying games teach rules, they teach a form of etiquette that is unique to roleplaying (but which translates well into other settings), and they teach the ability to think on one's own feet and to deal with unexpected situations. There are plenty of other positive aspects of roleplaying games that one could talk about, but there are also the negative sides of roleplaying. I will discuss the negative aspects in the 'Issues' section.


The Issues

There are many issues that come up in roleplaying games, issues of morality, violence, addiction, and other questionable behavior and idiosyncracies. I have chosen not to deal with these here in the Introduction, but have devoted a separate page to these issues that you read about it here.

My Roleplaying

With that out of the way, I guess we can now talk about the roleplaying pages that are in front of you. I have been roleplaying now for almost thirty years; some would argue a large chunk of my life, but for me it has always been a means of expressing my creativity and imagination. Everyone begins roleplaying in different I guess I should tell you a little bit about this.

I first discovered the concept of roleplaying games when I was in my late teens, during my university years. A small group of players would get together and play a game that one of the folks called "Laertia." It was a world and a set of rules that he had created, since he was fond of a set of sf and fantasy books that he had read once, and he wanted to play in that world. Eventually, of course, Dungeons and Dragons came out, the first of the roleplaying games, and one that was quite good for its time and that had a lot of potential. I played D&D, as did most of my friends, until the advent of Runequest by CHAOSium. This was a game that really stretched the imagination moreso than D&D had ever done, simply because the world created for this game was one that was more of a storytelling world, as opposed to the type of world created by the TSR people. Sometime in this period, I also discovered the original Traveller, and found the entirely new side of the gaming within the science fiction genre.

In the years that I've been playing roleplaying games, I've probably played and ran at least fifty other games...some of the more notable games include RuneQuest, Tekumel (based on the M.A. Barker stories), Torg: The Possibility Wars, 2300 AD, Space: 1889, Ringworld, Talislanta , ElfQuest, Skyrealms of Jorune , Over the Edge Noir,Universe, UnderWorld , and countless others. I've enjoyed virtually all of the games that I've played in and have gamesmastered, although I have to admit to being more creative and enjoying myself more as a GamesMaster than as a player, although being a player is a good way to keep one's "hands" in the playing side; it provides a balance to the GMing side, and never lets one forget...

In 1979, I was fortunate enough to be able to obtain a copy of a game system called DragonQuest, a game system that was different enough from a lot of the fantasy games out there but had a lot of elements that I really liked, notably the magic item creation system. I ran DragonQuest for several years, and then experimented with Ars Magica and Talislanta, both of which were enjoyable games in their own rights, and certainly had some interesting concepts behind them. With the intent and desire on my part to run a game in the world of Lyra, first created in novels by an author by the name of Patricia C. Wrede in 1983, I realized I was in need of a new game system; none of the fantasy roleplaying games that I was playing at the time had the ability to cope with the Wrede world, not in the way that she had created some of the game numbers for the off-the-cuff rpg that she was working with. And then I remembered good old DragonQuest, a game that I felt could be adapted with minimal fuss to the setting of Pat Wrede's Lyra. I've run DragonQuest since that time, up until about four months ago.

I first discovered the science fiction rpg in the late 1970s with Traveller and Universe , but over the years I've found that I'm not all that much of a science fiction rpg fan, even if I did run Universe for the longest time. One of the games that I have run sporadically on and off over the years, however, that has always seemed to be science fiction to me, was Skyrealms of Jorune , an rpg that was first published in 1984. The world of Jorune is quite unique and has a distinctive feel to it. While I went on to run Blue Planet for some years, I've always come back to Jorune for various reasons. "Leave your world behind", indeed!

In March 2001, a new fantasy rpg came out from Pelgrane Press in England based on the Dying Earth works of Jack Vance. I had heard rumours and stories about the game prior to this, and was looking forward to it, and when the game finally came out I snatched a copy up through the company's website. The Dying Earth RPG is one of the best looking, simple game mechanics systems out there, but more to the point, it is a game system that fits the Vance stories so well, and allows one to simulate the Vance works to a "T" (or perhaps that should be "V"). The game has not drawn a lot of comments in the internet world of gaming, although it does have a devoted following and has seen some wonderful supplements produced for it so far, not the least of which is the game supplement-disguised-as-a-magazine, the "Excellent Prismatic Spray". nen swe swe old teh

In the meantime, I've used several science fiction systems, and have worked with a couple of other systems that simulated environments that I wanted to play and run in, notably Fading Suns, Ringworld, and Skyrealms of Jorune. However, the first sf rpg that I played right after being dissatisfied with Traveller was Universe ...a system that I ran for almost thirteen years before going in search of other systems. I ran the gamut of several systems for the last few years, until 1997, when I turned back to the Universe system, and I have been running this superb science fiction rpg since that time. As mentioned earlier, I've also run a lot of Skyrealms of Jorune over the years as well, simply because I have always been delighted with that game. In recent years, I've found the rather off-beat Cadillacs and Dinosaurs roleplaying game, based on the superb Xenozoic Tales comic, written by Mark Schultz. This game is about survival, day-to-day, in a world where nature has reclaimed her own, and where man is now the intruder. It's got a strong, ecological element to it, and is one of the most refreshing games to run and play in. The gaming groups that I play with have developed a taste for a bit more modern an sf rpg, and so to that end, I have been running the Blue Planet science fiction rpg since it first came out, a system that is very dear to my heart and one that the players love and where I feel that I can really do some interesting storylines and plots. role sites here see this ant har hat tun
   Over the years, I've played a few rpgs that I was really fond of and have come back to some systems that I had left sitting on the shelf for years on end. In recent years, the only systems that I've been running on a consistent basis were DragonQuest (but that has been replaced by The Dying Earth), Blue Planet , and alternated with a couple of other games. I went back for a time to two games that I've loved for quite some while, DC Heroes , the super-heroes rpg that has undergone a few changes and is now called The Blood of Heroes , and Skyrealms of Jorune , a system of science fantasy that takes place in the far future on a truly alien world. Meanwhile, 1996 saw the release of what has to be the most innovative, creative concept for a time travel roleplaying game to come along in a very long time. I have been a fan of the Continuum: Roleplaying in the Yet rpg now since its debut, and have enjoyed many hours of running this game (although I do wish I could play it as well), although the gaming groups that I play with have abandoned this game as too complex and mind-numbing. Oh, well, c'est la vie and all that. Then there is the WitchCraft and Principia Malefex , both of which are horror and modern day supernatural rpgs that deal more with the mundane horrors and magic and dark secrets. I prefer the former to the latter because of the game system, but both still having some really good gothic and dark modern-day fantasy elements to them. My gaming group is truly fond of WitchCraft , but they find they cannot play horror rpgs for long periods of time.



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