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The Roleplaying Diaries of Bryan Stephens

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roleplaying_article [2019/10/20 17:08]
Andrew Christian
roleplaying_article [2019/10/20 17:14] (current)
Andrew Christian
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 There are many flavors of RPG’s on the market. The Granddaddy of them all is the best known, Dungeons and Dragons, first published in 1974. It was a home rules adaption of a war-game called Chain Mail. In a war-game, you control units. In a Role Playing Game you control characters, and that was the great difference. There are many flavors of RPG’s on the market. The Granddaddy of them all is the best known, Dungeons and Dragons, first published in 1974. It was a home rules adaption of a war-game called Chain Mail. In a war-game, you control units. In a Role Playing Game you control characters, and that was the great difference.
  
-RolePlaying ​How each game works is different, based on the system built to manage it. Some systems are more complex than others. The goal of each is to support the play. Let me lay it out.+{{ :​roleplaying.jpg?​nolink |}} 
 + 
 +How each game works is different, based on the system built to manage it. Some systems are more complex than others. The goal of each is to support the play. Let me lay it out.
  
 Usually, a role playing group is composed of 4-7 players and one Game Master (GM). The Game Master is “in charge” of the game. He or she (yes girls and women play these games, though hereafter I am going to stick with “he” for brevity’s sake), sets up the story, controls the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and enforces the rules of the game. It is his job to “host” the game. Usually, a role playing group is composed of 4-7 players and one Game Master (GM). The Game Master is “in charge” of the game. He or she (yes girls and women play these games, though hereafter I am going to stick with “he” for brevity’s sake), sets up the story, controls the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and enforces the rules of the game. It is his job to “host” the game.
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 Each game session is much like an episode of a TV program. The GM usually sets the stage; he gives details to the players. The players respond to the information and act. Most systems use dice to introduce a random element into actions. Depending on the game, or the moment, they can be used more or less. The sessions usually last 3-5 hours. The overall story often takes more than one session, just like a modern TV show, which will have a story over several episodes or a season. This group of characters, in their stories are called a campaign, which is much like the TV show itself. I find it easy to think of each story arc in the campaign as a “season”. Each game session is much like an episode of a TV program. The GM usually sets the stage; he gives details to the players. The players respond to the information and act. Most systems use dice to introduce a random element into actions. Depending on the game, or the moment, they can be used more or less. The sessions usually last 3-5 hours. The overall story often takes more than one session, just like a modern TV show, which will have a story over several episodes or a season. This group of characters, in their stories are called a campaign, which is much like the TV show itself. I find it easy to think of each story arc in the campaign as a “season”.
  
-1935423-burn_notice_wallpaper_burn_notice_6727159_1440_900 So, to use something current, let’s look at a show like Burn Notice as if it were a game. Burn Notice starts as a small group, with 3 players running 3 of the 4 main characters:+{{ :1935423-burn_notice_wallpaper_burn_notice_6727159_1440_900-960x600.jpg?​nolink |}} 
 + 
 +So, to use something current, let’s look at a show like [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Burn_Notice|Burn Notice]] as if it were a game. Burn Notice starts as a small group, with 3 players running 3 of the 4 main characters:
  
 Michael Westen, Fiona Glenanne, and Sam Axe. Each has some overlapping skills, but they have different abilities for situations. While someone might play Michael’s mom, Mattie Westen, she more has the feel of a Non-Player Character who is either an ally, or some sort of dependent NPC for Michael. Michael Westen, Fiona Glenanne, and Sam Axe. Each has some overlapping skills, but they have different abilities for situations. While someone might play Michael’s mom, Mattie Westen, she more has the feel of a Non-Player Character who is either an ally, or some sort of dependent NPC for Michael.
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 As a game, this would be a session, with the GM sending a NPC to the characters to ask for help. The players would plan a way to help the NPC, while also keeping in motion their overall plan. For action scenes, the Players and GM would use dice to determine the outcome of who shot whom and how bad. As a game, this would be a session, with the GM sending a NPC to the characters to ask for help. The players would plan a way to help the NPC, while also keeping in motion their overall plan. For action scenes, the Players and GM would use dice to determine the outcome of who shot whom and how bad.
  
-ImaginationPoster ​It is a blast. Unlike a TV show, there is not a script. Sometimes the Players just do not do what the GM expects. They can solve problems in ways that are totally unexpected. To me the greatest joy of an RPG is that the story is written as a group. I love to GM and my players surprise me. As a Player, I love to surprise the GM.+{{ :​imaginationposter.jpg?​nolink |}} 
 + 
 +It is a blast. Unlike a TV show, there is not a script. Sometimes the Players just do not do what the GM expects. They can solve problems in ways that are totally unexpected. To me the greatest joy of an RPG is that the story is written as a group. I love to GM and my players surprise me. As a Player, I love to surprise the GM.
  
 My second greatest joy is playing a character that is different than me. People asked what power they would want, often say “flight”. Well, in many games, you can play a character who can fly. Or throw fireballs, or pilot a space ship, or read minds. The only limit is your imagination. My second greatest joy is playing a character that is different than me. People asked what power they would want, often say “flight”. Well, in many games, you can play a character who can fly. Or throw fireballs, or pilot a space ship, or read minds. The only limit is your imagination.
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 When I discovered Dungeons and Dragons I was 11. It was at a church camp where other people were playing. I just sat there and listened. Well, I asked a lot of questions. When I got home, I wanted mom and dad to take me to a store to buy the game in the worst way. I got my first set, and I was hooked. When I discovered Dungeons and Dragons I was 11. It was at a church camp where other people were playing. I just sat there and listened. Well, I asked a lot of questions. When I got home, I wanted mom and dad to take me to a store to buy the game in the worst way. I got my first set, and I was hooked.
  
-Soon, I was on to other games. D&D started a new way of playing games, and lots of them were out there. I played a bunch of games as well, like the super hero game, Champions and the Space Opera game, Traveler. My parents bought me the James Bond game for my birthday when I was 14. As I got older, games got more fun. The joy of running a game of Paranoia, the fear of playing Call of Cthulhu, these are strong memories of high school. My best friend at the time created his own game, Star Chase. We had a lot of fun freeing an Earth in the distant future and keeping it safe from all sorts of attackers. While others were out scoring drinks (and I imagine dates), I gamed.+Soon, I was on to other games. D&D started a new way of playing games, and lots of them were out there. I played a bunch of games as well, like the super hero game, [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Champions_(role-playing_game)|Champions]] and the Space Opera game, [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Traveller_(role-playing_game)|Traveler]]. My parents bought me the [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​James_Bond_007_(role-playing_game)|James Bond Game]] ​for my birthday when I was 14. As I got older, games got more fun. The joy of running a game of Paranoia, the fear of playing ​[[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Call_of_Cthulhu_(role-playing_game)|Call of Cthulhu]], these are strong memories of high school. My best friend at the time created his own game, Star Chase. We had a lot of fun freeing an Earth in the distant future and keeping it safe from all sorts of attackers. While others were out scoring drinks (and I imagine dates), I gamed.
  
 In college, things were not different, in fact they were better. I was blessed to have a wonderful Game Master in college, who mentored me on what a great GM is supposed to be. And that has had a profound effect on me. He showed me that the most important part of being a good GM is to make sure each Player feels that his Character is special, has his own role to play, and that he gets time in the spotlight. In college, things were not different, in fact they were better. I was blessed to have a wonderful Game Master in college, who mentored me on what a great GM is supposed to be. And that has had a profound effect on me. He showed me that the most important part of being a good GM is to make sure each Player feels that his Character is special, has his own role to play, and that he gets time in the spotlight.
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 These days Linda and I still play with an RPG group once a month. It is like hosting a party. The GM rotates as we play different campaigns, usually making a switch after a story has concluded. Being the GM is hard work, so it is nice to take a break. Once Campaign I ran went on and off from 2005 to 2012! One Sunday a month, from 2-6ish, everyone brings snacks, and Linda cooks a dinner, and we have a great time. These days Linda and I still play with an RPG group once a month. It is like hosting a party. The GM rotates as we play different campaigns, usually making a switch after a story has concluded. Being the GM is hard work, so it is nice to take a break. Once Campaign I ran went on and off from 2005 to 2012! One Sunday a month, from 2-6ish, everyone brings snacks, and Linda cooks a dinner, and we have a great time.
  
-Role Playing is a great way to have fun, to stay creative, and explore different ways of being. It is well worth the time and effort. Now, I have to wrap this up and go build a character for an upcoming Pathfinder game Linda is going to be running.+Role Playing is a great way to have fun, to stay creative, and explore different ways of being. It is well worth the time and effort. Now, I have to wrap this up and go build a character for an upcoming ​[[http://​paizo.com/​pathfinder|Pathfinder]] game Linda is going to be running.
  
-role-playing-games_2517826+{{ :role-playing-games_2517826.jpg?nolink |}}
roleplaying_article.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/20 17:14 by Andrew Christian