According to the One True Way, RPGs are played by a bunch of people
sitting around a table with plenty of paper, dice, munchies and
imagination. There are, say, 3 to 6 players and one game master
(although I have taken part in 15 players and 2 GMs extravagances). The
game master controls the game, tells the tale and fleshes out the world
on request. The players try to steer their characters through that
world and tale. Success and brilliance come from player involvement in
a seemingly real and unconstrained world and a well-built story line.
Games last from 3 to many hours, split in several sessions.
Back to our Stafnord RolePlayers home page
See A roleplaying encyclopedia at Edinburgh University Roleplaying Society
Board Games: Little
relation to role-playing games as the flat cardboard world seems too
artificial, constraining, small... But you can get through a game in
one to a few hours.
See The Game Cabinet with info on board games from around the world
Card Games: Little
relation to role-playing games as the cards create a complex but
constrained tactical competition between the players. We'll mention the
currently very popular Magic, and Talisman and Cosmic Encounter (two
combinations board and card games.)
A trading card game magazine: Vaultmag
A Cosmic Encounter FAQ
Computer Games: Technical
realities limit the range of actions and speech a player character can
attempt, but you can play all by yourself, and when you feel
like it. More properly called adventure games.
See Games Domain for lots of computer game links
Interactive Fiction: The
term is differently abused by different people, covering computer
adventure games and live-action role-playing games and also more
general litterary attempts as books, computers software, theatrical
See Interactive Fiction Page
Play By Mail, Play By Email:
When lack of interesting partners, or lack of time become critical,
role-playing games can be played at a distance, using mail or email.
See PBEM gamer's list
See Play by Mail (PBM) Games Homepage
MUDs, Multi-User Dungeons:
While these computer environments implement a limited and constrained
world, they allow in it many humans. The resulting complexity, and
potential reality of interactions, bring these fairly close to
role-playing games while the (crude) user interface still tends to get
in the way.
See The MUD Resource Collection
LARP, Live-action Role-Playing Games:
Very close to basic role-playing games. Instead of living the whole
adventure only in imagination, you actually also walk, talk, and
sometimes fight through it. A set of conventions permit the use of
magic, and safe fights.
See A LARP FAQ
See LARP pointers
See A Swiss group (in French)
Miniatures or figurines:
Figurines are very useful to help visualize complex combat situations
in conventional role-playing games. Some game systems put the emphasis
on figurines, dioramas, and tactical situations rather than adventure
and human situations. Some people spend a lot of time painting their
figurines into works of art.
See Ed's Miniatures Gallery
See Miniature Wargaming Rules
Wargames: Little relation
to role-playing games. The interest is with strategy and tactics in
fictitious or historic battles. Uses paper counters, or armies of
painted figurines on paper maps or elaborate dioramas.
See Colonial-era Wargames
See the Web Grognards wargaming site (warning: graphics heavy).