Friday, February 12, 2010

Paragraph RolePlay Tips

Paragraph RolePlay Tips - Written by Jackson Sharple

RolePlay Tip # 01 - Detail
- - - - -
Live. Make your character real. Don't be a collection of pixels ... bring your character to life. Give them action. Here's an example:

/me looks across the counter, staring at the selection of soft drinks before turning his gaze to the coffee. Sniffing the air as if to judge the taste by its smell, he smiles. "Hey...  Can I get a cup of that coffee there? Two cream and a sugar, please." He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out his wallet to pay.

That's a little better than:

/me walks into the cafe. "Can I have a coffee please?"

So, give your character a bit of depth to their actions. It's worth the extra bit of time needed to type out. You don't need to write a novel, of course, but a little bit of work will be well rewarded.

RolePlay Tip # 02 - Godmodding
- - - - -
A lot of people have this confused with powergaming, which, while related, is something different.

Godmodding is where you decide that nothing hurts you, that no action taken against you causes you any kind of setback/pain/whatever. While it's mostly men who are guilty of this (blame action movies, video games, testosterone, whatever), some women are, too. I'll give you some examples:

-The vampire who cannot be hurt by you, whether it be because of supernatural powers, some magic spell that makes him better than the rest, etc.

-The streetfighter who has so much experience, she can see any move you make before you know what you're thinking, and therefore dodges any attack you make.

-The soldier who has a prototype bullet-proof vest, capable of stopping any caliber of bullet without even so much as bruising him.

There are many other examples of which I have seen in my travels around Second Life. Look at yourself, at the way you play, and you might find yourself guilty of something like this. Take a hit now and then, lose a fight ... You might be surprised at how good the outcome can be.

RolePlay Tip # 03 - Powergaming
- - - - -
Powergaming is when you decide for someone else what they're doing. You're taking away their choices, and making them react how you want them to react.

I'll give you a couple of examples:

1 - /me looks at the man and throws a punch at him, hitting him in the head and knocking him out. He walks over to the downed man, drawing his blade, and stabs him in the heart. He pulls the knife free and wipes it on the dead man's shirt, then walks away.

2 - /me grabs her lover and kisses him deeply. She moans as her man pulls at her shirt, and gasps in fear and pleasure as he rips her bra free. "Oh, Rick!  You're so strong!" He looks at her breasts and massages them roughly, using her for his own pleasure.

Now, let's see what went wrong in those two example, and then fix them:

1 - In this example, the person posting not only decided that their punch hit the person, but also that it knocked his victim out, and that he had enough time to kill him. He gave the person no chance to defend himself. Perhaps the person wanted to dodge. Perhaps he was willing to take a hit, but play it as reeling back, not being knocked out. Regardless, the person attacking took too many liberties. Here's what should have happened:

/me looks at the man and throws a punch at him.

Not very detailed, sure, but it stopped before there was any powergaming. It lets the other person decide what action they're going to take.

2 - In this example, the woman decides that she's writing erotica, and not roleplaying. She's writing all that she wants, and doesn't let the man have his say. What if he's not a breast man? What if he's not rough, and wouldn't relieve her of her bra in such a way? Here's what should have happened:

/me grabs at her lover, wanting to kiss him deeply.

Again, not very detailed, but doesn't powergame.  It gives the man a chance to give his input.

Hope this inspires you to take a look at your own roleplay. If you're guilty of powergaming, then maybe you can adjust your style. 

RolePlay Tip # 04 - Profiles
- - - - -
As a roleplayer, your profile is the best way to sell yourself. Without talking to you, someone will be able to tell a bit about you like by what you put in your profile. 

Let's look at my profile for example...  Go ahead and Search for me, Jackson Sharple.  Here's what you'll find:

-From my Groups, you'll see that I like roleplay (descriptive, paragaph roleplay in particular), and have a few other assorted groups for business or personal reasons.

-From my 2nd Life tab, you'll see that I like intelligence, descriptive play, dislike metered roleplay, and that I sometimes log chat.

-From my Picks, you'll see that I have a couple of people that I consider close, that I have info about a roleplay group I belong to, my roleplay likes and dislikes, that I quite dislike the overuse of titles as it pertains to BDSM, and again, my dislike for a certain roleplay sim.

The other tabs of your profile are less important, but again, might contain info about your roleplay likes. Your Web tab might contain a page of your roleplay stats or kinks. Your interests might again tell what you're into. And finally, your 1st Life tab might be used as an extra space in which to relay info about your SL self instead of the real you.

Some of you want to appear to be 'normal', and keep your more extreme roleplay notes about yourself out of your profile. Others might want their whole profile to be advertisements for stores or Zyngo games. That's fine, but it does nothing to identify you as someone who is worth roleplaying with, so you may need to adapt. If that's how you want to identify yourself, while still wanting roleplay, perhaps have a few words about contacting you for roleplay details.

RolePlay Tip # 05 – Entering Pre-Existing Scenes
- - - - -
Roleplayetiquette. There are many, many things that fall under that topic, one of them being pre-existing scenes.

Say you're in a sim, whether it be Dark Alley, Force Park 1, LoveLife Isle of Lust, Ravage Fuck Factory, or whatever, and you encounter someone having a sex scene. You might want to watch, or even join in. However, it's wrong to just barge into it without an invitation. You could find yourself muted at best, or ejected and banned from the sim at worst. Here are a couple of ways to see if you can get in on it if you so desire:

-IM one or both players, and ask if you can join in. Give them a moment or two to discuss it between themselves, and see what happens.

-Roleplay your way in, and see if they'll accept you. Try something like this:

/me walks past the abandoned building, and stops as he hears what sounds like a struggle. He peers in through a poorly-boarded window and watches as a man tries to pin a woman down. He chuckles as he watches her fight valiantly, and whistles loudly to get the pair's attention.  "Looks like she's giving you some trouble," he says. "Need help with her?"

See if that works.  They'll let you know. If you are accepted in either case, go ahead and enjoy. However, if even one of them says no, no matter if the other really wants you in, walk away. Trying to intrude where you're not wanted equals harassment, and you can find yourself in some deep trouble with group or sim moderators, and even LL themselves.

Also, in many sex areas, forced/rape roleplay is a common enough theme. Don't be so quick to rush to someone's defense. That person wants to be there playing. They'd teleport away if they wanted to. The shadows are no place for a hero.

Hopefully this will help guide you into some good roleplay, and let you know when it's best to move on.

RolePlay Tip # 06 - Metagaming
- - - - -
Metagaming is when you're in an immersive, character-driven roleplay, and you use information that you, the player know, but your character wouldn't. I'll give you some examples in the following paragraphs.

The most common bit of metagaming people make during roleplay is when they first meet someone. What do they do? They call that total stranger by their name. Unless you're a gifted psychic, you shouldn't know the stranger's name, or that he's a stalker/undercover officer/hired thug/etc. Just as with most people you'd meet for the first time in real life, your character wouldn't know the other's name or employment history.

Another example of metagaming is when you read that person's profile, and use something against them. Let's say it says in their profile that the character has a dark past, say having accidentally set a fire that got someone hurt or killed. You shouldn't approach them and mention it. That's something to be found out during roleplay, and earning that character's trust.

Some players have their avatars wear titlers that provide some info so that you don't have to read their profile. Sometimes it's overt, such as the character having obvious trembling, a wound or two, that they cough a lot, or something to those effects. Others have covert information on their titlers, with things like they have a concealed weapon, that they're in disguise, and so on. To use their covert info against them is a no-no. You ought not to approach them and mention the gun you know is in the back of their belt. That titler is just meant to show you that should you engage that person in a fight, they're not just saying from out of nowhere that they have a weapon.

Go forth, learn about other characters through roleplay. Just as you may want to let your character have an air of mystery about them, let other characters have their secrets until they are revealed to you.

RolePlay Tip # 07 – Avatar Appearance
- - - - -
Unfortunately, since Second Life is very visual, some people will refuse play unless your avatar looks top notch. I, myself, have encountered vain folk who refuse to play unless it looks like you've spent thousands on your avatar. Sometimes, even the best of paragraph players are unwilling to give you a chance unless you look good (what a cartoon has to do with roleplay ability, I'll never know).

There are many places you can go, if you're patient and persistent, that have free and quality items. You can search groups for it, as well. Skins, hair, and animation overrides are hard to come by, but clothes are easy enough to find, especially if you're a woman. Try, as it's a treasure trove for you to explore. Also, since it's in sync with Second Life, now, you don't need to sign up ...  just log in, and you're ready to go.

Also, as it pertains to appearance, make sure you're dressed appropriately when visiting certain sims. Don't go to a medieval sim dressed as a cowboy, don't visit a Wild West sim dressed as a space man, and when in a humans-only sim, don't go as a furry. Basically, use common sense.

RolePlay Tip # 08 – RL Masturbation
- - - - -
A lot of you engage in sexual roleplay. Whilst exploring an erotic scenario, it's common to get sexually aroused, but you should also learn to control yourself. You're playing with someone else, and not just yourself. That person is there for roleplay ... They're showing you respect enough to spend time roleplaying with you. Show them the same respect in return.

Many are the times that a man will show himself to be articulate and eloquently-worded in roleplay. However, it's obvious when they're masturbating. They'll give great posts at first ... five or six lines, taking a couple of minutes to post. After a while, it takes twice as long to write half as much. Suddenly, when the scene is getting satisfactory for the other person, the offending member (again, usually a guy) will suddenly say he has to log off. Whether it be that a roommate came home early, or that they suddenly remember an appointment they have to keep, they log off quickly. I honestly can't remember how many times I've heard that complaint from women. Just when the scene is about to get really good, or if the offender is really cruel, it's just before the scene's climax. Some women will give men a second chance on this one, but rarely a third. Don't burn your bridges, fellas (this includes the fellas playing as gals ... that's a great way for you lesbians to give yourself away as a RL man). 

In conclusion, roleplay should be two or more people creating a scene ...  something memorable. You don't want that memory to be that you're the lazy person who should have watched porn instead of wasting a couple of hours of a person's time only to leave as it was getting good. Stay out of their mute column, and give them the respect they deserve.

RolePlay Tip # 09 – Detail Revisited
- - - - -
Paragraph roleplay takes time. We know this. It's why a lot of people hate it, as they want something fast rather than have it detailed. It's cool to take anywhere from two to five minutes to make a post. That's expected, and acceptable. However, if you're taking more than that because your post is so big that it fills your chat window, then it's too much. At that point, you're forgetting that someone else is playing with you ... You're forgetting that they have things to add to the mix, as well. Also, with such a long post, you run the risk of powergaming by not letting them react.

When making your post, you don't have to add every thought your character is thinking. Instead of telling us how you're thinking about how handsome someone is, how you wish the other person would put down their knife, how this situation reminds you of something twenty years ago and how that similar experience has left you ready to face this. Simply imply, perhaps, that your character is lost in though. Inner monologue works well in books, but in roleplay, the other person cannot read your mind, and therefore you don't have to waste your time in posting it.

I could go on about how too much detail can ruin your roleplay, but then that would be too ironic.

RolePlay Tip # 10 - Typos
- - - - -
With paragraph roleplay, we're all aware that we're eating time when writing our posts. You might get impatient as you wait for the other person/people to post, and when it's your turn, you're determined to get yours out as soon as possible. However, when doing so, please be aware of how good your spelling is. Many times, in my own experience, I've had to ask someone to write their post out again because in their hurry to post, they've written something unintelligible. It's odd, but a lot of people for whom English is a second language don't have this problem because they actually put effort into watching what they write, but I digress...

Instead of giving you examples of how bad someone can botch up a post, I'll give you a tip on how to improve your own. With the chat bar, you can only see so much of what you've written; you have to scroll back, usually at a snail's pace to see what you have down, which takes more time. Here's an idea that was told to me by a friend - create a notecard and use it to type on. That way, you can see everything you have typed and can very easily give it a look before copying it and pasting it to your chat window. Some of you newer folk may not know how to copy text, so here's how you do it:

Ctrl + A will highlight all of your text
Ctrl + C (when all is highlighted) will copy your text
Ctrl + V will post your copied text where you want it to go

This notecard idea not only lets you see all of your text, but will let the self-conscious amongst you decide as to whether or not you've written an appropriate amount of text (some people worry about writing too much or too little).

RolePlay Tip # 11 – Post-Jumping
- - - - -
One of the key elements to paragraph roleplay is patience. When you're playing with someone, you like for them to wait for your posts; it goes both ways. Are they taking longer than you to post, so long that it irritates you? Don't play with them. However, if you are spending time with them, give them the courtesy of waiting for them. It's beyond irritating to almost have what you want written down, only to have to delete what you had in order to accomodate what was said by someone else.

Some of you may find yourselves in situations where you're dealing with more than one person. Whether it's a crowded tavern, a busy street corner, or a sex scene with multiple partners, you're going to have to be patient. For some (like myself), one-on-one interactions are far prefered to group scenes, but if you find yourself with more than one person, try shortening your posts if possible. Sure, detail is great, but as we learned a couple of lessons ago, it can also take away from the flow of a scene. Experiment, and see if you can find the right balance. Also, once an order is established, keep it constant. If you want to opt out for a turn, simply ask ((out of character)) for someone else to go before you.

RolePlay Tip # 12 – Character Background
- - - - -
As you travel around Second Life, you'll see many profiles containing their character's roleplay background. You might even have such Picks for yourself. You'll see many with things like this:

- I was a highborn princess who'd been out riding one day, and was kidnapped by slavers. Sold to an abusive master, she's spent the last few months plotting her escape. The problem with this one is that yet again, a princess has been stolen away. How many kingdoms are there out there where the king doesn't care enough about his daughter being kidnapped to stop at nothing to see her returned? It's just not original.

- After three tours of duty in the Middle East, my character retired from the military and joined the C.I.A. After serving with distinction, he retired from the C.I.A. to come and (insert story why he is where he is now.)
The problem with this background is that if someone were so amazing, why is he hanging around in whatever dump he's in? What's the motivation to go from serving his country and government to move to a backwater burg to do whatever it is he's doing? Not to mention the hundreds of other former military, Russian arms dealers, Olympic-caliber athletes, etc. that live there as well.

Basically, there's nothing at all wrong with just being an average person. Instead of a princess, why not be the daughter of a simple and humble farmer? Instead of a super agent, why not be the son of a manual labourer and a stay-at-home mom? There's no need for some outlandish background for your character. Don't let any RL ego, or lack of one, make your character out to be "the best". Just be what you are in RL...  a normal human being (unless you have a fursona...  then be a normal... whatever).

RolePlay Tip # 13 – Pre-Written Posts
- - - - -
In my travels, I've met many roleplayers.  After getting to know them, some have admitted that they use notecards to write various responses on (much like how I discussed in a previous lesson). However, instead of clearing the slate, as it were, they save the responses for use in other sessions. This seems like a great idea, yes? Wrong. When you do this, you really are doing nothing more than what an Xcite! product does...  the only difference is that no one is clicking on you. It takes more time, yes, but go ahead and respond on the fly. It's a more honest way to roleplay, and keeps you from being a repetitive device.

- - - - -
Jackson Sharple is the owner of the Erotic Paragraph Roleplay Group
A group for those who want to make sure that those they roleplay with are paragraph roleplayers. No single-lined posts, here.
To ensure quality, the group is invite-only, and only after filling out an application or having an interview with an online group officer.
Contact Jackson Sharple or Issa Adored for an application or assessment appointment.
If you're new to the group, please check past notices for any info you might find important.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Basic Role-Playing Terms

Role-Playing (role-play, RP, RPing):
The concept where one acts out scenes and stories with others around a particular theme by assuming a "role" and taking on the personality of a particular character. It is your character acting out or telling his or her own particular story. Everything that you post is to that end. It refers to a situation of fictional context whereby you portray yourself as someone you are not. It allows you to be whatever you want (within sim rules/limits of course) as though you were playing a part in a large multi-leveled interactive movie.

Out of Character (OOC):
The typist, the person behind the avatar, the RL person behind the keyboard.
OOC: Anything that occurs and/or relates to things out of the game. This means you are speaking with your OWN voice and not the voice of your character. In local chat this is often denoted by a set of double parentheses on either side of your statement. eg ((My computer just stuffed up...sorry guys)). Use of excessive ooc comments is frowned upon while RP is going and very disruptive for the people engaging in ongoing RPs.

In Character (IC):
The character in your screen, the avatar and the role/character/personilty you have given him/her.
IC: Anything that occurs in and/or relates to what happens in the role-playing game (to/by the characters). If you are talking "IC" it means you are speaking with the voice and words of your character. When making IC posts, you should NEVER use abbreviations (how r u?, lol, rofl, etc.) or emoticons ( :), ^.^, :P, etc.). When you are IC you should also avoid the use of gestures - they distract from RP.

IC/OOC Line:
The line between ‘in character’ and ‘out of character.’ Players are not their characters and are not necessarily even like their characters, and vice versa. Realize that everything that is happening when IC is just that - a character someone is playing in a game. Do not take IC actions, insults, fights, etc. personally. You may not like another character, but respect the fact that they are just that .. a character.

To make a post that expresses emotion, action or inner dialog, thoughts, ponderings, etc. of your character. You indicate this by typing /me before your text.
Example: "/me smiles."
Posts as "Nevan Nizna smiles."
When expressing inner thoughts or emotions, your should always *do* something observable so that others can react to it. For example:

Not-so-good Emote:
Nevan Nizna sees the stranger eying her but she isnt interested in him.

Better Emote:
Nevan Nizna sees the stranger eying her. She wrinkles her nose and turns her head away from him with disinterest, hoping he will get the hint and move on his way.

The first example cannot and should not be commented on by other players; the second can and should be commented on by other players.

Bringing OOC knowledge into an IC situation, e.g. knowing that a character really likes busty brunettes, when it has never been mentioned, and your character has no basis for knowing this fact. Any knowledge discovered through “out of character” means may not be used “in character.” The practice is considered “meta-gaming”, which is a strict no-no. This includes, but is not limited to: conversations ‘overheard’ in avatar chat range when your character could not reasonably overhear it due to “physical” constraints (i.e., through walls, floors, ceilings, or the ground), and using information gained through looking at the Avatar Tag, reading profiles, use of the mini-map or camming around. Don't use information/knowledge your character hasn't earned - only things discovered/learned through roleplay can be used ICly.

Godmoding (godmoding, moding, godmodding etc.):
Where a character does something they are not capable of and/or do not have permission to do to another character, e.g. moving another character by stating they are somewhere they are not without the other player’s permission, mindreading without permission, stating something about a character's storyline without permission. Godmoding can also refer to the case where a player definitively describes the outcome of their own actions against another character. For example, if player A states, "A strikes B and B takes damage", they could be considered to be godmodding. See for more information.

Roleplaying is a give and take experience. No one is invincible, no one has all the answers to any problem, has all knowledge, etc. - everyone has weaknesses, so let your enemies know yours and take turns battling and exploiting each other. It makes roleplaying with you a lot more fun. If people start to groan when you're around or avoid roleplaying with you, you might want to try and change your tactics. If in doubt - IM the people you are RP'ing with to make sure you're all in agreement about what is happening.

Get involved!

This is a blog about how to get involved in rp with other players and awareness of how and why to involve new players into your rp.

Main reason for this blog, is to make everyone more aware of eachother and to try and create an atmosphere in any role-play environment in which everyone gets to experience the joy that rp can bring.

- - - - -

Let's start with the very beginning.
Everyone has started to role-play at one point, and players that have been active for quite some time will sure remember how they felt when they were new.

You don't know the rules, you don't know the people, you don't know your own character yet, you feel unsure, nervous, you may even suffer from stage-fright. Everyone has their own way of moving about in unexplored terrority.

You might feel more comfortable watching at first, getting a feel of how it works. Or maybe you feel eager to jump in. There is no wrong or right in how you start, but you have to realise that it will take time to find your way.

Most important advice before you get started : Read the rules!!

No matter in which sim you want to rp, every sim has their own rules and it is unavoidable to never mistakes, we all make mistakes, but reading and making sure you understand the rules will make it a lot easier to join the play.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. It would be ashame to start playing somewhere without the basic knowledge of the do's and don'ts and find yourself in trouble or even get yourself banned for something that wasnt necessary.

- - - - -

A reminder for the more experienced active players.

New players are necessary to keep any sim alive. New people, new characters, new ideas, more rp-opportunities!!

It is very easy to stick to the players you know, you have ongoing rp's and relationships that you want to spend time with.
In some cases it is very understandable that you do not have the possibility to invest your time in someone you don't know yet.

But keep your eyes open at all times and don't ignore new players. If you see someone trying to engage in rp and it doesn't suit you at that time for whatever reason let them know in a friendly and honest way.

If you see someone that seems lost, remember how you felt when you started. Ask if they need help, guide them to a some place or someone that ‘can’ help them if you feel you cannot help them yourself.

- - - - -

That said .. it can be really hard for new players in a new environment to find an entrance. Whether you have rp-ed before or not, you find yourself in a new place where nobody knows who you are. It can be extremely frustrating to find yourself someone willing to 'play' with you. 

A few tips on how to get yourself involved in rp.

*. Walk around the sim and find a single player. Depending on your character you could just walk up to someone and introduce yourself, or you could choose to emote 'noticing the person standing/sitting there' to let them know you are there to play.

Bare in mind that that player is alone for a reason. It could be they are waiting for someone to come along to start an rp, but also they could be caught up in IM's, or reading a notecard, working on their char or brainstorming on an oncoming rp. Wait a while for a response. Dont say 'Hi' and move on after one minute. They might not have seen it or ... some people tend to write longer replies.

If you are unsure if someone has seen you or not, send an IM. Be friendly, tell them you have tried to engage in rp and ask if they have time to play with you.

*. Approach a group of players interacting with eachother. Have a listen to see what is going on. You could emote 'stumbling upon a small crowd and observing the situation'. In some cases you will stumble upon an ongoing rp that has been set-up for a specific reason. This could mean it will be difficult for the players to include you. Again, do not be afraid to ask, using ((ooc brackets)) or IM, inform if you can be included or not.

*. Attend role-play classes. Several role-play sims offer free role-play classes. Make use of that service offered and learn the basics of role-play taught by professionals. Well known and well recommended are ROPE-Classes (Roleplay for Everyone) which teach the basics of role-play but are definitely worthwhile a visit of more experienced players too, to brush up on their knowledge and/or share their views/ideas with others.

*. Join OOC Chat groups. Most role-play sims will have special OOC chat groups, intended to allow players to connect with each other, brainstorm about roleplays, go off-topic, or whatever.

So in general :
Let other players know that you are there.
If you do not talk or emote at all, you might be mistaken for being afk, or not interested in playing.

Keep your eyes (and your mind) open and on the look-out for players who need guidance. Every new player is a potential new 'play'-mate to have lots of rp-joy with.

If you are unsure on how to get started, or too shy to take the initiative engaging in an rp, send an IM to a player near you. Let them know you are new and ask if they want to help you.

Creating your character.

Before you can start to role-play, you have to create your character:
This can be a character as complicated or incomplicated as you choose and are comfortable with.

A few things to think about when creating your character.
- Personality
- Appearance
- Background
- Quirks and/or habits

Before you begin playing your character, here are some questions you could ask yourself:
Who is your character?
What has your character been through in life that made him/her this way?
What is his/her goal in life?
What does he/she believe in?
What is his/her background and upbringing?
Is your character good? Evil? Somewhere in between?

By answering all of these questions, you build up a picture of what your character is like, and it gives information for you to draw upon when you RP. You can go as far as you like with this, even building up a personal profile for yourself with details that others do not need to see, but will find out through interaction with your character.
E.g. what is your character's favourite colour?
Favourite book?
Does he/she have any family?
Is he rowdy?

By building this profile, you are breathing life into your character. A lot of it may never be used but think about real life. You may get into a conversation with other people you meet and even if these questions may not be asked, they do colour the way you converse. They define who you are, and this is no different for your character.

Once you have done this, you will have a clearer picture, and you might already have ideas about how your character might react in different circumstances.

Acting the Part:
This is the meat and bones of role-playing. In fact, this is what the word actually means - playing a role. In other words, you are just acting the part of your character for the time you are playing the game. This is not as difficult as it might sound. You already have the background information you need. You know who your character is, what his/her aims are, you just need to put that into practice.

Keep it real:
No matter what kind of role you have chosen to play. Try and keep your character and his/her behaviour as realistic as possible. 

One of the biggest things to effect the way you play your character is his/her alignment - whether he/she is good, evil, or neutral. A common misconception about alignment is that it is very black and white, but this is not necessarily the case. Just like in the real world, there are many shades of good and evil.

Keep in mind:
When you start role-playing with the character you have created. Your character’s personality will develop through the things and events that happen to him/her. Other characters he/she meets and has relationships (in whatever form) with will shape your character and his/hers feelings about and/or views on certain things.

You can start out with an incredibly detailed background for your character and have certain ideas of where you see your character going in the future. But .. the fun of role-playing is just, that no matter how determined you are to lead your character a certain way, one meeting with a stranger could turn his/her life totally upside down. You are not the only one in control of what happens. Role-playing is interactive.

Role-playing game (according to wiki)

Role-playing game (according to wiki)

A role-playing game (RPG) is a broad family of games in which players assume the roles of characters, or take control of one or more avatars, in a fictional setting. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
The original form, sometimes called the pen-and-paper RPG, is conducted through speech. In live action role-playing games (LARP), players perform their characters' physical actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used and acts as referee, while each other player plays the role of a single character. At the heart of these formats is in-character participation in a collaborative narrative. Several varieties of RPG exist in electronic media, including text-based MUDs and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
Role-playing games also include offline role-playing video games in which players control a character or party of characters who undertake quests, and whose capabilities advance using statistical mechanics. These games often share settings and rules with pen-and-paper RPGs, but do not enable the same collaborative storytelling.
Despite this variety of forms, some game forms such as trading card games and wargames that are related to role-playing games may not be included. Role-playing activity may sometimes be present in such games, but it is not the primary focus. The term is also sometimes used to describe roleplay simulation games and exercises used in teaching, training, and academic research.


Role playing games are fundamentally different from most other types of games in that they stress social interaction and collaboration, whereas board games, card games, and sports emphasize competition.
Both authors and major publishers of role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling. However, they are not considered true narratives like novels or films as there is no actual story within a role-playing game. Instead events, characters and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience. Like stories, role-playing games appeal because they engage the imagination. Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player at a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story. Such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games such as "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and Indians", role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with the addition of numeric rule sets and the participation of a referee. Participants in a role-playing game will generate specific characters and an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief. The level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes.

"The variety of role playing games makes it inherently challenging to provide a common definition. However, all forms of role playing games – be they PnP RPGs, CRPGs, MMORPGs or LARPS - share a group of characteristics, which makes them identifiable from other types of games: storytelling with rules, control of fictional characters, a fictitious reality, usually the presence of a game master (or game engine), and at least one player."

"Still, we must note that there is no actual story in the game of the role-playing game, though there are events, characters and structures of narrativity giving the players the basis for interpreting it as a narrative. We have many partially open structures that we may fulfil with our imagination during the course of the game – within its limitations. We also have the ability to follow different kinds of narrative premises and structures as well as imitate them for ourselves to create more authentic and suitable narrative experiences. We have the ‘narrative desire’ to make pieces we interpret to relate to each other fit in, to construct the plot from recurring and parallel elements."