Role Play Games have been popular for years. Since the invention of toy soldiers and War itself, people have recreated famous battles on their tabletops, and have played against each other in games of wits and strategy. There are loads of ways to play, and games can last as long as you want!
What's it all about?
RPGs basically mean that you take on the role of a character and are in control of their actions and speech. The games work by players describing their character’s actions and responses to given situations, so it’s like a play that you write as you go along, with rules and goals all added into the mix.
One player is the Game Master (a sort of referee) who tells the players what they see and hear (etc). It’s also their job to stop all of the players fighting over who shot who, so they have to be impartial and rule with a will of iron!
Games usually come in book form with the scenarios and rules set out in them. Different games follow different rules, but they all involve the same basic set up.
You need players to take on a role with certain character traits and background. Lots of games use the Unisystem, which means you get character points to use to buy abilities and powers. The number of points you have will depend on the type of character you play, so choose how to spend your points wisely!
The game is divided into parts, making it as long or as short as you want. They can be a single adventure or lots of adventures slung together like a computer game.
It could last for a day, a weekend, or if you have that kind of attention span, a whole year!
The object of the game will be set out and controlled by the Game Master, who also sets the scene for each session. It’s the players’ responses to these situations that’s where the playing comes in.
Dice are rolled to determine the success of each action, and based on the number that come up, the situation is dealt with and the next one begins. The dice often have more sides than your regular 6-sided dice.
When you’ve played for hours and desperately need a break, progress is noted and the game can be picked up again after everyone has had some grub and some much needed fresh air.
There are lots of different types of RPGs, set in many different worlds. You could be an elf fighting dragons, an alien trying to take over the earth or even become part of a military epic based on real history!
There are even games which take place in shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer or in the world of Middle-Earth, so you can take on the role of pretty much any character you want!
Where do you play?
Most RPGs take place in the comfort of your own room, with some mates, some dice, a book or two, pens and paper. But there are other ways to play.
The internet opens up yet more worlds for those of us who are interested in conquering worlds.
There are also variations that use actual figures that you move around a tabletop landscape. These are a little bit different, but share most of the same principals. You can explore these at Games Workshops, which often host games at the weekend for newbies. These kind of games cost a little more to get into, but the added bonus is that you can paint and command your very own customised army.
RPGs are a great way to exercise your imagination and to make some new mates. And it doesn’t even cost that much, so why not give it a go? Let your inner superhero come out to play!