• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

What have you always wanted to know about RPGs?

Kester Pelagius

Muffit! Muffit!
Greetings All,

If you were to read a article or essay about role-playing games what would interest you the most?

What sort of information would you most definitely want to see included?

Why I ask..

Over at The Forge I (silly me) thought it would be a easy thing to cobble together a quickie cyclopedia type article to provide a handy reference to some of the termin... well... as you can already guess it didn't quite work out. Too many bakers working from different recipes for bread.

That said, in order to put the "GNS Theory" and "Threefold Models" into proper historical and relational context I have decided to expand my original effort at writing up a article/essay into a full blown regular encyclopdia article, one covering the Role-Playing Game; period. (Big period, that!) While I think I have a good start, for some of the material, it is really on a basic primer... which is what brings me to the RPG.net Open Forum.

What I am looking for is feedback with comments, suggestions, questions about what the heck I am doing, proposals, and any ideas you'd like to offer. Look over the outline. Have a chuckle, sip your soda, check the scores on the big game then let me know what you think.


  • What would you like to see in a encyclopdeia article about the role-playing game?
  • Do you think something important might have been left out of the outline below?
  • Do you think the organisation of topics could be better, how?
  • Do you consider this sort of thing a waste of time?


Going into Draft 5 the revision of the original raw entries that are posted at The Forge here and here I have a rough outline that presently looks like this:


"Role-Playing Games"

This article (at present) will be divided into four main divisions dealing with the various aspects of role-playing, as follows:

I. The Game

?. Chief Principles of Play
?. Objective of Play
?. Method of Play
?. Social Context
?. ??

II. History

1. Origins
2. Developments of Play
?. ??


III. Theories of Play

1. "Roll vs. Role" Gaming
2. Threefold Model
3. GNS Theory
?. ??


IV. Illustrative Games

?. ??


Comments?


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
 

Menchi

Active member
Validated User
Well I can't think of anything at the moment. But I wish you all the best - sounds like one hell of an undertaking! I look forward to seeing the end result. :D

Conan
 

Bradford C. Walker

New member
Banned
I'd like to know why anyone thinks that this sort of thing will have any relevance or impact beyond sites like The Forge, when most of the gamers in the world don't even want to move beyond D&D.
 

K Peterson

New member
Banned
I'd have to agree that this endeavor is a waste of time, but for different reasons.

A quarter of the material you wish to describe ("The Game") can be found by opening up to the first chapter of practically any Rpg. I'm not aware of any Rpg that doesn't provide a What is roleplaying? section to bring players and GMs up to speed on how the process works, the lack of winning/losing, etc.

The history of roleplaying (if someone wished to explore that) could be found by grabbing one of those Roleplayer's Bibles (or whatever they're titled).

Theories of play seems tailored to the minority of gamers that actually prescribe to them. I don't think that Joe Average gamer has any interest in the finer, psychological aspects of roleplaying. Perhaps that's more the focus group for the encyclopedia you're describing.

And, Illustrative Games? What exactly is that? Sounds like possible flame war/ stereotyping of specific games- territory there.
 

Kester Pelagius

Muffit! Muffit!
Let's see...

Greetings Bradford,

As this is my first post to you, Howdy!

Bradford C. Walker said:
I'd like to know why anyone thinks that this sort of thing will have any relevance or impact beyond sites like The Forge, when most of the gamers in the world don't even want to move beyond D&D.
  1. Not doing it for The Forge.
  2. Because an encyclopdeia article on Role-Playing Games is well nigh overdue? (Check your encyclopedia set, volume "R", tell us what sort of information you find.)
  3. I asked EVERYONE here about RPGs in general.

As for D&D, it's really not that bad a set of rules, for what they were back in the day. Still have my Red & Blue boxed sets and the books from the black boxed set, somewhere, gathering dust and silverfishes, I am sure.

That said, I should think the relevance of such an article is obvious.

Outside of role-playing game books what information is there *really* available about role-playing games?

Not a lot, and most of what one does find isn't very comprehensive. I, for one, haven't seen a encyclopedia with a entry for role-playing games, not including online references. That doesn't mean such an article hasn't been written but I thought it might be interesting to write one.

Of course if you don't think such an article would be of any intrinsic value, and many a gamer might think that, ask yourself how most non-gamers find out about role-playing. Most only know a little bit, that from negative media reports, is the media really the source of primary information you want your parents, friends, and neihbors to draw upon for finding out what role-playing is all about?


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
 

Kester Pelagius

Muffit! Muffit!
some info

Greetings Lapdog,


Some interesting points here.

Lapdog said:
I'd have to agree that this endeavor is a waste of time, but for different reasons.

A quarter of the material you wish to describe ("The Game") can be found by opening up to the first chapter of practically any Rpg. I'm not aware of any Rpg that doesn't provide a What is roleplaying? section to bring players and GMs up to speed on how the process works, the lack of winning/losing, etc.


True.

Of course the same might be said of Chess, Backgammon, gardening, vampire bats, or just about any topic. I mean why bother with having encyclopedias at all when all you have to do is go out and buy, or check out, a book on the subject?

The only answer I can think of is because encyclopedias are handy references for all kinds of wonderful and amazing things; Chess, Backgammon, the Bible, the Book of Enoch, and articles about various countries (including their GNP and population figures) included.

So why not a entry for the "Role-Playing Game"?


Lapdog said:
The history of roleplaying (if someone wished to explore that) could be found by grabbing one of those Roleplayer's Bibles (or whatever they're titled).


But aren't most of these books targeted at a niche market?

Meaning existing role-playing enthusiasts, or those already interested in learning about role-playing games.

How many non-gamers will check such books out of a library, much less buy them?

Sad to say it's probably not a lot, so here's our opportunity to educate them! ;)


Lapdog said:
Theories of play seems tailored to the minority of gamers that actually prescribe to them. I don't think that Joe Average gamer has any interest in the finer, psychological aspects of roleplaying. Perhaps that's more the focus group for the encyclopedia you're describing.

And, Illustrative Games? What exactly is that? Sounds like possible flame war/ stereotyping of specific games- territory there.
For the most part the section headers were patterned after extant articles in my old Brittanic set. Of course if you, or anyone else, thinks that the section could be better named I am open to suggestions. In fact I am sitting here with a pencil and notepad on standby, just in case... *smirk*

That said, you may be right. Joe Average gamer probably wont care about theory, or why things are how they are, or what the first RPG was; then again they might.

"Illustrative Games" would be a section where examples of play are provided, just like in a article about Chess.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
 

Elissa Carey

vestal virgin
When speaking about theories of play, you might want to consider some of the theories relating to LARPs (some of which were touched on in the second part of that "Con Hate" article done here on RPG.net). I'm not sure how much, if anything, about LARPs you'll be covering, but I think you do need to touch on them. To me, they're not much different from those "Solve a Mystery" parties or charades, but try explaining that to someone else watching, say, a Vampire LARP. :)
 

Harlequin Jones

Supervillain
Let me go out on a limb, here. I think it's a great idea. I would love to crack open an Encyclopedia Britannica and see an entry for role-playing games.

The outline you have so far isn't bad. Definitely emphasize how RPGs run the gamut from table-top wargaming to improv drama.

Want to know what I have always wanted to know about RPGs? How many people play them. I'd love to see some stats on how many books of various kinds have been sold, what percentage of the population are regular gamers, etc.


HJ
 

gleichman

Retired User
I'll have to agree with those who say they have no use for such a thing.

Your major problem is that if you got into 'too many baker problems' at the Forge with its rather narrow mindset, you'll do far worse here.
 

Kester Pelagius

Muffit! Muffit!
it's getting nippy this evening!

Greetings Elissa,

Hope you are bundled up nice and warm with cocoa in hand, it's getting chilly this time of year.

Elissa Carey said:
When speaking about theories of play, you might want to consider some of the theories relating to LARPs (some of which were touched on in the second part of that "Con Hate" article done here on RPG.net). I'm not sure how much, if anything, about LARPs you'll be covering, but I think you do need to touch on them. To me, they're not much different from those "Solve a Mystery" parties or charades, but try explaining that to someone else watching, say, a Vampire LARP. :)
This is precisely what I was talking about!

How I overlooked LARPs is beyond me. *shakes head*

Of coures what really surprises me is this thread has recieved 251 views so far and only a handful of responses. Back in the day if someone wandered over to our table, and I was GMing, I'd try to give them a taste of what role-playing was like by integrating them into a scene and showing them how they can interact with other characters... of course you had to be carefuyl about that sort of thing.

Still mot role-players I knew were welcoming, even sometimes over enthusiastic about "showing off" their characters to "newbies", if a bit touchy about letting strangers touch their dice sometimes. *laughs*

Guess times have changed since my youth?

ANYhow thanks for replying, Elissa, I really appreciate it.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
 
Top Bottom