Role-playing games (RPGs) are interactive storytelling experiences in which players assume the roles of fictional characters within an imagined setting and work collaboratively towards reaching goals. Most RPGs include storylines with rules for character advancement based on experience gained, but they may also include elements of combat, adventure or exploration.
Role-playing games (RPGs) can come in various forms; video games are the most prevalent example, although trading card and wargames fall under this category as well. Here, however, we will focus solely on video and console RPGs.
Most people associate role playing with video games, but its history goes much deeper. Role playing originally began as tabletop gaming in which players would use dice to determine events and write out narratives after writing out dice results describing these actions; sometimes these stories would reflect canon books, movies, or games; other times players could create original characters which played out established canon stories as alternate versions of original characters.
Modern video gamer’s understand the term role playing game to mean games where players take control over a character and can shape and expand upon its story in-game. There is usually an array of gameplay and storyline options, with massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) often offering more complex choices and options than older titles. Most modern role playing games feature battles either turn-based or real time; with some having more emphasis on combat than story development.
Though there may be exceptions, most RPGs provide players with an intuitive user interface for customizing and upgrading their character at will. Many games also incorporate stats like intelligence level or physical strength so as to more accurately reflect your character while providing tools necessary for success in the world they inhabit.
Many RPGs also include a main quest, or central event that the player must accomplish to progress in the game. This may involve either an initial event that introduces characters to the setting while providing them with goals to complete or multiple smaller events that lead up to one major confrontation.
Some gamers won’t consider a game an RPG if its characters cannot be changed, or there is only one storyline that can be followed. While this argument has some validity, True Role Players would probably disagree and petition for changes such as EverQuest. In reality most people who enjoy role playing games prefer Joe the Banker over Other Warrior; that doesn’t make them less role playing!