Tracing the evolution of fantasy gaming from its origins in tabletop war and collectible card games to contemporary web-based live action and massive multi-player games, this book examines the archetypes and concepts within the fantasy gaming genre alongside the roles and functions of the game players themselves. Other topics include: how The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings helped shape fantasy gaming through Tolkien’s obsessive attention to detail and virtual world building; the community-based fellowship embraced by players of both play-by-post and persistent browser-based games, despite the fact that these games are fundamentally solo experiences; the origins of gamebooks and interactive fiction; and the evolution of online gaming in terms of technological capabilities, media richness, narrative structure, coding authority, and participant roles.
This study takes an analytical approach to the world of role-playing games, providing a theoretical framework for understanding their psychological and sociological functions. Sometimes dismissed as escapist and potentially dangerous, role-playing actually encourages creativity, self-awareness, group cohesion and “out-of-the-box” thinking. The book also offers a detailed participant-observer ethnography on role-playing games, featuring insightful interviews with 19 participants of table-top, live action and virtual games.
Despite the rise of computer gaming, millions of adults still play face to face role playing games, which rely in part on social interaction to create stories. This work explores tabletop role playing game (TRPG) as a genre separate from computer role playing games. The relationship of TRPGs to other games is examined, as well as the interaction among the tabletop module, computer game, and novel versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Given particular attention are the narrative and linguistic structures of the gaming session, and the ways that players and gamemasters work together to construct narratives. The text also explores wider cultural influences that surround tabletop gamers.
This classic study still provides one of the most acute descriptions available of an often misunderstood subculture: that of fantasy role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Gary Alan Fine immerses himself in several different gaming systems, offering insightful details on the nature of the games and the patterns of interaction among players—as well as their reasons for playing.
This handbook collects, for the first time, the state of research on role-playing games (RPGs) across disciplines, cultures, and media in a single, accessible volume. Collaboratively authored by more than 50 key scholars, it traces the history of RPGs, from wargaming precursors to tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons to the rise of live action role-play and contemporary computer RPG and massively multiplayer online RPG franchises, like Fallout and World of Warcraft. Individual chapters survey the perspectives, concepts, and findings on RPGs from key disciplines, like performance studies, sociology, psychology, education, economics, game design, literary studies, and more. Other chapters integrate insights from RPG studies around broadly significant topics, like transmedia worldbuilding, immersion, transgressive play, or player–character relations. Each chapter includes definitions of key terms and recommended readings to help fans, students, and scholars new to RPG studies find their way into this new interdisciplinary field.
Many of today’s hottest selling games—both non-electronic and electronic—focus on such elements as shooting up as many bad guys as one can (Duke Nuk’em), beating the toughest level (Mortal Kombat), collecting all the cards (Pokémon), and scoring the most points (Tetris). Fantasy role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons, Rolemaster, GURPS), while they may involve some of those aforementioned elements, rarely focus on them. Instead, playing a fantasy role-playing game is much like acting out a scene from a play, movie or book, only without a predefined script. Players take on such roles as wise wizards, noble knights, roguish sellswords, crafty hobbits, greedy dwarves, and anything else...
Some people play roleplaying-games for the challenge; others play them for the story. Award-winning fantasy author and freelance game writer Marie Brennan is unabashedly in the latter camp. In these essays she looks at tabletop and live-action RPGs from a narrative perspective, exploring the ways the framework of a game can generate and support (or undermine) your tale. Whether you are a player or a game master, Dice Tales offers insights on every facet of RPG storytelling, including: * generating characters with rich narrative potential * scaling plot as PCs become more powerful * managing the interaction between rules and roleplay * campaign planning at different stages * the social dynamics of collaborative creation * and more!
The d10 Core Roleplaying System allows you to run any kind of game you want, simple, fast, and easy. This book is the 150-page core rulebook: it contains all of the core rules, charts and tables, gameplay and character examples, and gameplay examples that you need to be up and running a pen and paper roleplaying game quickly and easily. Whereas other roleplaying systems have complex rules, complex mechanics, and strange dice requirements, the d10 Core system simplifies all of that and leaves you with what you need: a strong and stable core ruleset that is fast to learn and implement, a single die ruleset where all you need is a single d10 die, and straightforward mechanics that are streamlin...
Role-playing games offer a chance to pretend, make believe, and share fantasy. They often invoke heavy themes into their game play: morality, violence, politics, spirituality, or sexuality. Although interesting moral debates perennially appear in the media and academia concerning the appropriateness of games’ ability to deal with such adult concepts, very little is known about the intersection between games, playfulness, and sexuality and what this might mean for players. This book offers an in-depth, ethnographic look into the phenomenon of erotic role-play through the experiences of players in multiplayer and tabletop role-playing games. Brown explores why participants engage in erotic role-play; discusses the rules involved in erotic role-play; and uncovers what playing with sexuality in ludic environments means for players, their partners, and their everyday lives. Taken together, this book provides a rich, nuanced, and detailed account of a provocative topic.