What is a RPG?
       A Rpg is a Role Playing Game that is a genre of games that have been around for over 30 years. Actually they have been around for centuries (playing cowbow and indians was role playing) but this is the more definittive genre that is paper oriented. Probably the most famous and reknown RPG (and in some circles the father of them) is that of AD&D (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons). But do not be turned away by this as some are. I only use this as an example for the layman to understand where I am going with the term. If you know that game they you know how RPGs act and such. Today there are several forms of RPGs from the traditional "table top" or "paper games" where you keep track of things, roll dice and such. Over the last few years new forms have emerged including LARP or Live Action Role Playing where you use none if any paper and use paper, rocks, scissors for 'combat'. This form is more acting and thus leads you to more characterization. Other forms includ MUD or Internet IRC based gaming. A popular form I myself like because it allows you free time is that of PBEM or Play by Email or Echomail games. For example over AdventureNet we usuallyhave one or two RPG PBEMs at any one time. Below I'll explain a bit of more detial on each form.

   RPG types I play/enjoy
       Paper based/Table Top - This is by far the traditional form most people think of RPGs in the game form to be. Usually here you need at least two people to play a Game Master and a Player. You also need the Game System (rule books, dice, etc.). Then the GameMaster or GM sets up the storyline. This is a great way to just hang out and socialize with friends. A good gaming group can make up friendships that last a good long time in the hobby. This form is a good and fast way to pick up games and start/end them. Since all you have to do is up up 'litterally' the game and be done with it. Thus the term 'pickup games' is sometimes applied to this form.
       MUD- This is a special computer program that usually run over the Internet or some Local Area Network (LAN). Here you have players join and play characters in a dungeon or some other atmosphere. However, there is very little if any player interaction here thus this is to me more a Rpg LIKE form than a true role playing form. Thus the major drawback is the lack of flexibility and player interaction.
       PBEM- Play by E-mail or mail is a old form that goes back several decades. Here you have some form of 'mail' transporation which could be e-mail or even regular snail mail post office mail. You then join the game and are given a story to follow. You then interact with the story and other players to form a final outcome or result to the story. The advantage is that it gives players free time who might not have the time to play such games. However, the drawback is that interaction is slow and not direct as it would be for table top games. Thus these games can take a very long time to complete.
       PBEM- Yes there are 2 forms of this. The second sub form is that of Play by Echomail Games. This is similar in some ways to the abvoe PBEM form however here you use the computer echomail areas rather than paper or email. This is actually a fun form and i have done this style for over a decade now with very great success. Some of the classic games I have run include the famouse Gamma World campaign of '95 or the Hawkmoon saga of '96 that were popular and still are talked about today. In this form you still have a GM and players who sign up and play. As with the other form the drawback is lack of direct interaction and the time involved is bigger than table top. One game 'day' might actually be several days or weeks or longer in PBEM form. But as with the other PBEM type you allow players who might not have the time to do table top games that time to play they normally would not have.
       IRC- IRC or Internet Relay Chat is where players and a GM get on a computer network (IRC server network) and play the rpg. Here you have the best of both worlds from PBEM, mud and table top gaming combined. Because it is live and you talk in real time with players you can get things done faster. Thus it allows great time and flexibility as well as a vast audience for the game (players from world wide can get on IRC). The drawback is that you are not face to face thus role playing is as dry as reading this text and vocalizations are hard to determine as well as emotions of players.
       LARP- LARP or Live Action Role playing is popular since the late '80s. Here you use no dice, no paper rules or paper per se. Here you have a GM or more commonly called Storyteller here where they set the story (and there could be more than one GM here) and you interact with others as if it is a real situation while in character. For 'combat' it is paper, rocks and scissors thus it is harmless to anyone. This type of gaming draws large crowds (like here in jax it can draw 30-50 people in the good old days (and still somewhat today)). The drawback is it requires alot of coordination and characterization to play.

   Personal Role-Playing
       Below is a list of the RPGs I enjoy to run myself (I run tons of games) or just play in. Maybe you have similar interests and would like to discuss some of the games in irc or email.
       FringeWorthy- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) This rpg system is unique and has been around since the 1980s. It is the game system from which i name and pattern my bbs after. The basic concept is earth has found portals created by a long dead alien race that are a network of portals and interdimensional paths that take you to alternate earths and planets. Only a certain few of the Human population those who are FringeWorthy can enter the portals safely. You as a member of the IDET explore these worlds and try to compete with other nations friendly or unfriendly who have the portals in their land as well.
       Gamma World- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) This rpg is post WWIII earth. Most of the planet has been ravaged by war and radiation. The few pockets of humanity that live strive to gain back the lost glory of man. Here you can play pure strain humans, mutants, mutant animals or mutant plants even. Mutants might seem bad but they have special abiltiies that help them.
       Ghostbusters- (Play/GM/Comdey) Ok. Laugh get it over. In my early days of gaming I got this simple one box system and thought it was funny to play back in the GB hype of the day. Here you play the GB crew trying to beat the ghosties who are roaming around. Its kinda silly and not too serious but a good quick game.
       Hawkmoon- (Play/GM/Fantasy) This is a system based on the Michael Moorcock books. It is earth in the distant future way after WWIII. Many has lost some of its technology and has reverted back to some form of ancient structure like kingdoms and fiefdoms. This is a technology oriented game where the tech is rare but once obtainsd very useful. It is a combo of fantasy and sci-fi. You can play various character types just trying to survive the daily life. One of my all time favoriates.
       Indiana Jones- (Play/GM/Adventure) Ok. Laugh again. As with Ghostbusters this was during the IJ hype of the day. It is a ok system if you just need to run a solo adventure and don't have a group. Course you play indy or some other adventurer out on some treasure hunt.
       James Bond- (Play/GM/Espionage) This is as it would seem. You play a MI6 agent out to do various jobs for England. If your lucky and you make it to 00 level you can get the dangerous missions. Good system for spy oriented games and the Q tech is just fun to play with :).
       Top Secret- (Play/GM/Espionage) Where james bond is more laid back and easy going this system is heavy on the combat mechanics and thus is dangerous combat wise. It is a spy oriented game with tis own background and history.
       Mechwarrior- (Play/Sci-fi) This is the BattleTech rpg form of the game. If you know Battletech then its that kind of system fo rgaming.
       Powers & Perils- (Play/GM/Fantasy) - This is by far in my opinion and others the BEST fantasy based rpg out there even over AD&D. Here you play fantasy typical characters like Warriors, Magic Users and other types. You play Humans, Elf, Dwarf or a unique race that no other game has the Faerry. The Faerry being a winged small creature similar in nature to Disney's tinker bell (I tell others that for comparison) but much taller (at least 4 feet). the magic system is unique and great in this game as well as many other aspects.
       RingWorld- (Play/GM/Fantasy) - This is another fantasy system that is good and complex in scale. It is a typical fantasy game with the types of players and classes you can play. However, of all the games I've played this is the one i have least amount of personal GM experience in.
       Star Trek: RPG- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) - If you know the Star Trek universe then you know the game. Here you can play various aspects from the Starfleet officers starship crews, Klingons, Romulans, Orions, Starfleet Intelligence, or merchant traders. It is one of my first games I run and tus where I get Longshot (my alias from). It is a simple game that can lead to some great campaigns and enjoyment.
       Star Wars- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) - If you know the Star Wars universe then you know the game. Here you tend to only play the good side of the game (jedi, bounty hunters, many others) of the game and work for or with the rebelion against the Empire.
       Timeship- (Play/GM/Sci-fi/TimeTravel) - This is a time travel game where you could travel to the deck of the Titantic or to as far back as dinosaurs. The unqiueness of this game is you play YOU. In that what you can do in real life (if you know how to shoot a gun so does your character) then you can do it. There is no complex character generation system like in other games.
       Tin Star/Owlhoot- (Play/GM/Adventure) - This is one of those old yet small game systems you only find at conventions. It is based in the Wild Wild genre (1800s) and thus you play characters of that genre (lawmen, cowboys, indians, etc.). It is a unique system.
       Traveller/MegaTraveller- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) - This is a game going back to the '80s. It is a sci-fi oriented game where you can play characters of that genre (ship crews, aliens, etc.). It is based near or around the Imperium a large spanse of space.
       Year of the Phoenix- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) - You are a astronaut onboard the shuttle in orbit of earth at the space station. Suddenly you notice flashes on earth. Panic, commotion and communications blaze as you can tell the flashes are nuclear strikes. WWIII has just started and you are stranded in orbit all alone with the other crew of the shuttles and station. That sets the stage for some unique games. Can you survive and battle the hordes of human and odd leftovers from earth. Another unique game system I liked and found at a convention :).
       D&D/AD&D- (Play/Fantasy) - Well everyone knows this game that knows rpgs or should. Its a good fantasy system but there are better systems like P&P out there :).
       Paranoia- (Play/Comedy) - You are a clone in Alpha Complex and you just try to survive the daily activies of the complex. Its a funny and hilarious game that is good for some laughs.
       Toon- (Play/Comedy) - You play a cartoon oriented character and play in this cartoon like universe. It is another fun and hilarious game witht the right GM.
       Call of Cthulu- (Play/Horror) - This is a horror based game where you try to solve occult or supernatural things. Horror can be misleading as its a scary game at times with 'monsters' and such but it is a fun game.
       Marvel/SuperHeros- (Play/SuperHero) - A game I've liked to just play some super hero like a brick (a guy who looks and is almost a brick) who can throw cars around like leaves :). If you know x-men or the like from comics then you know the genre.
       Gurps- (Play/Various) - Genric Universal RolePlaying System is where you have many genres into one generic rules system Fantasy, Horror, super hero, sci-fi and more are some of the genres built into the gmae.
       RuneQuest- (Play/GM/Fantasy) - RQ is similiar in some ways to P&P but could use some work. It is a fantasy based rpg.
       Champions- (Play/Fantasy) - A good system that is point based for characters and rules.
       Cyberpunk- (Play/GM/Sci-fi) - Here in the near future you play cyber based genres like Netrunners that use technology to solve and determine things. There are other player types like Rockerboys and Solos and Medias but it depends on what a player chooses that can lead to some fun and with the right GM.

There are many others I might enjoy and play but just didn't list here

   RPG related files
       At this time I'll allow have one file to download that of the Rpg master file list from my bbs. I will update this file when needed. But it contains files and descriptions of every rpg oriented file on my bbs. You can then FREQ or email freq them. If you do not know how you can email me and I'll help explain it. Click here to download the rpg list now.

   Current rpg projects
       Currently at this time i am running only one campaign using the Powers & Perils game system. It is based off my network AdventureNet. It is a combination of IRC/PBEM oriented game. For more details click here.

   Rpg is Evil! or so i heard
       One last thing i should mention is that Rpgs have had a bad light in the media over the years like a certain talk show only showing one side of the story. Thus many believe rpgs are Evil oriented and we all dig up graves and drink blood. This is NOT true. Many of the players make up a generation of people who tend to be well educated and well adjusted. In fact in order to play some of the games in this hobby you have to have a reasonable level of math and intelligence skills. This is not to say that as with any hobby even stamp collecting you will have one bad apple who will go crazy. But 99.9% of the rpg people are decent folk. So don't be scared to visit your local hobby store and just sit and watch the games. Rpgs develop many skills useful for teens for example. It develops math, imagination, and socialization skills.

   Rpg related links
       Here are some good rpg oriented web links and resources for those who love the various rpgs out there like myself.