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