Monday, September 7, 2009

Roll play vs. Role play

I’m borrowing a bit from old table top gaming terminology to make a point. What I will be addressing in this post is the long time dispute between gamers who like adopting a role and fleshing out a character and those who like to bash down doors and hack other characters into bits. Are you the type of gamer that likes adopting a role or do you prefer the roll of the die?

I’ve played in many gaming groups and on many games in my time and had plenty of experience seeing players on all ends of the spectrum. On one end of the extreme enters the hack and slash gamer. It is all about the game mechanics for him. The kill. The win. He wants to spend his time fighting monsters, solving quests, and gathering phat loot and gear. He wants that next level, that next shiny new object.

On the other end of the spectrum enters the roleplayer. His main focus is on developing his character. He will spend a lot of time on character histories, descriptions, and mannerisms. He prefers spending his time interacting with other characters or the game master (as the case maybe). He may even roleplay when no one is around. (I’ve really known people like this!) He is the master thespian.

Deities help you if you have both extremes in the same gaming group. Ultimately no one will be happy!
Most players are a combination for these two extremes, though sometimes it feels like roleplayers are a dying breed. Maybe they have just given up when they haven’t found others of their ilk. If you are among this endangered species I encourage you to try out “roleplay enforced” MUDs. There are still some roleplayers alive and kicking out there. Flee from “roleplay encouraged” games true RP is not to be found in these dens of RP mediocrity. Not all “RP Enforced” or “RP Mandatory” games live up to their name I fear, but they are out there!

There is an environment for everyone out there. Are you a “roll player” or a “role player” or a happy combination of the two? I’m personally a happy hybrid myself and won’t settle for a game that doesn’t have a combination of both strategy and roleplaying. There is a game out there for us all. It is just a matter of finding it.

Happy Hunting!

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