The Beauty of Role-Playing Games

Ars Narrationis, Mind Theatre: Call it what you like, but Role-playing Games are a fascinating way of spending part of your spare time.

From the outside it seem pretty bland. Several people sitting round a table in front of their notes, arguing over a beer or a cup of tea and rolling some dices occasionally. The beauty of a role-playing game is revealed if you look below this surface.

Role-playing games are about actively creating a shared story. First, there is no final script to follow. The story has  a starting point and maybe some ideas of possible strands of a plot, but as the players just have the concepts of the persons they embody, they are forced to make decisions of their own at each encounter, using their imagination. Second, a RPG is all about interaction. Players have to express their decisions, are reacting on the actions of their friends and have to act as a group to overcome obstacles of the plot.

The story could be as simple or complex as you like, but the options are limitless. Quasi-medieval sceneries like Chybisa or sword & sorcery fantasies,  ancient or modern myths, visions of the future a la Jules Verne or George Lucas, spies, swashbucklers or rogue archaeologists: It’s always the beauty of imagination, of improvisation, of teamwork — the beauty of storytelling.

Is it escapism? Maybe, but not more than any other hobby and less than simply sitting passively in front of the TV.

This entry was posted in On RPG and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.