Are you a Roll-player or a Role-player?

Discussion in 'Pen and paper games' started by fantomas, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. fantomas

    fantomas Active Member

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    What sort of game do you prefer, one that is rules heavy or one where the rules are light?

    Personally I've been leaning towards more rules light games lately. For example a few months ago a game I was involved in (run by TickledBlue) started with no character sheets. We played for a couple of months only making the occasional dice roll and did not have any stats or skills etc noted down. It went quite well. Part of it being because everyone had come up with a character concept & background which allowed for having a basic idea of what we could & couldn't do.

    All the RPGs I've played in the last couple of years it's been the setting/the background/the story and journey that I've enjoyed. The rules are just something to assist. If the rules get in the way of this then the rules go out the door.

    The people who have run the games I've played have handled this quite well & not gotten bogged down in the rules.
     
  2. paenggoy

    paenggoy Active Member

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    I've never played PnP RPG. What is the difference between the two? Is the roll-player like the one who players D&D, where there are a few rules but actions decided upon using dice, and the second like the one who plays a game like Advanced Squad Leader, where there may be some random factor involved but actions decided upon using several tables containing values?
     
  3. fantomas

    fantomas Active Member

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    To me a Roll-player is someone where the rules/mechanics of the game are quite important to them, to some more important than the actual story you are trying to tell. A role-player is someone who is more interested in the story of the RPG & doesn't get bogged down in the rules.

    For example, several years ago someone I used to RP with was always tweaking the rules of a game to get them more perfect, especially when it came to combat. He was forever trying to come up with & modify the combat rules to make them more realistic when it came to gun combat. Another example of a roll-player is what people call a Rules-Lawyer.
     
  4. Jia

    Jia Retired Moderator

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    I'm definitely a role-player. I try to give all the characters that I play their own voice and personality, which makes the interaction with the other player's characters and non-player characters quite fun and interesting.

    I used to DM a group for a couple of years, at one point we went on for about six months before one of the players noticed that I hadn't given their characters any experience since then. I love to play with people who are more interested in the story and the character development than improving the numbers on their character sheets! :)
     
  5. Heinous

    Heinous Getting Started

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    I used to be an avid role player, but alas, time has gotten the better of me. Perhaps I'll have time after I retire.

    Jim
     
  6. theyounggamers

    theyounggamers Getting Started

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    i am confused . . what is the difference between the two? ?roll and role player
     
  7. insmouth

    insmouth Just Joined

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    I like both styles of gaming.

    when playing D&D i actually prefer the Roll playing side of things. Kill things and take their stuff! :D The system IMHO supports that style of play the best.

    For my role playing fix ive been looking at a number of different systems; Burning Wheel, Dogs in the Vineyard, Spirit of the Century. They are not really rules lite by any definition of the term but I do think these systems empower the group to tell a story much better than other games such as D&D. Thats not to say you cant tell a good story with D&D.
     
  8. insmouth

    insmouth Just Joined

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    Roll Playing is a affectionate term for playing a game and focusing on the game aspect of the RPG. Role playing is focusing on the story based side of things. Well thats how I interpret it anyways.
     
  9. fantomas

    fantomas Active Member

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    That's a pretty good short description Insmouth! TickledBlue has picked up Burning Wheel & Dogs in the Vineyard (amongst the 100's of RPGs he's purchased :razz:) so I would not be surprised that eventually we'll get to play them
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  10. Sir Fitz

    Sir Fitz Retired Administrator

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    Role Player here.... well, that is when I used to play.
     
  11. Ryo

    Ryo Retired Administrator

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    Roll I guess - and thats probably why I never could get into PnP groups for very long. I noticed the DMs would call rolls when they didn't want X, ignore rolls on Y, etc. It became wonky, because basically the DM was just telling us a story and we were interacting a bit. Thats a story, not a "game" to me - and they were pretty thin, extemporaneous type things.

    Maybe I just had wonk DMs, or was bad at suspending disbelief. But when a table of Texans get around a table and they all start trying to sound like dwarves and elves it sounds ridiculous, no way in hell to stay immersed. So for me, I'd have preferred someone who bought a module and guided us through it as an arbiter rather than acting the role of Q from Star Trek.
     
  12. insmouth

    insmouth Just Joined

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    I love that analogy! I might have to steal it.

    Games dont have to be like that, but that certainly is the way they have evolved over the years.
     
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  13. logan9a

    logan9a Getting Started

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    Definitely a role player. Unlike many 'role players' I make the time to continue to play. 20+ hours a week. And podcast it all...
     
  14. Heinous

    Heinous Getting Started

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    LOL...I'm hearing that in my head and it's just too damn funny. You don't happen to have a podcast of a session?
     
  15. Ryo

    Ryo Retired Administrator

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    This was years ago, but wish I did.

    I've slipped and tried to sound like a Scot or the like on vent a couple times when playing dwarves in mmos since then, and the channel just goes sorta quiet.

    Some handicaps are better just accepted :D
     
  16. BlackIce

    BlackIce Guardian Captain

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    I have never seen the distinction been made before, but I like the question.
    Roll-player for me.
    I have always been a fact & figures kind of guy (no surprise that I work in IT).
    Although our group still gets together every fortnight to play something, it is mostly boardgames or strategy games now.
    Our RPG effort, although enjoyable, never really managed to run for long durations. I think most of our problems is that we don't really have any of those story teller type people. That means that our GM/DM's tended to not end up being really good at running long campaigns. We either had one or the other extreme. They would overestimate how long something would take, only to find they ran out of planned content about half way through a session. Or the other extreme. You spend a full day only to find you had barely got beyond the first few rooms and the intro dungeon would take weeks. (problem with this is you can't always get the same people every time. makes it hard if people disapear while in the middle of a room)
     
  17. logan9a

    logan9a Getting Started

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    Roll vs role

    I've noticed that on these type of questions (roll vs role) on various boards it is rare you ever get someone on who says 'I'm a roll player - I like to roll lots of dice - story is unimportant'.

    That sucks! IMO, long term campaigns are what make the game worth playing. Unfortunately, getting together once every two weeks does make that more difficult.
     
  18. insmouth

    insmouth Just Joined

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    I dont think a long game is the pinacle of the hobby. I think a short and to the point game is much better. Especially as we get older and our free time is shorter. No more time for 24 hour game sessions like in high school.

    My opinion is probably coloured however by a disinterest in "epic" novels such as the Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones and more of an interest in short to the point stories such as that in the Sword and Sorcery. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and old school Conan for example.

    Those stories (even though when you put them all together they are quire long) really hit hard and fast. Why not have that in a game?
     
  19. logan9a

    logan9a Getting Started

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    You misunderstood. Not long game, long campaign. Different drop bear entirely. You can have a series of four hour gaming sessions which have an ongoing campaign that lasts for months.
     
  20. DaBang

    DaBang Getting Started

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    We have a regular group who get together once a week for RPG and the previous campaign started in '99 and finished early this year. The players changed over the years as people moved away or lost interest or had other commitments. And new players joined and the DM continued with an epic campaign, modifying it to add different PC hooks as the characters changed. In the end a lot of the NPCs in the campaign were old PCs of players who had left the group.

    So, I'd have to say that I'm a role rather than roll player. Sure, throwing some dice is fun, but that doesn't keep you coming back to the game, IMO. A fantastic DM helps too ;)
     

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