2004 - There's no "I" in "Roleplay"

by Hawke Robinson published Apr 17, 2012 09:30 PM, last modified Sep 17, 2015 06:42 AM
Rogers, Brian (2004, July 2). There's no "I" in "Roleplay". Pyramid (online)<http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/login/article.html?id=4822>. Separate goals and tasks for each character in a unified team forming a whole. 3 pages.

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There's No "I" in "Roleplay"

by Brian Rogers

In addition to being Games, Toys, Media or Art, there is another lens for viewing roleplaying: sports. Specifically, team sports. After all, we already have a referee, we already have a group of people working together, and we often have a balanced opposition and clear end game (if you can accept that the GM can be both Ref and Opposition, and if you like scenarios with directed goals). In other words, there's enough overlap to justify a gratuitous use of sports metaphors while providing player advice.

Practice the Fundamentals

Know the rules of the game -- what works, what doesn't. For RPGs this means get as good a grip on the mechanics as fast as you can, then focus on the details. This is not to trump the ref or rules lawyer the other players, but to keep play seamless. Notice how no serious player dribbles the ball with both hands? Or how frustrated the fans get when the Ref has to call penalty after penalty? Know where things are on your character sheet, how to make a basic attack, and if your character will routinely make mounted Overruns with a lance, know the rules for that, too. Every time you stop play for rules reasons, the game suffers.

Know the Court

While the rules are the same, you'll have different basketball games if you play with your friends, in a Y league, on a school team, in the pros or in $5-a-point 1-on-1 in the park. There are big differences between a "let's all tell a story," . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information, and to read rest of article.

Article publication date: July 2, 2004