Role-playing can be an odd idea to talk about with people who don’t have the same hobby. There is a distinct lingo and language. There are specific roles in the game. There are certain mores that exist within this grouping of people. Really, there is another culture within your culture.
Last week, I asked my best friend to ask me questions that she wanted to know about role-playing. She is not involved (even tangentially) in the culture of role-players, so it provided some insight on bridging this gap between cultures, It might help to look back on it here to have a taste about what she wanted to know. It answered the question: “How do you win?” among other questions.
I couldn’t, however, seem to answer ALL the questions, so here is the rest of those questions from last week:
6. Is role-playing always strategy?
It isn’t all strategy in terms of looking at a game like Risk or Axis and Allies, but it still involves thoughtfulness when making decisions. When role playing you deal with people, plan combat, and have day-to-day activities for your character; all of these involve strategy.
Example: You don’t want your magical character (who is usually more frail) to be upfront near a large beast during a fight. Your elf character should really think before demanding information from the surly bartender who doesn’t trust elves. And you certainly don’t want to plan your travel route through the swamp, if there are other shorter, safer alternatives.
However, most of these strategic plans are decided by the group (or the group leader) and if it isn’t your jam, then you can usually focus less on that aspect of the game.
7. Are there characters that are good to get and ones that kinda are not so advantageous to get?
Each class or character has their own thing (or things) that they excel at. Many of those advantages are written in the description of the type of character you are and part of it is your customization or uniqueness of your own character. Maybe you are extra good with long ranged weapons or better with persuasion.
That is not saying that people aren’t going to tell you which is the best type of character. People have their favoured classes and races. Part of this is probably because they feel like their character type IS more advantageous and powerful than maybe another type of character. But really, your character is all in how you play it. I have seen great characters on paper that either don’t use their skills to the best of their ability or that their random dice rolls seem to disagree with their aptitudes. I am partial to bard characters; jack of all trades, entertainers, and generally the best class ever. I do have to admit that it really is good to get out of your character rut.
8. Is there a maximum amount of players?
You can have many players at once in your game. This can either add to the awesome or it can turn into pandemonium. Much of the set-up, depends on the GM (game-master) and what your living room can handle. Also, the size of your group can be dictated by the group as a whole, like a consensus of thought. If it is tough enough for everyone to get their say, then probably adding to the group is not good for the team. Remember, we should ideally looking and working toward a common goal. The lowest amount of players I have played with on a regular basis is 4 and the most I have played with regularly was about 8 (if I remember correctly). My current group is 6 members.
9. What happens if a player can’t show up and the game has been continued?
Generally, that person’s character is played by someone else that week. It is okay to miss out on a couple sessions, but if it becomes habitual you can expect an inordinate amount of grumbling from your teammates and probably a serious sit-down with your GM. You don’t have to be married to the game, but you do need a level of commitment. How much commitment -ideally- should be a topic of conversation when you start playing with any group.
10. What happens if a new person wants to join?
Another character can usually be written (spoken?) into your story at almost any time. Every group will do this a bit different. How we do it is to have someone sit in during a game to see if this is the type of game and game group that they are interested in. Sort of like the toe testing the water type thing. This gives the group a chance to veto the addition (it helps if you like the people playing) and gives the proposed new person a chance to bow out graciously. Because doing a hobby with those that you don’t really like… is not really fun for anyone. For some tips how to enter a game, I would read this article about impressing your new group.
Now that I am slowly forcing my best friend to read and think about role-playing games, maybe the next step is for her to see one. I will work on that, while you all enjoy the rest of your week. Cheers!
Vanessa is a sarcastic, 30-something wife and mother. She likes things and stuff, but not simultaneously. When she isn’t involved in things and stuff, she teaches middle school math and art. She loves new teenagers in action. They make her laugh and shake her head and her world is much better with laughter. She thinks everyone should be roleplaying and does know how to count so you can find the first 5 questions posed here. She is also trying out this new twitter handle at @sarasma_nessa
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