Independent Study Project On Role Playing Games

.. ed, run of the mill manner.

In this way, humans speaking and creating the game as they go along make up essentially what the role playing games are based on: People ROLE PLAYING. Computers can’t role play with the human factor of decisions and such things as cunning, wisdom, and even intelligence. Computers see one things-garbage in, garbage out.Information goes in, its processed, and is fed back to the user. Humans can also process information, but in such ways that computers cannot. By 1980, the only role playing game available was the original Dungeons and Dragons game, set in the stereo-typical medieval England. But there was one MAJOR influencing factor in the evolution of new RPG’s.

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Fictional books.There are even more Science Fiction and Fiction books out there than there are people. From the ideas within a book, people have gotten ideas to make games. Why read a book and listen to the set decisions of the author, when you can jump INTO the book and create your own ending? Using this idea, the RPG market flourished when young authors combined with number crunching and acting wizards to create hundreds of new RPG systems.

Also, the market of competition between RPG companies heated the fire. TSR, the company that produces the infamous Dungeons and Dragons game, still is the most popular RPG, partly because of the wide spread use of the game, its huge selection of modules (different storylines for the D&D system) and because it was the first game ever produced. When something comes out and its the best, and the first ever produced, people still tend to go to it. The first people also tend to research more to keep their product at the highest quality possible, so quality isn’t usually an issue.A good example is Sony and their Walkman line. Hundreds of companies have made their own portable tape players, but people still refer to them as “Walkmen” even though they aren’t Sony. The evolution of RPG’s grew with the demand. Soon, it was seen that D didn’t have every single possible module for every type of game wanted to play.

So companies produced games based on Super Heroes, a very popular item in comic books, trading cards, and role models. Role Playing Games today can be found in any form, shape, size, and game type.The RPG found on the first page is the GAMEPLEX-AMS Role Playing Game. It has been designed to work with any type of module available or wanted.

All RPG’s have this in mind, but some tend to specialize in one area only. The GAMEPLEX- AMS System is designed so if the system itself does not cover the wanted area, for example, bowling, the module would have specific instructions on how to cover that topic. But usually, if this type of instruction were to come up in an RPG where it is not covered, it is up to the GM to adlib and make up something for it.

Everything doesn’t have to go by a complete set of rules.Toady, at the latest count, there are 653 Role Playing Games in existence today. Not all of them are playable or even good, but some of them are. Some are specialized for a specific area in role playing, and some are designed for wide use. A sample is shown below.

Dungeons and Dragons and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: The original and still the best in role playing. Because they were the first to poke into the RPG market, they have carved their own niche and hold onto it quite well.D&D is designed to work with anything, and if that topic isn’t covered, a special module would cover it. In this way, it is one of the most expandable systems on the market.

There are approximately 5000 different storylines for role playing games in the D system. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons is essentially the same as D, but it is more complex, and is richer in detail. More physically oriented attributes are added to AD, making it that more realistic.

D and AD is produced by the TSR Company. GURPS, or Generic, Universal, Role Playing System: GURPS is the king of games designed to cover every single possible detail in a complete rule system. In this way, it is called universal.

GURPS is designed to work with ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING. Games for the GURPS system range from Nuclear Holocausts to the Wild West, from Space Ships to Murder Mysteries, and from Sports Events to World War Two.GURPS is the most comprehensive package available for role players who love variety.

It is highly playable because not all the rules are needed for a game. GURPS is probably the most comprehensive game on the market. Everything from biting fingernails to heartburn is covered in GURPS. ROBOTECH AND OTHER ROBOTIC TYPE GAMES: These games, are all set in the future. Robots dominate the earth and roam about freely, controlled by skilled pilots.Here, every planet explored houses robots. These robots have their own form of skills, and their physical attributes (type of metal, etc.) also come into effect.

These type of games are very good for the person interested in the future and who likes combat with lasers and robots. They are basically like any other type of D game but in a futuristic sense. These games are produced by the Palladium RPG company, whose products are very good.They are known to keep everything simple and to mix two attributes into a single one (like running and walking) to make things easier. Their robotic system includes such attributes such as Heat Dissipation (how fast a robot can dissipate the heat from an incoming laser or bomb) Heat Sinks (the place where the dissipation takes place) to the mental power of the pilot. GAMEPLEX-ATTRIBUTE MAINSTREAM SYSTEM: Gameplex-AMS is a hybrid of many systems combined. It has the complete playability of GURPS with the endless supply of modules of D to the simple and easy to play form of Palladium systems. Gameplex incorporates everything into a single package.

Playability is the same as in many other RPG’s. The Gameplex-AMS system is based on the theory that a person’s attributes should function without flux with his other attributes. For example, a 2 inch high rat would not have the strength of Arnold Schwartzenegger.This “common sense” theory is what makes Gameplex-AMS better. Gameplex-AMS also uses special specific attributes and has a no-nonsense, stick to the rules approach. There are no exceptions. CHAMPIONS, DC COMICS, AND MARVEL RPG’S: These RPG’s storylines are based on comic book heroes and plotlines.

Frequently, stories are taken out of comic books and then re-translated into a game, with a few changes. This is the case with the DC Comics Role Playing Game (it covers all characters and such in the DC Comic world) and the Marvel RPG (same as DC Comics but uses Marvel Characters.) The only exception is The Champions RPG System.The Champions system is a totally new concept. It wasn’t developed through a comic book, or comic story, but from the mind of its creator. The Champions System uses modules which are totally original and which haven’t been taken from comics. All three of the systems are highly playable, but the only real difference is the selection of modules. The Champions System is the best if you want a challenge but if you enjoy reading comics and playing your favourite super- hero, then the DC or Marvel System is for you.

FIGHTING FANTASY GAMEBOOKS AND THE FIGHTING FANTASY RPG: The Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks are a very popular item.They are a true RPG in a sense, but they are designed so only one person can play them. So, they are much like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure because only one person plays them and makes the decisions. Also, the decisions are altered because only a certain amount of choices is offered. For example, if there was a fork in the road and some bushes around, you would only have the choice of choosing which road to take, while in a true RPG such as AD and Gameplex-AMS, you would have the choice of searching the bushes, choosing which road, attack the other players, burn the bushes, etc. The Fighting Fantasy RPG is a whole different story. The Fighting Fantasy RPG is much like the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, but they can be played by any number of players like a normal RPG.The rules in FF are very simplified, as there are only 3 main attributes (compared to over 60 in Gameplex-AMS, 40 in AD, and 100 in GURPS) but it is the best RPG to start with if you are new to Role Playing.

The modules themselves are top rate, being simplified also along with the rules. As you can see, there are an infinite number of topics on which RPG’s can be based. RPG’s can be written about the Titanic to the evolution of the vampire, to the future of the earth to how dragons cast spells.

THE FUTURE OF ROLE PLAYING GAMES The future of Role Playing Games is bright.With the increased interest in them, and the new systems, modules, and accessories coming out, there can only be more heated competition and the product can only get better. The newest form of RPG’s that has appeared within the last 10 years is the computerized RPG. With the dawning of the PC as the dominant system in the last 5 years, computer game companies have harnessed the increased power of the computers to make their product more exciting. The origins of the computerized RPG began with the crude adventure games of the late 70’s.

These were basically text-based adventures, with no pictures.The adventure was based on a first person view, and a typical scene would go as such: “You are walking down a dark tunnel. You can hear the water dripping down the walls. You see a huge troll raging towards you, with a huge battle-axe in his hands.

The axe is dripping with blood and the troll is smiling.” Then you would type in a one or two word answer, such as: “Take Axe.” The computer would then respond with: “Oh, sorry. You tried to grab the axe and the troll cut your hand off.While you’re looking at your hand on the ground, the troll laughs and cuts off your head.

Game Over.” In this type of adventure, you were basically “reading” the game. The game itself was very limited, as you could only type in a one or two word answer.

Then, more advanced games sprung up. Ones with graphics, but it was still seen from a first person view.No animation was involved, but the basic premise of role playing a character was still involved. These games were very popular, because at that time, people had never seen anything like it before.

No color was involved. Role Playing Games like these kept up with the “book- keeping,” by that it means the little dice rolls, table checking, and book flipping involved with a normal RPG. The computer acted like the GM, and you the player.Then the IBM released its PC series. This revolutionized the computer game industry and the computer business.

With the new found power in computers, software became increasingly complex. Color was a mainstay. The game themselves took on a whole new tone with animation and new, more challenging quests.People had fallen in love with this new type of addiction and they begged for more. But what about the future? Right now its bright but still uncertain. The paper RPG aspect is still going strong and selling well. The computerized RPG aspect is growing by leaps and bounds as new and more powerful software and computers pop up.

The horizon seems limitless.