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What is a role playing game?

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1 What is a role playing game? on Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:02 am

I genuinely have no clue, surely it's about actually role playing as characters not simply statistics?

Turn based is simply a mode of play i don't think chess or checkers count as rpg just because they are turn based. Stats make sense when it's turn based.

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2 Re: What is a role playing game? on Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:38 am

You have to consider the origin of the name, namely Dungeons and Dragons and it's contemporaries. In those games you played a role of a character in a (nearly always) fictional world. To help the game along and allow for more roleplaying stats were assigned and assisted with dice-rolls to help simulate situations and the randomness of life.
You say you're going to run past that room filled with arrow traps? Fine. Roll Dexterity minus 10 because this is extremely hard. That's where it came from. And because of the relaxing nature the whole combat was pseudo-turnbased (every turn was about 1 second in game time) and most players had a timer to take their combat turn.

What happened later is that games started appearing that used that style of play, and still do. Except like Dungeons and Dragons, while the name of Roleplaying stuck, the actual roleplaying was forgotten in lieau of the combat system which didn't have a lot of roleplaying in it. This is why games that have nothing to do with playing a role but are more about the dice-roll are called roleplaying games.

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3 Re: What is a role playing game? on Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:14 am

So what are Japanese/eastern rpg and western rpg? Japanese ones seem to be turn based with linear stories that are more akin to a visual novel. Western seems to be anything that's not just turn based and are often other genres like action adventure like witcher or 1st/3rd person shooters like fallout.

Stats seem to remain consistent in both of them even if they are not really relevant to the core gameplay.

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4 Re: What is a role playing game? on Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 am

The whole Western/ Eastern thing just boils down to stereotyping. Western games are generally more action packed while Japanese titles are more slow and require more reading. This is why Dark Souls is generally called a "Western Style" RPG.

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5 Re: What is a role playing game? on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:33 am

It seemed a bit silly as western rpg just seem to be any genre, usually shooter or action, plus rpg elements. It's not very informative either.

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6 Re: What is a role playing game? on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:57 pm

Gabriel Phelan Lucas wrote:It seemed a bit silly as western rpg just seem to be any genre, usually shooter or action, plus rpg elements. It's not very informative either.
True that, guess we're just not that inspired when it comes down to RPG's. That said it's also about the market. Japan eats stuff up like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, while those titles barely move the same numbers across the world as they do in that one single country. I kid you not that the developer of Dragon Quest has an agreement with the Japanese governement on the release date of a new game as everyone takes a day off when it releases or calls in sick, it's crazy how popular that stuff is over there.

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7 Re: What is a role playing game? on Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:45 am

So why are fallout, persona, witcher, and souls called rpg? I can see what they all have in common I'd like to know on a game design level. They all have story, quests, stats/gear/levelling and dungeons. Though souls barely had any direct story and plays like an action game same as witcher and fallout3-4 which are fps.
Really they are no more rpg than Zelda which is action adventure through and through. Even yakuza series are considered rpg by many. I can see why;it has hub area, random battles, lots of story and quests same as any jrpg does. Might as well call mgs jrpg with all its cutscenes.

Stats make sense in turn based games as it complements that mode of play, given that they are about planning your turn and having the outcomes be determined by the game. You would want your turn to be as efficient as possible so having 90% hit chance and 50+ damage and status effects that may hurt foes past your turn and even stun them allowing for another turn. Xcom has you strategically place your units and command their actions, the stats are just a means to that end and skilled players know how to manage their turns with smart tactics not simply about just stats.

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8 Re: What is a role playing game? on Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:09 am

Stats have more than one goal, reason why it's making so many appereances is because it's a very easy way to instigate and reward progress. Beat the first stage? Here's a statboost. Killed 10 dudes online? Level up! It's a really solid system that allows for players to feel rewarded all the time.

To be fair though, to call Fallout a FPS is sort of missing the point - that's like calling Deus Ex a shooter. It's not. Shooting is done in the game but there's a lot more going on underneath the hood.

Like most genres I feel that this one really benefits from an added suffix, which has happened a lot. Deus Ex is called an Immersive Sim RPG most of the time. Fallout an First Person RPG and titles like Witcher and Souls are Action RPG's (or sometimes insultingly called Western RPG's because us westerners only understand braindead action). A JRPG doesn't mean that it's from Japan, it just means a Japanese styled RPG, aka stuff like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

You have to look beyond the name here, because if you take the name seriously every title is an RPG as you play a role that is either defined or undefined.

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