What is Roleplaying?

Started by Vekseid, March 25, 2011, 11:55:01 AM

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Many people find Elliquiy looking for "Sexual Forums", "Erotic Chat", "Adult Communities" or other such terms, not being familiar with role playing in general or even computer rpgs, much less tabletop rp. We are happy to introduce people to the activity, and so have decided to make an explanatory article.

Role playing - often abbreviated as RP - is usually compared to ad lib acting or cooperative storytelling. Each person involved in a roleplay takes control of one or more characters, portraying how they react to various situations as they develop. The medium and means for this vary wildly:

  • Some people dress the part and act things out physically, termed 'live action role playing' or LARP. These usually have pretty strict rules about physical contact - 'no touching' and 'no weapons' being common, though boffering is insanely fun, at least in this author's opinion.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, characters are notes on a sheet of paper or text document, perhaps with miniatures, avatars or other props to represent them. These can run from simple descriptions of personality and appearance ('freeform' roleplaying) to extensive details about a character's abilities ('system' roleplaying games).

For obvious reasons, Elliquiy focuses on the more traditional forms of role playing, rather than dressing up in costume - though that of course does get discussed from time to time. Preference for system versus freeform is often personal and varied. Freeform, as the term may suggest, is only limited by the imagination, while system games set limits on what a character can perform. The latter is often seen as 'geeky', but serves an important storytelling purpose, everyone being encouraged by the nature of the rules to take on a different role within a story, and, ideally, no one person being permitted to hog the spotlight. Ideally.

You are not required to completely understand roleplaying to join Elliquiy. You are not required even to role play - many simply lurk, write stories, create art or hang out and chat. While there are a number of universally recognized 'wrong ways', there are no real 'right ways'. Feel free to explore and find what suits you best, even simply enjoying the wonderful stories that are forged here.