How RPGs Work
When small children play cops and robbers, one points his fingers at another and shouts, "Bang! Gotcha!". At which point the usual response is "Nuh-uh! You missed me!". Because pretend is freeform, there are no rules to determine whether or not the imaginary bullet struck its target. In an RPG game, however, there are rules in place to ensure that no such arguments are started (though they sometimes are) (The stick death murder mystery games are examples of such games). Free online games are cool! In most cases, there is a number that represents a chance for the imaginary bullet to hit. Dice are rolled (there are exceptions - some rpg games do not use dice - free online rpg games such as the "stick death murder mystery cartoon games" are good example of such.) against that number to determine a final result, either the bullet hits or misses. Once that determination is made, the other player may say, "You missed me! Nasty stick death man! Nyah nyah!" or "Argh! You got me!" in the free online role playing games and other online free games.
Of course, no one is really shooting or getting shot at. Free online games and free RPG games take part entirely in the imagination of the people playing the game. The players imagine taking part in a barroom brawl. They imagine what it's like to explore the alien jungle of a different planet. They imagine everything that takes place in the game -- whether they have made those things take place or they have been told that those things are taking place, but don't involve stick death, online free games and murder mysteries.
Arbitration and Mediation in free online games and free online role playing games are strange, rarely seen actions.
Unlike the rules of sports or board games, the rules of RPGs are very often fluid and amorphous. Different interpretations of these rules fly fast and furious among players of RPGs (often leaning in favor of the person doing the interpreting). In order to keep the game from degenerating back into the freeform realm of pretend, most games call for some form of referee. This facilitator goes by many names -- in TSR's Dungeons and Dragons, the term is "Dungeon Master" or "DM"; in Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu, the preferred word is "Keeper" -- but a generic term (and one that I use throughout this guide) is "Game Master" or "GM". Another term has often been used because of the bite that can be carried by the word "master" and that is "Dice Monitor" (taking us back to "DM"). Personally, I prefer the term Game Master because it is suitably generic and because the GM must surely be "master" of the game in more ways than one.
It is the GM's job to know the rules of the particular free RPG games being played so that he or she can successfully arbitrate any rules questions that might arise and so that he or she can do so fairly and equitably for all concerned. This way, when one player rolls the dice to determine whether the imaginary bullet strikes its target, the GM is there to make sure that no arguments spring up from the result and to make certain that no cheating is going on because of hard feelings between one player and another. (Remember that online role playing games are great!) The job of GMing (or "running" a game) is very demanding; calling for a person who is mature, fair-minded and knowledgeable of the game being played. Consequently, this means that the GM is more than likely going to be the oldest member of a group or (at the very least) the one with the most experience in playing the game. This is why it is not uncommon to find a 16-year-old running a game for a group that ranges from 11 to 16 years of age. (For the most part, it has been my experience that school aged gaming groups tend mostly to be around the same ages -- such as a 12-year-old GM running a game for players that are between 10 and 13, or a 17-year-old GM running a game for players between 14 and 18. This tends to not be the case in the case of: 1) An older GM running games for younger siblings and their friends or including younger siblings in his or her own gaming group [or even a father or uncle who roleplays including his son/daughter or neices/nephews], or 2) Gaming groups made up of adults (18 or over) who may range everywhere from 20 on up.)
Cooperative Storytelling rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
In any RPG, it is also the GM's job to create an environment in which all the pretend takes place. The decision as to what type of environment (or genre) is often made by everyone involved (just as children decide as a group on whether or not they'll play "cops and robbers", "cowboys and indians" or "superheroes"). Once that decision is made, however, someone needs to decide on the underlying rules and "feel" behind the chosen genre. For instance, is the group playing "cowboys and indians" before the Civil War or after? Are they playing in Old West California or Texas or are they wandering over the entire range? Are they playing actual historical figures or are they making up new, fictitious characters that have never existed? Or maybe they're playing in a pre-created world such as in the "Gunsmoke" or "Bonanza" television shows. Try to remember that online role playing rpg games are cool! The bonus of this job also falls on the GM's shoulders. The GM must create the environment -- the imaginary people, places and events -- with which the players pretend to interact. In essence, the GM is creating the outline or plot to a story, and it is through a joint effort of GM and Player that the story is fleshed out. For example, in one particular game, the GM has decided that Black Bart and his gang are going to attempt to rob a train that is hauling a shipment of gold. That is the GM's plot; the skeleton of the GM's story. Whether Black Bart succeeds or not is entirely dependent upon the how the players play the game. If they play poorly, the story has a sad ending -- Black Bart robs the train and makes off with the gold. If the players play well, the story will have a happy ending -- Black Bart is captured and the terrorized townsfolk rejoice. rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
But it is the actual, cooperative playing of the game that creates the story and its ending with stick death.
What the Player Does rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
If it looks like there's a lot of work involved in being a GM, well, that's because there is! The GM must adjudicate the rules, facilitate game play, mediate arguments, create plots and story outlines that will be entertaining and interesting, and create the environment of the game world. That's why, as I've said, it takes a person who is mature, fair minded and knowledgeable. It also takes a person who enjoys doing all that work, if the GM does not enjoy doing the job, it shows through and the players will not enjoy doing their jobs.
But the players are not resting on their hands while the GM does all the work. Far from it. Players must also have a working knowledge of the game system and its rules as well as the variations on the rules that the GM has determined are acceptably fair and just. It is also the job of the players to comport themselves in a mature and responsible manner. After all, just as in pretend no one likes the kid who constantly shouts "Nuh-Uh! You missed me!" (In Free online games and free RPG games, the equivalent is arguing with dice rolls and GM decisions that are contrary to the player's wishes). And while the GM is creating the people, places and events of the world, the players must create the fictitious personae they are going to be playing.(Remember that online role playing games are very cool!)
For the most part, RPGs have many different rules for the creation of these persona (called "characters" or "Player Characters (PCs)"). One game may rely on random dice rolls to determine a character's personality and abilities while another requires that a player spend a predetermined amount of "points" to "buy" abilities and personality traits that would make them better than average. Some games combine the two techniques and others may require the characters to be based on pre-created, cookie-cutter-like templates with minor modifications to make them a bit different from other characters based on the same template.
One thing that most of these methods have in common, however, is that they leave the fundamental personality of the character for the player to decide. Is the character a swashbuckler like Erol Flynn or a brute warrior like Conan? Is the character polite or rude? Clean or dirty? Does she speak with a southern drawl or a refined British accent? Rare indeed is the game that forces a player to take on a character with personality traits not chosen by the player (thus, if a player plays a foul-mouthed character who kicks cats and throws rocks at cars it is because the player chose to do so, not because the rules of the game said he should). Sometimes, a game may have rules to reflect personality traits chosen by a player for his or her character, but again I must stress that few (if any) games actually require or force a player to give his or her character personality traits with which the player is uncomfortable.
Often, inventing these personality traits requires the player to think of a reason why the character has these particular traits. If a player decides that her character, Saffron the Sorceress, is afraid of boats, the player may decide that Saffron fell off the edge of a ferry as a young child and almost drowned; she has been afraid of boats ever since. This particular incident will usually never have been featured in an actual game, but the player uses it in the game to determine Saffron's actions and motivations should the character ever be required to take a boat ride.
Putting It All Together
In essence, what has happened before the game has even begun is that the GM has created the plot, outline and environment for a play, and the players have created the characters that will be in that play. Once the game begins, the GM makes certain that the plot and environment run smoothly, and the Players step in as actors acting out the part of their characters. The GM acts as the play's director, but only by directing the actions of those things he or she has created; and the each player acts as the director of his or her own character -- determining (like an actor who asks "what is my motivation") by the personality and history already assigned to the character how that character would react when faced with the situations created by the GM. The whole of all the players playing their roles as character and director of that character, and of the GM acting as mediator, facilitator, story-teller, actor and director, becomes the final story.
Once the game has begun, all of the actual game play takes place in the imagination of the players and GM (No one actually gets up and physically acts out the action taking place, although exceptions to this may occur during a particularly exciting moment in the game during which the players might be seen to pantomime actions in much the same way as a boxing fan may throw imaginary punches while watching a match or a music-lover may play an imaginary guitar during a much-loved song). The GM narrates the setting and plays the parts of those fictional people not created by the players (called "NON-Player Characters" or "NPCs"). The players then react to what the GM has described. rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
NOTE: This is one of those rare things that is more difficult in theory than it is in practice. The game is, after all, nothing more than pretend with rpg game rules and online free games.
An Example Game
This example has the group playing in a modern-day, superhero game. The GM has decided that it is like the comic books in that people don't usually die but the heroes tend to get hit quite a bit with thrown cars. Our players are Brian, Adam, Gwen, Miranda and Joseph. Marcus is the GM. Adam is playing Captain Courage, an upright superhero who believes in truth, justice and the American Way. Brian is playing Lockjaw, a super-strong, super-big fighting machine without much regard for people or property. Miranda is playing Raging Red, a flying superheroine with fire powers. Joseph is playing Darkling, a super-powered ninja. And Gwen is playing Angel, a lesser angel charged with defeating the forces of evil in role playing game worlds such as everquest.
GM: Okay, everyone, the supervillain known as Rhino has robbed a jewelry store in the mall. The police have him trapped but he has taken hostages. The mayor has called for you and you arrive quickly at the mall. Rhino is standing just outside of the food court. Most of the tables are overturned and some chairs are floating in the fountain. Everyone seems to have gotten away except for a young woman that Rhino is holding. She looks like she has passed out.
Adam [who has set himself up as the unofficial leader of the group]: How close is he to the fountain?
GM: He's about four or five feet away.
Miranda: Four feet away from the fountain!? Is it on? I'm not going anywhere near it! [Miranda had decided when creating her character that Raging Red is afraid of water.]
Joseph: Darkling is going to use his Ninja Invisibility skill.
GM: Okay, what's his skill level?
GM [rolls some dice]: Okay, you try to blend in with the background.
Joseph: Does Rhino see me?
GM: It doesn't look like it. [In actuality, the dice roll indicates that Rhino has seen Darkling, but Darkling wouldn't know that. Thus Marcus is being purposefully vague.]
Gwen: Does the woman look injured or is there any stick death or stickmen arround?
GM: No, she looks like she has fainted from fear.
Gwen to Adam, acting in character [IC - In Character]: "She could be in shock, C.C.! We have to get her out of there!"
Brian: Lockjaw is picking up a table and getting ready to throw it at Rhino. [IC] "Drop the girl you armor-plated idiot!"
Gwen [IC]: "No!"
Adam [IC]: "Lockjaw! You fool! Back off!"
GM: Rhino holds the girl in front of him. As he walks toward you he says, "Out of Rhino's way or Rhino hurt girl."
Joseph: Has he walked by me?
Joseph: I'm going to jump-kick him in the back.
Adam [IC]: Wait! rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
GM: Adam, Captain Courage doesn't know what Darkling is getting ready to do so you can't stop him. Joseph, what's Darkling's Sneaking skill? rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
Joseph: 14, but I get a bonus because he hasn't seen me.
GM [rolls dice -- Marcus knows that the bonus doesn't count because Rhino is only acting like he hasn't seen Darkling. The roll is failed.] Okay, you run up behind him. Make a jump-kick roll.
Joseph [rolls dice]: I made it! Right between the shoulder-blades!
GM: Somehow, Rhino knew you were there, maybe he heard you. He drops the girl just as you leap into the air and he turns around to catch your foot in an armored hand twice the size of your head. You can't dodge because you're already committed.
Adam [IC]: "Quick! While he's distracted!"
Gwen: I'm going to teleport in and grab the girl. rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
GM: No problem. What is everyone else doing?
Miranda: I'm readying a flame blast but I'm not going to fire until Angel and the girl are clear.
Adam: Once Angel gets the girl out of there, I'm going in swinging.
Brian: I'm throwing the table. rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
Gwen: No! You might hit me or the girl!
Joseph: Or me!
GM: This is all happening at the same time. Angel teleports in to grab the girl while Red hovers above them with a fireball at the ready and Captain Courage cracks his knuckles. As the two of you watch, Lockjaw hurls the table with all his strength! Quick, Stick Death and Angel! What are you doing!?(Remember that online role playing games are very cool!)
Gwen: I'm going to dodge the table.
GM: To do that, you'll have to leave the girl.
Gwen: Shoot! Okay, I'm going to use my wings as a shield and hope they're strong enough to block the hit!
GM: Brian, make an attack roll for Lockjaw.
Brian [rolls dice]: Look at that roll! Made it with plenty to spare!
GM: Maybe it's Angel's divine luck, but the table flies over her head and hits Rhino right in the back. Rhino stumbles under the strength of the blow and loses his grip on Darkling, tossing him into the stick death fountain. Water splashes everywhere.
Miranda: I'm glad I wasn't down there.
Gwen: I'm teleporting the girl out to the paramedics.
Adam: I'm going to shoulder-tackle Rhino while he's off-balance.
Miranda: Wait! I can't blast him rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries. If you're in there!!!
Brian: I'm picking up rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries. Another mystery game table.
Thus, the plot and outline of the play (that a supervillain was trapped by the police in a shopping mall) is fleshed out by the actions of both players and GM as they make their own choices and react to the choices made by the others. That is the heart of role playing.
Please note, however, that while the players may be saying such things as "I am going to..." or "I will use my...", they do not mean that they are actually physically performing these actions. Nor do they actually believe that they are the ones capable of doing such things. All of the players know that the game is make- rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries. believe.
Free online games and free RPG and Maturity rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
As you can see by the sample game, it takes quite a bit of imagination to roleplay. It also takes a large dose of maturity. The mature individual accepts the bad things in the game as easily as they rejoice in the good. But an immature gamer can't quite make the distinction between the game and reality. The immature stick player's death could be likened to the young child who wants to fly like Superman or who believes that hitting someone in the head with a hammer (ala The Three Stooges) won't cause serious injury. The immature gamer often can't understand the difference between a fictional character doing something they dislike and a real person doing something they dislike. The immature gamer will often get quite angry with a fellow player or even the GM for what he considers acting "against him", never once realizing that it is only a game. (Free online games and online role playing games are cool) (This same type of person will probably get mad when losing any game.) rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.
Maturity is a quality that isn't easy categorized. Some 17-year-olds I know are much more mature than some 40-year-olds. And there are some 21-year-olds with whom I would not wish to play because of their poor attitudes. (Remember that online role playing games are very cool!)A good rule of thumb is to see how angry or upset a player gets with a game. The mature player, who will probably get very excited during exciting moments of the game, will realize that an RPG is only a game and will not get terribly upset if something happens to his or her character. If, on the other hand, the player begins shouting, cursing or even crying when something bad happens to their character (Remember that online role playing games are very cool!)(or if they take it personally when one person's character insults or injures theirs), maybe they aren't quite ready yet for stick death role playing. rpg games and online free games and murder mysteries.