RPG Theory

Role Playing Games
These articles and links go beyond play to talk about the theory behind our favorite hobby.

Character Knowledge and Metagaming star
Have you tried asking people what metagaming is just to be told a long story and still have little understanding of the term? Did you ever wish someone would give you a straight-out definition? Maybe you're looking for a short article explaining it now. Here I am, and here it is.

Dice and Skill Modifiers star
What's with those numbers on the character sheet? Is this a role-playing game or a math quiz?! There's a good reason numbers, dice and RPGs go so well together: probability. Games involving dice simulate facets of the world we live in, including randomness. Here's an analysis of how that works.

Diceless RPG Systems star
Heard about diceless RPG systems, but weren't sure what they're all about? Here we'll take a look at a few systems and see how they work.

Game Masters Sharing Their Knowledge star
Entertainment is something RPGs have covered. We love to squash dragons like bugs and take the baron up on his reward offer. There's a lot we can learn during, too, mostly depending on what the GM puts in the game. Not the shift the night watch takes – actual knowledge in RPG form. Come read!

Role-Playing for Personal Evolution star
Why do we role-play? Is fun the only reason? If you've ever been asked or wondered then this article is for you. A great deal of personal growth comes from role-playing. Here's four benefits which are not as easy to come by through any other medium.

Role-Playing Game Social Contracts star
You may have heard of social contracts before: common understandings among a group of people, either explicit or implied. Oftentimes they're both. Role-playing games utilize this concept very often. Understanding what it has to do with your game and your group is important.

Role-Playing Games and Social Intelligence star
Role-playing games are good for more than a pastime. Valuable life skills such as social intelligence are gained from role-playing. From anticipating the appropriate thing to say all the way to appreciating differences in values, the experience we gain from this hobby translates to our lives.

Rules Light Role Playing Games star
A description of what it means to be a rules light role playing game, and the ones I love the best.

The Purpose of GM Authority star
Why does the GM even need authority over the players? Can't the party just do whatever they want anyway? There's a balance which varies among parties and GMs across the board. Here are four reasons GMs need some control to help the game flow. Each is backed with responsibility to the group.

The Truth About Dice star
Dice have no heart. They can be cruel or they can be kind. What are their intentions and how do they line up to yours? What could probability possibly have to do with dice? There is 'magic' when it comes to rolling dice but where it stems from may surprise you.

Understanding Where Characters Come From star
Where did that villain idea come from? Why do players keep pretending to be the same heroes? If you've ever wondered where these constructs come from then you're in the right place. Or, if you're having trouble making a character, here's the list of sources we all draw from.

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