Thursday 27th October 2016

Basic concepts

What is an RPG

A role-playing game is a way to tell an interactive story. All of the players except one take the part of a character in a story and describe the actions and speech of that character. One player serves as a referee, commonly known as a game master (GM). The GM sets the scene and narrates the story to the players as it unfolds. Players add what their alter-egos (or player characters if you like) are doing and the GM folds this into the story and narrates the results back to the players. This process of collaboration continues as the story is told and the GM makes on-the-fly decisions to determine what outcomes the players efforts achieve.

The rules

The game rules are designed to add a degree of fairness to the GMs decisions. In order for the rules to keep things fair, a few core values need to be defined that the rules will operate upon. These values are used to describe the player alter-egos (PAEs), any adversary, the environment and the element of luck (if applicable). The PAEs are defined by a bunch of numbers, adversaries are defined by the same numbers as the PAEs but usually with far less detail. The environment is defined by simple difficulty modifiers and the element of luck is defined by a dice roll.

In short, when the player wants to have their alter-ego do something that requires a bit of luck to get right, they roll a dice and add the result to a number from the PAE sheet (a page that has the numbers on it that describe the PAE) if the result is enough then the PAE has succeeded! otherwise they have failed, in some circumstances.


Our RPG makes use of six sided dice because these are what everyone thinks of when you say "dice" while this is less ideal than say a ten sided dice from a mathematical perspective, regular six sided dice are far more readily available in the average home.

The numbers

A series of numbers on a sheet are used to describe a PAEs aptitude. These serve as a starting point for all ability scores. The ability score is a number that is initially based on an aptitude score i.e. is a copy of an aptitude score. Which is subsequently used in isolation or in conjunction with a dice roll to perform actions. In addition to aptitude and ability the PAE sheet also contains a record of wounds the PAE has received.

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