What is your definition of RPG?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by woo1108, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    For me, it's all about finding clues.
    for example, at Fallout, you have to find clues about waterchip, GECK or a man.
    and while you are finding clues about those, you also find clues of something more important or more urgent event you have to prevent.
    how about beth's pseudo RPGs? while there are no real clues to do something, the game still requires you to do some chores to feel like finding clues.
    how about other genre of RPG? while playing old Wizardry, I have to draw maps.
    why should I draw maps? because I need some clues to check where exactly I am.
    many old gamers complain about automap system because it removes finding clue part which is an important part of an RPG.

    So, in conclusion, I think finding clue can define RPG.
  2. lazlolazlo

    lazlolazlo First time out of the vault

    Apr 17, 2012
    I've no idea if you're serious or not. A RolePlayingGame is you playing a character, using a set of differents skills and attributes that affect the probability of success and failure, how the world reacts to your character and in what way you can solve quests. What you're describing is an adventure game, and has nothing to do with RPG.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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  3. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    Actually, there were no border between adventure and RPG.
    both Zork and Wizardry started from D&D which is originally called RPG.
  4. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    First & foremost, the player's agency should be on the front.

    You should have choices on your character building, including stats but also behavior, ideology. You must be able to have various outcomes, but also optionnal quest, mutually exclusives quests, quests that you can't pick because of your skills, some level of randomness too.
    No level of agency would qualify as "stone age" RPG, the primitive dungeon crawlers like Might and magic or Skyrim.

    Also, the inverstigation is important too. It should pay-off when you try to talk with every single npc and get clues that could influence the way you try to get the macguffin. But these dialogs should also give you precious lore informations about how the population cope with the turmoil of those lands, those cities.

    There should be a level of connection between the locations & character, a feeling of connected world, not a sum of self-contained area. But on the other hand, each area should have a value, be a world of itself, not a boring, generic, unbearable filler area. No more filler. Fillers sucks beyond of sanity.

    Also, even if the game is heavy on HUD/Interface, you shouldn't be bothered by visible skill check, when talking with npc, visible karma/reputation change, too obvious quest-marking. It should feel like interacting with that world, not doing a shopping list.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  5. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    An rpg to me should just give you the option of playing any kind of character you like, no matter how shitty and fanficky your idea the game should allow it at least on the mechanical level, this of course taking into account the pros and cons of your build, quests should also take into account your individual skills, perks whatever to solve them instead of being linear fetch quests (exceptions can occur) also all builds should be viable within reason but also present limits on certain things. That is the ideal model of a western rpg to me.
  6. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    I've never seen that an RPG should be obligated to do that; it's an option, but not a definition of RPG IMO.


    Oh of course there is. Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem are not RPGs, nor are most Batman games I've seen; nor was Zork or Riven really.

    An RPG is a game that tends support both sides of a situation and allows the game to respond/react [plausibly] to player choice ~when given. [IE. the PC chooses to help/hinder/ or ignore; and sees the resulting changes.]
    An RPG is also a game where those changes come from the limited scope of the PC's personal ability* and influence; the PC is essentially the player's one implement of change in the world; (more than one with more than one PC). In an RPG, the player should not directly be able to influence the gameworld; this includes mini-games with tangible benefits ~like Oblivion's lock pick game.
    *More important in the game is what the PC cannot do. If the PC knows nothing of locks, then the player should not be allowed to open many locks. If the PC is an inept conversationalist, then the Player should be hamstrung in conversations, by the PC who is always at a loss for what to say. If the PC is a complete novice with weapons or self defense, then the player should lose almost every solo fight they end up in.

    To roleplay the victim in the lunchroom, is to get beaten up for one's lunch money; in this case the Player's choices are between paying, pleading, or fighting back ~~and losing either way.
    (A good RPG could have different outcomes for each; even open locked paths through the game.)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  7. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    What I meant by the first part is that you should be able to support your character choice through skill building, quest paths and the like, no matter if you are playing a drug addicted tribal or a strong independent pink haired ex brotherhood of steel ex-enclave teenaged girl which a soap opera of a backstory. The rest is up to imagination.
  8. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    But games like Ultima, Wizardry, Wasteland and Fallout were inclueded in adventure.
    plus, Tomb Raider, Duke Nukem and Bataman games are not pure adventure game. aren't they?
    they are more like TPS with adventure theme or FPS with adventure theme.

    actually, RPGs and adventure games in these days have border.
    but for older games(older than 90s), there wasn't.
    but it is impossible to remove the direct influence of player from RPG.
    think about Fallout 2, if you have knowledge like where is Navarro, how to inflitrate there, why you should destroy Enclave and how to do that, you can deal with Enclave even your character doesn't have any idea about what is Enclave.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  9. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    An RPG is [supposed to be] the character in the moment; and what they can do about it. In Oblivion, the player can game the lockpick task to open the lock even if the PC is inept.... and the reverse is true: The player can be inept enough to fail at opening the lock playing an expert locksmith PC. (Granted they have that force lock button as a last resort.)

    Players should not hinder the PC; a martial artist PC should not flail about like an idiot (the way you can in Witcher 2 ~but not in Witcher 1).

    In Fallout 2, the player not only has to have foreknowledge about the game, but also has to cheat/reload indefinitely every time they are confronted... but if they don't, and/or if they actually achieve it fairly, then they deserve it IMO; especially if it was random chance that led to finding the place; because it means that the PC was able to do it.

    An RPG need not bother with cheaters; what's important is the first run experience. Fallout 1 & 2 did not pen the PC into a small area, doling out the locations according to a script; and it also did not defend them against high level adversaries they would find in those areas. In general, the PC has a lot of freedom, and a hinted path via the conversations.
  10. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    When you play a diplomatic character, avoiding combat where and whenever possible, Fallout does feel somewhat like an adventure game. Especially in its original resolution.
  11. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    Dec 11, 2013
    I would say it is a game in which the player assumes the role of a character or group of characters (either custom made characters, pre-made, or some combination thereof) and interacts with the game world by managing and distributing a system of statistics (i.e. leveling up, skill and/or perk progression, distribution of items, etc) within the confines of a given ruleset.

    I emphasize the stat based nature of RPGs, because if done correctly this avoids the problem that Gizmojunk identified of players either making the PC more competent or more inept than they should be; interaction should be driven by player choice, but the outcome should be governed by statistics. This means that in a pure RPG there is a kind of strategy involved, both in choosing how to allocate stats and in making decisions. Player skill in an RPG translates to strategic decision making rather than speed and accuracy, as in a FPS.

    I like this definition because I think it can be applied equally to different kinds of RPGs (i.e. the J-RPG, Western RPGs, tabletop, computer, etc).

    This definition also differentiates the RPG from the Adventure Game because the latter is primarily concerned with puzzle solving and problem solving, with player interactions with the game world unmediated by stats. This is not to say that RPGs don't have puzzle solving and problem solving elements, but it's the stat-based interaction with the world that is their defining mechanic. Adventure Games like Monkey Island or Leisure Suit Larry or even Myst don't have stats the way that Fallout or Planescape do. Sierra's Quest for Glory series is a good example of a hybrid RPG-Adventure game, since it utilized both stat-based interactions and puzzle-solving to a large degree.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  12. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    D&D evolved from tabletop wargaming with miniatures, but you wouldn't call D&D a wargame even though it retains some of the characteristics.
  13. Geech

    Geech It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 2, 2008
    I really like this definition of RPG. To put it another way: the major defining characteristic of an RPG is the ability to make meaningful choices within the context of your character and game world.
  14. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    But games like WIzardry and Wasteland called role-playing(which was genre name of D&D and MSPE) adventure game desipte there were no role playing at all:razz:
  15. Emperor

    Emperor Simplesmente Rajuma

    Aug 4, 2013
    My definition of RPG:

    Jokes aside, a RPG should basically have:

    -Let the player create a role to play, any role, and have a variable options to make it viable. It's a Role Playing Game
    -The character development should be practical and satisfactory.
    -Have many ways to solve the situation at hand ( Strongly tied with the first item on this list)
    -Let the player fail if he choose the path not suitable to his character, the game should not hold the player hand.
    -Have C&C, at least in the story or in the gameplay or both.
    -A structured and believable world that changes with the player actions.
    -Reactive and believable NPCs to reflect those same changes.
    -Let the player think for themselves.
    -At least a satisfactory story to tell.
    -As any game, it should be fun.

    These all together form the basic base that a RPG should have but even having all that a RPG game can still turn out bad. It's up to the developers to work hard to make a great game, shame that the publisher can meddle with the product.

    This, of course, is only my point of view on the matter.
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  16. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 14, 2010
    When we ask what a role-playing game is, perhaps we should first ask what role-playing is. Role-playing is usually a blend of three related but distinct ideas:

    1) I am the player-character. What would I do in a novel situation as presented by the narrative and setting of the game? This is largely an exploration of one's own ego. Novice role-playing gamers often take an approach to play rooted in this principle of naive escapism.

    2) The player-character and I are kindred spirits. If I were this player-character, with his talents and faults, what would I do in circumstances specified by the setting, characters, and narrative of the game environment? This is largely an exercise of the player's acting skills. The player's ego is deprecated in favor of the character's ego, but the player's ego is still a significant input in the emergent narrative.

    3) The player-character exists independently of me as player. This is the most rarefied form of role-playing, and is a learned skill that role-players usually only develop with sustained experience. The player specifies some initial inputs of the player-character's characterization to assure his own engagement with the overall endeavor, but beyond that the ego of the player is entirely subsumed in the ego of the player-character. The player largely derives intellectual satisfaction from correctly deducing the best emergent narrative and fullest characterization for a given player-character with which the player-character (rather than the player) will be satisfied, and perhaps also from empathy or sympathy with that narrative and characterization of the player-character.

    A role-playing game, then, is a game that faciliates a player having one or more of the aforementioned experiences. The value of a role-playing game is in direct proportion to how well it accomplishes this goal. Adventure games present a good model of player engagement compatible with role-playing, so many role-playing games incorporate aspects of the adventure game experience; however, I'm glad to see a number of others have correctly noted that we should not confuse mechanics of gameplay (perhaps, rooted in adventure game design principles) with the purpose of gameplay itself-- to derive pleasure from acting out some sort of role. Though the player must likely master numerous mechanics of gameplay in order to accomplish the latter, what distinguishes role-playing games from other sorts of games is that the gameplay process of most games consists only of mastering such mechanics, while in role-playing games such mastery is merely a means to an entirely different end. Players attempt to win other sorts of games, while in role-playing games players instead seek to have a particular sort of experience while playing. A winning play in a role-playing game consists of whether a satisfactory subjective experience was enjoyed during play rather than whether any objective criteria were satisfied (such as whether a score was obtained or a result achieved that, per the mechanics of gameplay, qualifies as 'victory').

    In (1) the player-character acts like the player. In (2) the player acts like the player-character. In (3), there is only the player-character, because the player and player-character become indistinguishable; translation of the player-character's experience satisfies the player empathetically, and the player seeks to minimize any distortion of such translation resulting from the introduction of extraneous elements (namely, himself). (3) exercises imagination above all, because the player must imagine numerous aspects of a foreign ego to give that foreign ego a satisfactory life of its own. Imagining matters far removed from our own experience is much more difficult than imagining matters similar to our own experience. Another way to say this may be that much more imagination is required to divine the similarities between widely divergent experiences than is required to notice the commonalities of similar experiences.

    Because (3) play is more difficult both for designer to facilitate and for player to pursue, (3) play is the least common type of rpg play. However, this does not necessarily make it the most inherently satisfying type of rpg play; that is a matter for each player to decide for himself. We might be tempted to say that those who enjoy (3) play enjoy a more profound experience than those who enjoy (1) play, but the rarity of (3) play opportunities typically means the individual satisfied by (1) play has so many more occasions to satisfy himself (because (1) games are easier to make well) that perhaps overall that multitude of (1) experiences counterbalances the density of (3) experiences.

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  17. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Precious Fluids of The Order Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Off topic but didn't you do the Tactics Redux mod? If so you are awesome. Thanks for making the game playable for me.
  18. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    I'd say that's the only form of roleplaying; anything else is adventure sim.

    But it's nice to see the three of these viewpoints put into words. I might link to this post in the future.
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  19. X12

    X12 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 8, 2012
    There are MANY different types of RPGs. There's table top RPGs, there's text based RPGs, there isometric RPG's, there's T/FPS-RPGS, and more. Oh, and there's also RPGs as in Rocket Powered Grenades.
  20. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Precious Fluids of The Order Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Rocket Propelled Grenade.