Role-playing games: an activity with bad reputation

There is still a great ignorance about what are the role playing games and not a few associate them with gloomy worlds and death threats. As stated by the Society for the Study of Strategy, Simulation and Role Games, "every time an inexplicable event occurs in which macabre components are mixed, the hypothesis of the role playing games, when no judicial decision admits that these may be related ".

Effectively, RPGs are an activity with bad reputation since in 1994 a terrible murder was committed in Spain, known in the media as the "crime of the role". The social alarm that was generated can perhaps be explained because role playing games they were, at that time, unknown to the vast majority. If we add to that the commotion that involved the murder of a person without any apparent cause, all of this provoked the association of the role with harmful effects for society and to qualify them as negative for the development of the personality.

A fact: the psychological diagnosis made to the murderer by experts determined the pre-existence of a psychopathic personality disorder. Despite this, a generalized attitude of rejection towards these games was maintained.

What are role-playing games and how are they played?

As Andrés Palomino describes on his website:

"Role Playing Game (RPG) consists of assuming a certain role or personality and interpreting it, just as an actor would do." The players meet in a house, with no relatives in sight, if possible, and with a provision of food and other things to make a good snack, or something similar. (There are also live and online games.) One of the players always assumes the role of game director (DJ) or "master." This implies a little more work for him that for the other player characters (PJs), since he will be in charge of planning the plot of the game and guiding the PCs in the world he has created. To solve any situation that may arise, the 'master' poses the situation and controls all the characters that exist in the imaginary world that he has created, the so-called Non-Player Characters (NPCs) that interact with the players (the real protagonists). gonists).

The 'master' is responsible for verifying that the characters perform actions that are possible within the situation that he has invented. Although we move in fantastic worlds different from ours (medieval fantasy, science fiction ...), there must be a series of rules and limitations to determine what our character can do.

The 'master' knows how your world works and decides what happens when a PC tries to do something in the most logical way possible. For example, a fantastic medieval RPG (the most common) is set in a world whose everyday life is not like ours; Magic, fantastic beings, or sword fights are the order of the day. Still, this does not mean that anyone can do anything.

Each player in the role play takes on a role

Each player has a character defined by a series of characteristics (such as strength, intelligence or appearance) that are chosen at random by dice. These characteristics are collected on a sheet of paper, the 'card'. These data will be useful for the 'master' because those characteristics will determine the chances of success (or failure) that our character will have. In most games, the random variable is also taken into account, throwing dice when you want to execute an action.

This 'card' does not usually include details about the personality of the character, it is the player's job to give him a character and make him act accordingly with his past (background). The challenge of the role-playing game is to be able to interpret a character in a coherent way, assuming their goals and motivations and reacting to events as the former would. This is the main difference between RPGs and the rest of the board games: the player is not just a chip without more, he is expected to play his role as if it were an actor, be it a low-level thief mounts, a powerful sorceress or an international spy.

The game of role becomes, thus, a rewarding experience for both the PCs and the 'master', immersed in a world of imagination where they can do things they could never do in real life (and we must highlight the inseparable difference between ROLE PLAY and REALITY, that a player plays a murderer does not mean that he is going to kill people, in the same way that Anthony Hopkins is not Anibal Lecter - although Johnny Weissmuller ended up thinking himself Tarzan).

Once inside the dynamics of role-playing, we find other accessories, such as special dice, lead figures and others, that contribute to enrich the game and create a certain atmosphere.In any case, the most important thing when playing a role is to have a lot of imagination. "

Ricardo Regidor

Video: GTA 5 Roleplay - DOJ 375 - Reputation

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