Let’s start with the title. When I say RPG, I (usually) don’t mean rocket-propelled grenade. Usually.
No, this post is meant to unpack the terminology surrounding role-playing games, and to be used as a future point of reference. I’m also going to refer back to Mattias’ excellent post about role-playing, because he did such a damn fine job of describing what role-playing is.
All three of us have written about role-playing games (check out the GMing category, and look at the older articles). Yet for the most part our posts have assumed a certain level of familiarity with RPGs and their terminology. I’ve certainly presumed that other people know what I’m talking about; but what the heck does it mean when I call a system “sparsely elegant“?
In an effort to minimize confusion, here’s a quick primer that will begin to bring you up to speed. I’ll do my best not to cover things that were done better elsewhere (see Mattias’ article, really), but there may be a little bit of overlap.
The terminology and topics that I plan to cover…