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June 29th, 2012, 08:24
Well again, your missing the fact that there is no lost arcane book to find, or goblin chief to listen in on in these games. There are just random encounters, xp, and treasure.

But your absolutely correct that you still play a character, even in a pure combat game with nothing but random encounters. And that completely supports my entire point. You could decide that your scared of rats and run away from every rat you encounter. You could decide that your a fearless barbarian who never runs away even in certain death. You could also just decide that your a regular guy who kills things for loot, and who does intelligent and logical things to stay alive and become more powerful, and that's a perfectly valid (and probably more realistic) roleplaying choice too. This is something that you can decide to do in any game in which you play a character, whether that game is D&D, Diablo, or even Grand Theft Auto.

Now if your claiming that Diablo can't be a roleplaying game because you don't have unlimited options….because you can't choose to put on a mask and pretend to a monster, or build a canoe to sail down the river, or side with the dark lord and become a lord of hell, then that's a more reasonable distinction. Computer games are by their very nature much more limited in what you can do, and you will never have the options that you would have in a P&P game. If that was argument though, then you'd have to conclude that no computer game is a RPG, because every game severely limits your options. But that does seem to be what your leaning towards, certainly the reasons you've given for excluding Diablo would exclude every CRPG in existance.

Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
I'm quite familiar with 1e and 2e rulesets. The random loot, random dungeon, random encounter generators are very important tools in the GM's arsenal which greatly enhance the roleplaying experience. There are even random tables for figuring out an NPC's backstory and personality on the fly.

Never played 3e and although what you are saying sounds ridiculous, I'll take your word for it. I know the 3e ruleset has a bit more focus on battlemaps and minis.

However, regardless of whether you start your adventure in a dungeon or not, you still have a character (not "someone who bashes monsters") and the GM still asks you, "What do you want to do?" At that moment, you choose to do whatever the hell you think your character would want to do. Perhaps the story involves more battles with goblin tribes and less interesting NPCs, but that narrative is still going to unfold through the choices and actions of those characters. And you are playing with other players, who also make choices based on what they think their characters would want to do.

Perhaps your thief slips the GM a note having decided to try to pickpocket another player's mage. Perhaps your paladin is a brave soul with an unnatural fear of rats, who flees at the sight of them, only to be later chastised by his comrades, etc. Or maybe your elven mage speaks a little goblin, and wishes to use an invisibility spell and listen closely to what the goblin chieftain is saying to his underlings in hopes of finding some lost arcane book rumored to be hidden in this dungeon.

If you are contending that some folks are playing D&D without characters and without being able to choose what they think their character would want to do, in some way pretending to playing a video game with minis, then absolutely, those people are not role playing. The sad thing is that the video game they are emulating was influenced by some of those earliest computer games from the 80s where you pretend to play a role playing game.

In order to role play, you need a role and you need to be able to "play" it, by choosing what you think that character would want to do
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