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November 14th, 2006, 01:08
Great article corwin, but I think you missed the big aspect of role-playing, that being action and the core of what a role is. Dialogue in game i think hurts this, as it forces a role, or role-type on you. I much rather prefer the old games with no character dialogue, just ambigious choices. I can fill in what was said myself, something my character would actually say. Your example of PST is the antithesis of roleplaying, but is a great example of what a great story and dialgue driven rpg can be like. In PST you are the nameless one, with a set history, and very few different ways of playing an actual role.

The difference between role-playing and playing a role is the difference between being an improv actor or reading a cscript for a play or movie. In The RoA series, ToEE, Darksun, Wizardry, etc, all my characters had very different personalities. They all interacted with each other and npcs differently. That might make me crazym or maybe I play crpgs the right way

A good example of this is ToEE. I went into Nulb beet up badly and went into the inn to the south, one of my character's, a tough guy that doesn't back down from a fight, got his pocket picket by the serving lady and caught her doing it. I know if I called her on it all the npcs in the bar would attack. I was playing in Ironman and I knew this was a life and death situation for him and the party. So I have a character that doesn't back down from a fight having to choose between backing down or getting himself and all his buddies slaughtered. This choice took a long time but he finally decided he would ignore it, for now, and come back and get his revenge later alone. Making this decision killed him, and he was quiet and sullen the for the rest of the game, even after we killed everyone in that inn later, it just killed him to back down.

Now, all this was represented with in game was one option, fight or ignore (and we wouldn't of had that option if he didn't spot it). Roleplaying is something you put in a crpg that actually supports your attempts at it. And instead of games trying to support roleplaying, they are trying to kill it with pregenerated characters, backgrounds, set dialgue, etc.

Roleplaying a character is a lot more than rolling up a paladin and running around and doing good and lawful deeds. You have to really create another person, a fully fleshed person that is motivated with greeds, vices, dreams, and desires beyond having a LG,CE, NG, CG, etc. designator
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