What is Roleplaying?

Most of us can remember playing make-believe as children. We could imagine ourselves to be what we most wanted to be. We could imagine doing things that were exciting or challenging or death-defying. Whether it be cops and robbers, pirates, or star explorers, the idea was the same, we suspended our disbelief, and, for a short time, imagined becoming something different from ourselves. This is what role-playing is about- exercising our imagination and creativity and having fun with friends. In role-playing, the imaginary person you portray is called a character, much like in a movie or book. Actors in films portray characters -- they are playing a role. In a role-playing game, however, there are usually two or more players, and one person who serves as a guide or referee, called a game master. Roles portrayed by the players are called player characters or PC's, while roles portrayed by the game master are called non-player characters or NPC's. The game master is different from the players in that it is the job of the game master to guide game play by describing scenes, introducing plots, and pitting monsters for the player characters to fight.