What is Roleplaying?
Everyone has read a book or seen a movie where the protagonist does something so utterly wrong that the reader or viewer wants to shout a warning to the character. But no warning from the audience can keep the character from doing what the plot demands. The readers and viewers can’t change the characters actions or the plot; we’re just along for the ride.
Rolepaying games gives players control over the actions of their character, and respond as they wish to, to the events of the plot. If the player doesn’t want their character to go through the door into the obvious trap, they won’t. If the player thinks their character can talk themselves out of a tight situation, rather than use their trusty pistol, they can talk away. Whether it will work may depend on any number of things? Does the character have the appropriate skills? And of course on the roll of the dice.
Though all the players contribute to the story, creating it as they play through their actions; the Gamesmaster creates the overall outline and controls the events. The Gamesmaster keeps track of what happens and when. Describes events as they occur, so that the players can react to them, keeps track of other characters in the game (refereed to as Non Player Characters, NPC), and uses the game system to resolve the player’s actions. The Gamesmaster describes the world as the characters see it, functioning as their eyes, ears and other senses.
A roleplaying game offers great challenges to the players and Gamesmaster, as they create the adventures they play. What happens in the course of a roleplaying game is only limited by the players and their imagination. That imagination could be set in the far future, or the past. Magic can play an important part, or technology. Whatever your imagination calls for.