Friday, December 2, 2011

Reasons We Play RPGs -- Valid / Not Valid / Incomplete

I wanted to look at 4th Edition Champions, and take a look at the different types of players and explore how:
(1) they may have found satisfaction in other pre-RPG hobbies
(2) their needs were met by RPGs
(3) they may have been lured away by other post-RPG hobbies

The following list is taken from the classic HERO Big Blue Book (4th Edition), but is expanded upon and grouped differently.

Combat-related Reasons

The Combat Monster
- wants to fight; games must have combat

The Mad Slasher
- joins games to "kill" for stress release
- conflicts with roleplayers and plausbility

Intellect-related Reasons

The Tactician
- is primarily interested in the tactical challenges of battles
- can be interested in political challenges if it's a matter of game mechanics or securing a numerical/tactical superiority

The Mad Thinker
- sees everything as a puzzle or a problem to solve
- loves to outwit the villains and sometimes the GM

The Rules Ravager
- wants to bend or exploit the rules
- may not have any interest in the campaign per se

Character- and Story-related Reasons

The Copier
- copies characters from other media
- expects to be as good as those characters

The Pro from Dover
- wants to be the best at what they do
- may conflict with other PCs or NPCs

The Plumber
- likes to detail his/her character with intricate personality and backstory
- loves being ensnared in moral quandries and emotional scenes

The Romantic
- most interested in the interpersonal relationships of characters
- professional and family and romance

The Tragedian
- likes to explore tropes of literary tragedy with PCs
- not concentrated but diffused and sustain betrayal, loss, death, etc. throughout campaign

The Genre Fiend
- expert in the tropes and conventions of the genre
- expects them to come out in play

The Showoff
- wants to be the center of attention

Meta-related Reasons

Social Gamer
- wants to game because all his friends do

Game Sweetheart
- wants to game because current / would-be / former significant other does

Game Spouse
- wants to share experiences with avid RPG spouse

The Questions
How many of these reasons are now satisfied by other outlets? Do computer games -- and more specifically computer RPGs -- satisfy these needs? Does social gaming satisfy some of them? Do easier outlets for creative expression like role-playing forums and online societies address these needs? Has the table top RPG niche shrunk?

And will initiatives like ConstantCon reclaim lost marketshare?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...