Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Those of you in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving Day, hopefully with your families. I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and has something to be thankful for.

I'm personally thankful that I've been able to make the progress that I have on this game over the course of the last year.

I am coming to realize that most of my vocal readership is actually from the Oz side of the fence. I'm not sure how much my dithering about the word "campaign" last week really made sense to a number of you. So here's a little glossary of RPG terms with some discussion and explanation.

Player Character (or PC): a character played by a player. This term is also useful for conflating player and character. Although my writing tries to separate the player (the person sitting at the table eating all your Cheetos) from the character (who is running from kalidahs), it can get confusing sometimes. Alternate terms: character, hero.

Game Master (or GM): A player who takes on the role of the world that the rest of the characters adventure in. They are often responsible for catalyzing the story by presenting a situation that the player characters must respond to. They also have to portray every character that the other characters meet, both allies and enemies. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, since the adventurers will only interact with one or two people at any given time. Alternate terms: Dungeon Master (D&D), Storyteller (White Wolf), Narrator (numerous games), Producer, Director (these are mostly from games based on television and movies). I debated using Historian, since L. Frank Baum was the Royal Historian of Oz, but decided that there were enough terms out there. Mike Conway does use Historian as the term for Game Master in his "Heroes of Oz" RPG.

Non-Player Character (or NPC): A character portrayed by the Game Master. Alternate terms: Narrator Played Character (uses the same acronym), supporting cast

Adventure: A story created by the players of an RPG. Also, a story structured to be told in an RPG format. Alternate terms: story, scenario. Published adventures are occassionally also called modules.

Campaign: A series of adventures connected by common elements, typically the continuing adventures of the player/characters. Alternate terms: chronicle (White Wolf), series.

As you can see, there is some flexibility in the use of the terms.

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