Role-playing game

A role-playing game (sometimes spelled roleplaying game;[1][2] abbreviated RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development.[3] Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.[4]

There are several forms of role-playing games. The original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game (TRPG), is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing (LARP), players physically perform their characters' actions.[5] In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee; each of the other players takes on the role of a single character.[6]

Several varieties of RPG also exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Role-playing games also include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake(s) quests, and may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics. These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling.[7][8]

This type of game is well-established, so some RPG-related game forms, such as trading/collectible card games (CCGs) and wargames, may not be included under the definition. Some amount of role-playing activity may be present in such games, but it is not the primary focus.[9] The term role-playing game is also sometimes used to describe games involving roleplay simulation and exercises used in teaching, training, and academic research.


Both authors and major publishers of tabletop role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling.[2][10][11] Events, characters, and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience, and the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline.[12] Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player in a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story.[13] Such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.

While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games of make believe, role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with additions such as game facilitators and rules of interaction. Participants in a role-playing game will generate specific characters and an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief. The level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes.

Other Languages
български: Ролева игра
bosanski: RPG
català: Joc de rol
Чӑвашла: Сăнарлă вăйă
čeština: Hra na hrdiny
dansk: Rollespil
eesti: Rollimäng
Ελληνικά: Παιχνίδι ρόλων
español: Juego de rol
Esperanto: Rolludo
euskara: Rol-joko
galego: Xogo de rol
hrvatski: Igre uloga
Bahasa Indonesia: Permainan peran
interlingua: Joco de rolo
íslenska: Spunaspil
italiano: Gioco di ruolo
latviešu: Lomu spēle
Lëtzebuergesch: Rollespill (Spill)
Bahasa Melayu: Permainan berperanan
Nederlands: Rollenspel (spel)
norsk: Rollespill
norsk nynorsk: RPG-rollespel
português: Role-playing game
română: Joc de rol
русский: Ролевая игра
sicilianu: Jòcura di rolu
Simple English: Role-playing game
slovenčina: Hra na hrdinov
slovenščina: Igra igranja vlog
ślůnski: Szpil role
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Igre uloga
suomi: Roolipeli
svenska: Rollspel
Türkçe: Rol yapma oyunu
українська: Рольова гра
Tiếng Việt: Trò chơi nhập vai
žemaitėška: RPG