Roleplaying is difficult to explain simply to someone who has never witnessed it. It’s nearly beyond my scope as a writer to come up with an precise explanation that isn’t long-winded and confusing. That’s why it’s always best to just go try it for yourself and learn as you go. Until then, I’ll try to accurately describe what you can expect from RP.
Anyone familiar at all with theater or TV shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? knows what improvisational acting is. Roleplaying is very similar to that. You have to think on the spot and come up with something that suites the character you’re trying to display. Roleplaying is all about having fun pretending to be someone else, the better you do at that the more fun you’ll have.
Generally, RP is a group activity and takes many shapes and forms. If it’s tabletop you’ll meet with friends on a night you all have free to snack, drink and laugh as you participate in the game. Online, you could be in a virtual world filled with hundreds of other RPers to interact with. Live Action Roleplay (or LARP) is when people dress up as their character and fight with foam swords. Whereas in one-on-one email RP is more like co-writing a novel.
Each of these ‘players’ has taken on the role of their character. They will narrate their actions (through text or vocally) and speak as if they are their character. The idea behind RP is that a group of people collectively creates an interesting plot by playing individual characters. Kind of like a much more advanced version of the Choose-Your-Own Adventure books a lot of us grew up with. It’s fascinating to see how different scenarios play out. Without a single person controlling all of the characters, the outcome of a RP story could be anything!
Here are some of the different types of RP and more detailed explanations of them:
Play-by-Post : coming soon
Tabletop : soming coon
LARP : lasjkdfoiwefh