What is a Role-Playing Game?
Before we jump into the rules, character creation, and other meaty stuff, let's reel things in and start with the basics. If you’re an experienced RPG player and/or GM, you might be tempted to skip this section, but we advise you not to. Dungeon Realms was designed using the basic principles described here, so if you’re not sure how some of them work, your experience might suffer.
You may be ready to roll dice and slay monsters, but we should first establish what we’re doing and why. The act/art of Role-Playing is basically playing make-believe. You put yourself in the shoes of another person or character and act as that character the best you can to experience something new and exciting. Because the characters you create are fictional, you also have to play as them in a fictional world.
This make-believe stuff can be challenging, because in order for us to be able to suspend our disbelief, the fictional world and characters have to “make sense”. Fooling our minds into believing we’re somewhere else and letting go of the regular world can be hard, so that’s where the Role-Playing Game (RPG) enters the picture.
An RPG is a system of rules that facilitates make-believe scenarios. It gives you a way to create characters, construct a fictional world, and most importantly, it gives you a way to interact with the world and other characters. The traditional way this interaction is accomplished is through the use of dice, as you’ll see later.
What Is the Goal of an RPG?
Most games have very clear goals. Score more goals than your opponent to win, solve a logical puzzle to finish the level—clear problem-solving. With RPGs, the goal is a bit more complicated.
There is no winning in RPGs and all goals, like saving the world or becoming powerful, are set by the players and the GM, not the game itself. The goal of an RPG is elusive, because it isn’t a problem to be solved.
The way we see it in Dungeon Realms, the goal of an RPG is to make role-playing as easy and as immersive as possible and it leaves the rest to you. You set your own goals, you create your own stories, and live the lives of different characters to learn new things about yourself and others. The game is just there to help make it feel real.
Even though the wonder-inducing term “Game Master” conjures up images of an omnipotent deity controlling the game, the truth is a bit less dramatic—but still very fun. A Game Master (or GM for short) is a member of the group who represents the world and the game’s rules. Players have their own characters they control and role-play and GMs control the world those characters interact with.
Role-playing is a constant action and reaction—the players do something, the world responds, so the players do something else, and the world responds, ad infinitum. How these situations play out is specified by the ruleset, which is also overseen by the GM.
Even though the GM represents the world and the rules, it doesn’t mean they control everything. The story being told is a collaborative one and the GM can’t force the players to do what they want.
GMs create and run campaigns in Dungeon Realms. Campaign is created from the main menu by tapping on the Create New Campaign button. It allows you to set some basic settings for the game or select premade adventures. After a campaign is created, a new chat room is made, the GM can invite players and start the game.
Flow of the Game
The moment-to-moment gameplay of an RPG is fairly simple and goes like this:
GM sets the scene by describing what’s happening
The players describe what they want to do and how
GM assigns the appropriate resolutions to the player’s actions, usually using dice rolls
All actions are resolved
GM describes how the situation has changed
Because of the freedom of RPGs, players can do anything their character can realistically accomplish within the fiction of the game. If their character can do something, the player is free to do so.
Dice and the Chat
Dungeon Realms uses dice rolling to resolve actions, but the rolling is done automatically by the game. You just specify what you want to do, the GM sets up the action, and a roll is generated. We’ll show you exactly how to do this in the next sections.
The most common type of dice used is called a d20, which is a 20-sided die. Most actions you try to do will involve rolling a d20 and adding various modifiers as described later.
Other dice used in the game are: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d100. Whenever an ability or the GM requires you to roll one of these types of dice, the ruleset or the GM will specify it. Because Dungeon Realms has everything already prepared, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake while rolling. All the math and remembering is done for you.