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RPG definition

RPG stands for role-playing game, a type of game where a player assumes the role of a character in a fictional world. While traditionally RPGs are set in a fantasy world with characters like mages, elves, knights, and orcs, today hundreds of RPGs exist covering every setting imaginable.

What are the types of RPGs?

  • Tabletop (pen and paper) RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Live-action RPGs (LARPs).
  • Text-based RPGs like Zork.
  • Sandbox RPGs like Mount and Blade.
  • Rogue-like RPGs like Rogue and Darkest Dungeon.
  • Digital RPGs (single-player, MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft.

History of RPG

  • In the 1970s, Gary Gygax and Dave Ameson released Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), one of the first tabletop RPGs to implement dice-based mechanics, character creation, and open-ended storytelling.
  • Inspired by tabletop RPGs, live-action role-playing became more common.
  • After the success of Dungeons & Dragons, all types of RPGs started gaining popularity fast. Games like RuneQuest and Vampire: The Masquerade were released in the 1990s.
  • In the late 1990s and 2000s, the growing availability of computers gave rise to digital RPGs such as the Elder Scrolls series.
  • In the 2000s, another type of RPG became popular – massive multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs. Games like Eve Online and World of Warcraft shattered the revenue records set by previous generations of RPGs.

Further reading

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