Tabletop roleplaying games

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Tabletop RPG's are a particular form of Role-playing game.

Participants play characters which consist of different numerical attributes describing their abilities, skills and various other parts of their personality and guide them through a world described by the system's setting and the system's rules, which form the game mechanics. One person is responsible for telling the story, presenting plotlines to the characters and who interacts with them in the roles of various in-game figures called Non-Player Characters (NPCs). He has the final say about all game matters and reacts to the players' actions (or rather to the actions of their characters). Usually, this person is called "Game Master" (GM), but in some RPGs it's Dungeon Master (DM) or Storyteller. Play is completely freeform, i.e. the players describe their characters' actions and roleplay conversations and then the GM decides which effect these actions have on the story, which is often called the Adventure. Think of it as a moderated theatrical play with an open end.

Physical combat and other actions that can't be roleplayed are usually decided with a dice system based on the characters' attributes, although there are some diceless system, too.

Game systems usually consist of a set of rules and a description of the setting, i.e. of the game world and the different peoples. In most RPGs, Player Charcters (PCs) can be of different species (called races by the creators of D&D for some arcane reason, depending on the setting Elfs, Humans, Dwarfs or all sorts of aliens) and of different Character Classes (in fantasy settings these might be Barbarians, Druids, rogues etc. while in Science Fiction settings they might be Space Craft Pilots, Street Samurai or Hackers, etc.).

Apart from commercial systems there are countless homemade systems written by gamers for themselves and their friends.


Fantasy settings:

Science Fiction settings:

Contemporary settings:

Historical/Period settings:

Steam Punk/Steam Fantasy:

Wild West Games

Superhero games

Generic games with multiple settings:


Old magazines:



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