Many people see role-playing games (RPGs) as obscure imaginary worlds, heavy rulebooks, and nerdy teenagers rolling multi-sided dice in their mother’s basement. However, role-playing in its oldest form, off the computer and with a group of friends, is nothing more than pure interactive storytelling.
Here is a short summary of how RPGs work. The group selects a Game Master (GM), also known as the Storyteller. Everyone else in the group is a Player, responsible for one character of his or her own creation, an alter-ego in the world of the game. The GM is responsible for keeping the story going forward; the Players play characters within the story. Their decisions determine how the story progresses.
RPGs are popular with audiences that many storytelling events have been lacking lately: young adults. Many times gamers pretend to be bards or storytellers for years without knowing such a thing exists in our world as well – as a profession, none the less! On the other hand, storytellers might not be aware of these new imaginary worlds that capture the attention of so many young people.
RPGs are a great way of exploring the world of legends, mythology, or folklore. They actively engage all participants. They are not only fun in the moment, but also create stories that players keep telling to each other often years after the game itself ended.
Via Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)