Explaining RPGs To A Non-Gamer

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0914

A co-worker asked me why I liked RPGs so much. They aren’t a gamer, so I had to think for a moment before translating.

I did not go into game master versus player and how I 99% prefer to GM. I also could not delve into other nuances.

Here’s what I came up with.

I love RPGs because it’s the only game I know that meets me at all of my creative, social, and thinking limits.

Take Monopoly. (No please, take it. Ba dum bum.) Once you’ve learned the rules and explored a couple of strategies, there’s nothing more to the game. The game limited out before I did.

But with RPGs I get to design worlds and adventures, which I’m still trying to master. I get to roleplay, which I’m still trying to master. I get to lead, collaborate, and follow, which I’m still trying to master.

There are so many different and interesting hats you wear as GM. Facilitator, referee, friend, designer, organizer, strategist, game-player, creator.

In almost all cases I tap out long before the game and medium does.

RPGs show me my weaknesses and where I can improve.

After my chat I went home and opened Evernote. I keep a series of notes in there I call Brain Dumps. I jot down ideas so they stop swirling in my head. I organize my notes by month and keep a running log. Been doing this for awhile.

Inspired by my chat, I wrote out where I felt my game master limitations were.

Several items were themed around E.Q. and players. You probably already knew this as I’ve been writing about that recently.

One villain, ego, blocks your vision and creates heavy reality filters. It stops you seeing the real effects your words and actions have on others.

Other items I mentioned above — mastering adventure building and roleplaying.

It was a good exercise.

I love RPGs and GMing because the game helps me grow.