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The Greater General Codex Theory of 'What is an RPG?'

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Gregz, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. S0rcererV1ct0r Learned

    S0rcererV1ct0r
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    Barbie Dressing games like Diablo 3 and WoW where everyone at level cap is an clone and have his IQ/Muscle mass determined by their shoes, jacket, etc are IMO less RPG than survival games.
     
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  2. Grauken Blobberist Patron

    Grauken
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    You've been on the codex since 2011 and don't know about the great post count heist?
     
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  3. HarveyBirdman Scholar

    HarveyBirdman
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    Who came up with these criteria? Was it you, Gregz, you damned cretin?
    Show Spoiler

    1. Character creation has some form of in-game consequences
    2. Statistics which define character(s) abilities are subject to change throughout the game
    3. Character(s) have skills or abilities which may improve or be altered over the course of gameplay
    4. Character(s) accrue experience which can be spent or result in gaining levels or abilities
    5. Character(s) accumulate items in some form of inventory, which the player can actively use (equip, sell, destroy, trade, etc.), which enhance or otherwise alter gameplay
    6. Character(s) accumulate currency which may be spent to enhance the character(s) in some way (items, guild membership, training, etc.)
    7. Character(s) gain levels throughout the game which result in some form of mechanical change (not just a change in character title, or description)
    8. Character(s) are able to explore over terrain, water, space, etc. ('explore' refers to free movement of main character(s))
    9. The game has some form of puzzle solving, which is resolved through combat, problem resolution, or some choice made by the player
    10. A choice made by the player alters the narrative, or some other significant part of the game (an item is found or lost, stats or skills are gained or lost, different ending, etc.)
    11. Character(s) interact with NPCs in some form of dialogue which have in-game consequences depending on what the character(s) say.
    12. Optional quests (defined here as some kind of task made available after the game has started, and which can be resolved by the player before the game ends, but is not required to complete the game) are available.

    2-4, and 7 are the same thing.
    5-6, 8-9, and 11-12 are irrelevant.

    What makes an RPG:
    (1) Player character(s) attributes/skills/whatever exist.
    (2) You develop these skills/attributes/whatever at the expense of simultaneously developing other skills/attributes/whatever.
    (3) A sufficient and debatable degree of narrative freedom exists.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  4. Curratum Arbiter

    Curratum
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    Any game where your character has some numerical values that describe the extent of his proficiencies or the magnitude of his abilities is an RPG. Blammo!
     
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  5. HarveyBirdman Scholar

    HarveyBirdman
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
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    There are RPGs with "learn by doing" systems like Dungeon Master, that don't use levels, which the list must be inclusive of.

    Also, the vast majority of RPGs distinguish stats from skills. In fact it's such a defining characteristic of the genre that a game without both features is very likely (but not certainly) not an RPG. There are very few exceptions to this heuristic on our Top 70.

    Inventory, exploration, puzzles, NPC interaction, and quests are hardly irrelevant...they are bread-and-butter RPG elements.

    So Metroid is an RPG?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  7. Ranarama Learned

    Ranarama
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    RPGCodex is an rpg, because you have stats like post count and make choices about what shitposts to make
     
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  8. HarveyBirdman Scholar

    HarveyBirdman
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    Agreed, but there isn't any reason to try itemizing every conceivable character progression system. We're liable to miss something, or to exclude something that hasn't been thought of yet. Cutting to the core of the idea makes more sense to me.
    They're window dressing. Very commonly seen window-dressing, but window dressing nonetheless. I can imagine RPGs that don't necessarily have those things.
    Why bother listing something that needn't be in an RPG?
     
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  9. S0rcererV1ct0r Learned

    S0rcererV1ct0r
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    RPG codex have more RPG elements than most modern RPG's, that is true. hu3
     
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