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Roleplaying Game Basics

What is a Roleplaying Game?

Like every other hobby out there if you ask the question of those in the hobby everyone has a slightly different answer on just what a roleplaying game is an what they want to get out of it. At it’s core a tabletop roleplaying game is a game where a player takes on the role of a character and makes decisions based on how they believe the character would think and act. Traditionally one person plays the role of the game master and that person represents the world, all the people in it, and an arbitrator of the rules. This is the person presenting the story and situations that the players are interacting with. Roleplaying is a social hobby and involves interacting with your friends and fellow gamers to craft a story bound by rules and a random outcome generator most commonly dice. As the hobby and technology has evolved this has grown from a group of people around a single table to include online options as well.

The Language of Roleplaying Games

Like most hobbies roleplaying games have their own set of language that is mostly shorthand for longer phrases. We will not try to cover every term in this book, but we will present some of the most common terminology you will encounter and that will be used throughout.

  • GM. Short for Gamemaster. The player who is running the game. The arbiter of the rule system and the person who presents situations for the players to interact with.
  • Player. Anyone playing a roleplaying game that is not the GM.
  • PC. Short for Player Character. This is a character that is being controlled by a player
  • NPC. Short for non-player character. This is any character in the game that is not controlled by a player. The GM will be running these characters.
  • D6. A dice with 6 sides. 2d6 is two dice that each have 6 sides. The number to the left of the letter D is always how many dice and the number to the right is always how many sides that dice has. If there is a plus or minus and an additional number after that is the amount you add or subtract from your roll.
  • IC. Short for in character. Anything said or done as if you were the character.
  • OOC. Short for out of character. Anything said or done around the table that is not directly an action or phrase from the character’s point of view.

What do I need to play THIS roleplaying game

Skies of Glass is designed to be played with a minimal investment and using items you likely have around your house already. To play Skies of Glass the minimum you will need is:

  • This copy of the Skies of Glass rules you are reading right now.
  • Three individual six-sided dice
  • A standard deck of playing cards
  • Writing utensils preferably pencils
  • Character sheets and/or paper
  • Small items like poker chips or pennies to use as Bullets
  • A small group of friends with good imaginations and a few hours of free time

For optimal gameplay you will also need a hit location die or a D12. Toy bullets are encouraged to help capture the feel of the setting.

Where can I find more information and advice on Roleplaying Games?

The internet provides many good resources for learning about role-playing games from blogs and videos to podcasts. We recommend the podcast Fear the Boot which can be found at

rpg_basics.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/18 15:20 by wayne