Traditional "pencil-and-paper" role-playing games are played by a number of players at a time--commonly two to eight--along with a Game Master or "GM" (also known as a "Dungeon Master"). In a traditional RPG, each player generally plays one character called a player character (or "PC") while the GM is responsible for running the world, creating and managing the towns, nations, dungeons, non-player characters (or "NPCs"), monsters, treasure and all other things that aid or challenge the players. Along with paper and pencils, polyhedral dice are often used to randomly determine the success or failure of most actions that take place in the game.
Need for Rules
Of course, every game needs rules and RPGs are no exception! Indeed, RPGs typically utilize a LOT of rules, given that they are attempting to model an entire fictional world.
Put another way, role-playing games are just grown-up games of pretend. If you remember playing pretend as a child, you may recall having some difficulty deciding whose idea should have precedence--if one child plays a knight and the other a dragon, who will win? Surely the knight doesn't win every time.
Hence, RPGs have rules to determine reasonable outcomes. These rules can range from the free-form and simple to the complex and detailed.
The BrowserQuests™ engine (and supporting Basic Fantasy RPG ruleset) attempts to walk the line between simple and complex, providing an experience that is intriguing yet simple enough to understand, interact with and quickly master. The BrowserQuests™ RPG differs from a traditional "pencil-and-paper" RPG in three significant ways:
- First and foremost, the game is played online through a modern (HTML5-compliant) browser
- The player does NOT participate with other players--BrowserQuests™ is a "single-player" only game
- The "GM" has been replaced by a virtual artificial intelligence that controls the single player experience
Hence, the BrowserQuests™ RPG engine simulates the traditional experience, utilizing a browser and connected web server to replace the typical tabletop approach.