I posted this in response to a thread started by Greg Christopher (Errant RPG Blog) on Google+ in which he explains how the OSR helped him define what constitutes an RPG game. I'd link it directly, but then I'd actually have to know what I'm doing ;)
Greg, thanks for the mention :)
I played in a Tunnels & Trolls game run by Scott from the Huge Ruined Pile blog via Google chat. We had sessions that no dice were rolled - every challenge / encounter / puzzle was role played. We also had sessions where dice were being tossed for hours.
So, here's my take on the current argument: If every challenge / encounter / puzzle / whatnot can be solved by a character's die roll, it is no more a roleplaying game then WoW or EQ or Rifts. You are playing a game with social interaction, but you have little if any chance to actually get into a "role".
This is my problem with 4e - pretty much every "challenge" is made to be resolved by "roll play", not "role play", and is worked out on a game board (or encounter map or whatnot). That seems more like Decent then a roleplaying game to ME.
If you started gaming with 3.5e or later, what I see mostly as a social board game you may perceive as a RPG game. From my experience, your perception is wrong. It doesn't mean the definition of what constitutes an RPG can't (and hasn't) changed. Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Games is a very profitable corner of the gaming industry, but MMRPGs don't resemble RPGs that I grew up on. I've rarely if ever seen actual roleplaying in these game by ANY definition of the word, even on "Roleplay" servers. Yet I've still had fun.
"Fun" is the key word here I think. Definitions don't matter much as long as you are enjoying the game you are playing.
That being said, I agree with Greg - some of you are doing it wrong ;)
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