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Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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Dungeon Lords MMXII Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Dungeon Lords MMXII is a remastered version of Dungeon Lords - more specifically, its updated version, the Collector's Edition. This...

Dungeon Magic: Sword of the Elements NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

The evil sorcerer Darces took over our world once again. The only way to defeat him is to find five...

PSP (2006)

Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground is an action RPG where the player creates their own unique dungeon using purchased pre-crafted pieces....

Dungeon Master DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), SNES (1991), Amiga (1988), Atari ST (1987), Apple IIgs (1989), PC-98 (1990), FM Towns (1989) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

Dungeon Master is a role-playing game where the player selects four adventurers and descend into the depths of the dungeon....

Dungeon Master: Chaos Strikes Back - Expansion Set #1 Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1990), Atari ST (1989), PC-98 (1990), FM Towns (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

The Dark Lord returns in the sequel to the award-winning Dungeon Master. Using 4 player characters created in the "Prison"...

Dungeon Master II: Skullkeep DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995), Amiga (1995), SEGA CD (1994), Macintosh (1995), PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1994)

Chaos Strikes Back was a semi-sequel to seminal RPG Dungeon Master, but a true sequel came several years later. The...

Dungeon Master Nexus SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1998)

Dungeon Master Nexus is the first game in the Dungeon Master series using a 3D graphics engine. The game features...

Dungeon Master: Theron's Quest TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1992)

Theron's Quest is a part of the Dungeon Master series for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx.It differs from the PC releases of...

Dungeon of Death Commodore PET/CBM Front Cover

Commodore PET/CBM (1979)

Search for the holy grail guarded by the great dragon Smaug (where have I heard that name before...) This particular...

Amiga (1991)

Dungeon of Nadroj is a dungeon-crawler inspired by games such as Hack, Larn, Moira, Shadowgate, Blackmar's Dungeon etc (according to...

ZX81 (1985)

Dungeon of Ymir is a dungeon crawling RPG where the player has to find the sacred Sword of Kaslo. The...

Browser (2013)

Ah, you could use a cold beer right about now. Problem is, they cost gold and you don't have any....

DOS (1985)

Dungeon Quest is a top-down dungeon crawl role-playing game written in BASIC that is most similar to the Warriors of...

Dungeon Raid Android Front Cover

iPhone (2010) and Android (2012)

Dungeon Raid is an RPG twist on the match-3 genre where you draw lines through tiles of the same types....

Dungeon Runners Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Dungeon Runners is a free-to-play hack & slash style massively multiplayer online role-playing game. There is no overland movement here...

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale  Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

This rogue-style role-playing game takes place in the Forgotten Realms year of 1420 DR. Evil wizard Rezlus, a worshipper of...

Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

For a thousand years a powerful secret has rested safely in the world of Eberron. It is the Heart of...

Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder is a classic dungeon crawler that challenges the player to lead a party...

Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2003)

Raised from the dead, four heroes gather. Together they pledge to defeat an ancient and evil power. Existence itself is...

Browser (2011)

Heroes of Neverwinter is a role-playing game with turn-based combat, based on the 4th edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons....

Dungeons & Dragons Online Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Dungeons & Dragons Online is third main revision of the fantasy MMORPG based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe, following...

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited is a free-to-download, free-to-play MMO based on the role-playing game of the same name....

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Menace of the Underdark is the first commercial expansion for Dungeons & Dragons Online, and it was released alongside that...

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Shadowfell Conspiracy Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Shadowfell Conspiracy is the second commercial expansion for the free-to-play MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online. It contains: 1,000 Turbine points...

Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

This is the collector's edition of Shadowfell Conspiracy, the second commercial expansion for the free-to-play MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online....

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