Role-playing differs from roll-playing by a single letter, but it makes a huge difference. That one little letter is the distance between the players working with the GM to decide what is happening in the scene or just letting the dice do the work. That letter “e” is the difference between a soldier and a brigand, between a champion of the people or the scourge of a nation. At it’s heart, that small-yet-unshakeable difference is what this blog is all about.
The difference is larger than personality and character traits, too. It’s about keeping those character traits throughout the course of the game. It’s about maintaining the personality and changing it accordingly as the game unfolds. The difference is keeping in character and reacting how that character would react. The difference is stepping into the role of the character, and that is what gives our hobby its name.
That reason is the reason why many systems have a step for Character Concept during character creation. That is the part that tells you, the player, who your character is, its connections, its attitudes, and every other aspect about your character. Those personality traits will help develop your skills, and every other choice you make, right down to equipment when designing your character.
At the end of the day, your character is more than just a bunch of marks on a sheet of paper. your character lives in your head and it is your job as a player to get that character out and play with your friends while they do the same thing. It’s a game! Enjoy it!