The New Players Guide is a reference for those new to role playing games or who need to look up a term used somewhere else.
What is a Roleplaying Game?
Most of us have read a book, watched a movie/tv show, or even seen a play and said "Why in the world did they do that? I'd have done X." But you don't get to decide what happens in those types of media. A roleplaying game gives you the ability to interact with and decide what happens within a story. Ones like ORPS actually can model just about any story you have ever seen and let you live out what you would have done.
Roleplaying games (Or RPG for short) are a combination of improve acting, storytelling, and game in one. One person (the game master or GM) runs the game and sets up the story. Everyone else takes on the role of a character within that story. They provide the statistics, personality, and history of their characters. The GM explains the situation for them and then the players, through their characters, interact with the environment and characters within this world. Rule system like ORPS allow an element of random chance in the outcome of events as well as providing a common 'language' in which to describe their characters.
As an act of group control between players and GM the plot evolves into a cohesive storyline collectively between them with no right or wrong actions.
What do players do?
Players take on the role of characters within the collective narrative formed between themselves and the GM. They use their imagination to decide the course of their characters actions within the game world and enjoy themselves. Each person may get something slightly different out of RPGs, but we all do it in the end to have fun.