What is Roleplaying?
A difficult question to answer, as it probably depends on who is asked; roleplaying could be one or several of many different things. The primary intention of this game is to have fun and to get the opportunity of experience places and events from a different point of view than one normally does. In this respect roleplaying could be said to be a little bit like theater, but with no written lines and an open end script.
A game of Centuria is intended to be led by a Game Master, or GM, who in the previous analogy is the director but not the script writer. That is, the GM is intended to describe the scenes and provide challenges and interactions for the players, but allow each player to play his or her part as seen fit. Of course the GM may place limitations on a player as a character must fit in to a certain degree or all a player will do is to spoil the game for the other players. Thus it comes that roleplaying is much about cooperation and understanding – at least outside of the game!
As to what the players would encounter in their adventures is left to the GM to invent. Of course the GM should keep in mind that for the players to want to keep playing the setting should appeal to them. It is therefore a good idea to discuss the contents of a game in broad terms before starting one.
Each player is going to need a character whose role they intend to assume. They do not need to understand the rules as the GM may explain them when needed, but some basic knowledge might help speed the game and also make it easier for the GM if there are many players to keep track of. For beginners a character can be created by the GM in advance. In this case care should be taken that the character is a persona the player finds interesting to play. This is also a good option for a shorter game as creating characters can take some time.
Centuria can be played by a minimum of two people (assuming the roles of GM and one player). There is in theory no upper limit for the number of participants, but games with more than five players is often difficult for a single GM to handle. In such a case it is recommended to split the group into several smaller groups. The ideal number of participants is 3-5 including the GM.
It is difficult to say how long a game of Centuria will take as it depends on several things: the adventure set up by the GM, the decisions made by the players and whether or not characters will be created together or by the GM alone in advance.
The largest factor is without a doubt the adventure set up by the GM. An adventure can be intended for a single meeting and with predefined characters could probably be played in a few hours – let’s say 4 hours. On the other hand a large adventure can require several meetings and perhaps a new goal becomes apparent before or after the original challenge is overcome. Such a game could go on for weeks, months or even years if the GM and players find it rewarding to continue.
A player need not know much beside how to throw a dice. Centuria uses three different dice (with a few exceptions): d5, d10 and d100. A d10 is a ten-sided die which will show a result between 0 and 9 where 0 is interpreted as 10. A d5 uses the same die as a d10 but the result is halved, rounding up. Thus 1 will become 1, 5 will become 3, 8 will become 4 and so on. A d100 is two d10 dice of which one displays its numbers in tens as 00, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90. Rolling them together will produce a result such as 40 and 5, resulting in 45. Rolling 00 and 0 is equal to 100. Dice are presented with a number indicating how many dice should be rolled. 3d10 indicate three d10 dice should be rolled and their values added to each other. Rolling 3, 5 and 8 thus give the result of 16.
Contrary to the players the GM needs a good understanding of the rules and how the game is intended to be played. This is because the GM is intended to be a referee of sorts and to resolve any dispute that might arise. In case of any disagreements or contradicting rules one should keep in mind that the rules presented in this book are just guidelines. Ultimately it is up to the GM to decide which rules apply and which do not.
Roleplaying is about having fun. If you’re not having fun you should talk to the GM about your concerns. There should be obstacles. Characters must sometime fail and without at least a small risk of death or injury it is easy for a player to become less engaged in solving a problem. But it should be fun. Players should feel they are participating, not just being characters in the GM’s prewritten story. Reversely the GM is not there to give the players everything they want but to provide them with balanced challenges. All this takes time to achieve but if everyone can talk openly about their expectations it will be a much easier way to get there.