A desktop role-playing game is a type of role-playing game in which participants verbally describe the actions of their characters based on their features, and in which the success of the actions depends on the game system . The first commercial board role-playing game was the TSR, Inc. Dungeons and Dragons released in 1974 .
Unlike live-action role-playing games , in the “dashboard” the only window between the players and the world ( setting on the slang of the masters ) in which their characters are located is the master (GM, from Game Master, in D&D systems - DM, from Dungeon Master)  , which describes to the players the situation in which their characters were, and the changes in the situation as a result of their actions. There are pros and cons to this.
The positive side is the fact that almost anything is possible in a board role-playing game. Characters can use all the opportunities that the game world provides them with, in their actions they are limited only by the moral principles of their characters and the internal laws of the universe in which they are located.
At the same time, an important minus of board games is that the team of players (or “parties”, as it is sometimes called) willy-nilly have to stick together most of the time, otherwise the action (and so rather unhurried) risks very much being dragged out.
A role-playing game can go both verbally and using the rules of the game . In a word game, most often the facilitator decides whether the player can take the declared action or not. When a game is played using a formalized game system, then most of the features are described and somehow characterized by the rules of this system. In such a game, the result of the game application is determined by the leader in accordance with the rule, formula or table provided by the gaming system.
Of no small importance in role-playing games are random number generators . They identify all random events, and also help to make some variation when using character skills. Due to this, a player whose character has an underdeveloped characteristic, as a result of a successful throw, can perform an action that could not be performed by another player whose character has a more developed corresponding characteristic, with a poor throw.
Most often, dice combinations are used as random number generators, but some board role-playing games use decks of playing cards or special chips. Bones are considered to be the most convenient tool for determining random numbers, because they provide a wide selection of different distributions . Also, among the players there is a belief that the dice have some supernatural features that are not inherent in some other types of probability generators. In April 2019, Pandora's Box Studio began raising funds on the Crowd Republic crowdfunding platform for the Randomizer Box project (a box of generators of numbers, injuries, injuries, emotions, etc., to facilitate character generation.
Also a characteristic attribute of a board role-playing game is a character sheet - a sheet on which the player writes down characteristics, skills, features, equipment and information about his character. Less commonly used is the wizard screen , on which the basic rules, sequence of scenes and other supporting information are recorded. Character sheet templates and master screen templates are usually attached to the proprietary system, but are often remade by players and masters to your taste.
There are many game worlds for board role-playing games. The most famous among them were such worlds as: Ravenloft , Warhammer , Dark Sun , Greyhawk , Forgotten Realms , Dragonlance , Al-Qadim , Planescape , Spelljammer , World of Darkness , Mouse Guard , Star Trek . Most often these are fantasy worlds, but other genres are also found. Not all game worlds describe entire planets or universes; there is a layer of games that are fixed on a country or even a city.
Plots for games are often taken from well-known works of literature or films, and both fantasy and sci-fi stories are popular.
A game system is a set of rules that are followed by a host and players. These rules include a system for the formation (creation) of characters, lists of items of equipment, descriptions of monsters and other opponents, the rules of battles, and much more, specific to each specific game.
Gaming systems are conditionally divided into universal and non-universal. A universal system claims to be able to work effectively in a game of any genre and in any game world. Vivid examples of such gaming systems are GURPS , Adventurer’s Diary or Fiasco . Non-universal systems are usually created for a specific genre, game world, or even plot, and work best in particular conditions. Examples of non-universal systems: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay , Ars Magica , Age of Aquarius .
There are many gaming systems. Among the western most famous are Dungeons & Dragons , FUDGE , Fuzion , GURPS , Shadowrun , World of Darkness , used not only in board role-playing games, but also in computer games or cinema. In addition to them, however, there are many others, for example, the western Ars Magica , Cyberpunk , Pendragon , Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay , 7th Sea , Adventurer's Diary , Fiasco and many others. There are no official translations of most Western role-playing systems into Russian, but some have been translated into the official ( Dungeons & Dragons , Adventurer's Diary , Fiasco ) or fan-made (e.g. 7th Sea or World of Darkness ) basis.
Among the domestic board role-playing games can be called one of the oldest Russian-language role-playing projects of the Age of Aquarius , as well as the World of the Great Dragon , Lavicandia , TriM , distributed on a non-commercial basis on the Internet .
Recently, more and more new games have been published in Russian. Among them are the already mentioned Adventurer's Diary , as well as the Esoterrorists , Post- Apocalypse , Cthulhu, Memories of the Future, Sagas about Icelanders and some others.
Sometimes a game group (party) comes to the conclusion that a particular rule of the game system does not meet the stated expectations. In this case, a home rule is introduced - an agreement between the leader and the players that the rule works differently during their joint game. Another name for this phenomenon: homerul (from the English. Homerule ). Often, a set of home rules completely modifies the game system or splices two different systems. Sometimes home rules create their own separate gaming system.
In Russia at the moment there are three official publishers for the creation and translation of board role-playing games.
Studio 101 is the largest and oldest Russian publishing house. In the market since 2011. The most famous translations Adventurer’s diary , Cthulhu , Icy hell , Fiasco . In addition to translations, Russian authors are actively publishing. The most famous Circle of the Earth and a series of adventures under various systems.
Pandora's Box Studio - the Russian edition of board role-playing games, has been operating since 2011. In 2016, she published the Facets of the Universe, in 2018 - the NRI “Mouse Guard”, in 2019, the world-famous franchise Star Trek Star Trek is preparing for publication: adventures in space.
Indigo Games is a publisher that publishes mostly small indie games. The most famous translations of Dungeon World, Fate, Kingdom of Nothing.
- In board role-playing games, the terms host or narrator are also common.