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Actual play definition

Started by Bjorn, May 17, 2007, 01:33:37 AM

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I have a question about this and it is possible that maybe it should go in another forum but since it somewhat relates to this I'll pose it here.

What exactly is "actual play" and what is its boundries? As far as I can remember it's not clearly defined anywhere, it is not in the glossary for instance. Some things pretty obviously are "actual play" but I get the impression that in many ways a lot of other activities that are involved in roleplaying may be considered "actual play" by some and not by others.


Ron Edwards

The definition is literal.

Your post must present an account of real people playing a role-playing game.

Within that constraint, the parameters are very flexible. You might describe a scene, or you might describe years of play. You might describe something because you really liked it, or because it was really awful, or anything in between. You might describe aspects of resolution, or aspects of preparation, or whatever, as long as you really do describe how real people used it, and what it was like.

Please note that simply describing the fiction is not enough. Actual play is carried out by people and so the real-life interactions, as well as the fiction being produced, are necessary.

In addition to the above, please see the sticky post which leads the Actual Play forum.

Best, Ron



I still don't quite get it. Maybe some examples would help? Mostly we doubts are about what hapens in the "shared inagined space" vs what happens in each participants "personal imagined space"?

1) Two participants having a conversation ("in character")

2) A third participant thinking about whats beeing said in that conversation ("In Character", but still at the game table)

3) That third participant thinking about what has transpired (Still "in character" but no removed from the game table, perhaps between sessions)

I assume 1) would be considered "actual play" but what about 2) and 3)?


Ron Edwards

Hi Bjorn,

All of your examples need actual play to be occurring or to have occurred, so all are relevant. In #3, it would be necessary to describe at least a little bit of what happened during play, in order to understand the reflection.

You may be thinking that everything in an Actual Play post must concern moments of actual play. That is not correct. All that's required is that the post include some actual play in it, along with whatever else the author wants.

Best, Ron