There are lots of different tabletop roleplaying games. Below is how the specific one we’re playing works.
The game is played by people face-to-face using pens, paper and dice.
The Game Master runs the game and the players each play their own character. Players have a ‘character sheet’ with all the information they need to know about their character. The character sheet lists the character’s weaknesses, strengths, history, possessions, weapons and skills. Essentially, the character sheet is a breakdown of who the character is.
The Game Master describes the world the players’ characters are in. In turn, the players describe what they want their characters to do. Often the players or Game Master will roll dice to determine whether characters successfully do things. The Game Master then responds to what characters do, describing the effects of it.
Maps and miniature figures of characters are sometimes used during the game. The players or Game Master might also act things out like speeches or attacks. However, most of the adventure is simply described and happens in the group’s imagination. The limits to what can happen is what can be imagined.
For our gameplay rules we are using elements of the 5th edition of the game Dungeons & Dragons™ as described in their Systems Reference Document 5.1, which is available through their Open Gaming License, Version 1.0A. We are not officially endorsed or sponsored by Wizards of the Coast.
There are a lot of videos available online of people playing tabletop roleplaying games. You can take a look at the ones below if you want to see what it’s like.