It is crazy how common and how widely-developed craziness is, in role-playing. As much as world-building, as much as combat options, as much as magic systems, this is a definite feature of the hobby with its own schools and aims. It is clearly a primary path toward characterization, character development, player agency (through its managed lack in many cases), and emergent plot.
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Ken Oswald is a game and comics retailer in Alabama, who'll be giving an ambitious introduction to role-playing later this summer, He contacted me for sort of a brainstorm, let's compare notes session. The question is, how might a non-role-playing, or sorta-semi, heard-about-it audience be best oriented? Without manipulating toward specific products, and without falling back on the familiar hobby framing-terms.