CRPG Analyzer: A checklist for computer role-playing games

I'm really satisfied with the current version 0.97.

The trip to the Codex was demanding but fruitful.
Some guys challenged the conditions and I could adjust them for the better.

After a little more testing this could be version 1.0.
(I suggest recent games like Blackguards, Banner Saga, Paper Sorcerer, Shadowrun and MM X any volunteers?)

PS:
I think some of the suggested games should have a hard time to meet all conditions.
Some Strategy, Adventure or Shooter hybrids would be nice for further testing, too.
 
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I would give it a try with Blackguards.
 
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Some points are too long now. I'd rephrase them slightly to make them concise and fit the format of the others, i.e.:

Title (=> examples/clarification)

For example:

E1: the Gameworld is simulated by consistent rules and mechanics in which the character/party can interact, explore and find new locations.
=>
E1: the Gameworld is simulated by consistent rules and mechanics (=> the character/party can interact in it, explore and find new locations.)

E2: you can find items that can be collected in an inventory. There have to be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition and consumable stat boosters.
=>
E2: you can find items that can be collected in an inventory (=> there have to be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition and consumable stat boosters.)

E8: to progress or overcome obstacles (=> e.g. unlock locked areas, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …) you have to enhance your characters abilities or solve some quests or puzzles.
=>
E8: you have to enhance your characters' abilities or solve quests or puzzles in order to progress or overcome obstacles (=> e.g. unlock locked areas, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …)

C1: you can control one or more unique characters (Not only uniform troops)
=>
C1: you can control one or more unique characters (=> not only uniform units)

("unit" is more general than "troops", I think)

C6: tactical use of character/party skills/abilities are the primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges rather than the player's physical coordination skills.
=>
C6: the primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges is tactical use of character/party skills/abilities (=> the player's physical coordination skills are secondary)


Here's a new version of the the NtH list. I removed the Interdependence: (Combat) lines from character / exploration / story, fixed a few typos and re-ordered the subsections so that Interdependence is last.

1. Choice (13/13)
  • You can name your characters.
  • You can choose a gender.
  • You can choose looks or voice.
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race.
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition.
  • You can choose abilities.
  • You can choose spells.
  • You can modify primary stats.
  • Lots of different equipment is available.
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available.
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch.
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game
  • You can have pets as party members.
2. Interactivity (6/6)
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities.
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities.
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities.
  • You can rest or sleep.
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry.
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character.
3. Immersion (8/8)
  • You need to specialize (=> can't have everything.)
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character.
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game.
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor.
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (=> e.g. houses, medals, ranks, …)
  • Magic is in the game in some form.
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (=> e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.)
  • Your characters can eat or drink.
4. Interdependence (6/6)
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC.
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options.
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made.
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world.
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world.
1. Choice (4/4)
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal.
  • You can reasonably go where you want.
  • You can return to previously visited locations.
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading.
2. Interactivity (10/10)
  • You can collect items (=> there is an inventory.)
  • You can trade items for currency and better equipment.
  • You can interact with items.
  • You can break or destroy items.
  • You can repair items.
  • You can move items.
  • You can combine or disaggregate items.
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use.
  • You can craft equipment, spells or items (e.g. alchemy).
  • Inventory size is limited.
3. Immersion (9/9)
  • There is a place you can call home.
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations.
  • Locations can evolve or change (=> e.g. town / destroyed town)
  • There are non-hostile creatures (=> e.g. wildlife)
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in.
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (=> no random encounters).
  • Looting makes sense (no shield on a dead wolf.)
  • Time is measured (=> e.g. there is a day/night cycle).
  • Time affects the game world (=> e.g. some things are only available at night).
4. Interdependence (6/6)
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world.
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets.
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations.
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (=> e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces).
  • (Combat) Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation.
1. Choice (6/6)
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (=> quest order doesn't matter much.)
  • Some quests depend on each other.
  • Some quests rule others out.
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way.
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time.
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices).
2. Interactivity (6/6)
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (=> there are multiple options in one conversation).
  • There is more than one game ending.
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets.
  • There are many side quests.
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions.
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions.
3. Immersion (10/10)
  • Lore is provided (=> context, faction rules, laws, history, …)
  • There are different factions (races, groups, guilds).
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (=> expansive background stories, etc.)
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other.
  • NPCs have schedules.
  • There are surprises and twists.
  • The storyline is character-driven (=> character development within the narrative.)
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure.
  • There are memorable antagonists.
  • Your main character is defined.
4. Interdependence (7/7)
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options.
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made.
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets.
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations.
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (=> e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces).
  • (Combat) Combat can be avoided through dialogue.
1. Character Development (9/9)
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (=> e.g. enemies flee).
  • You can control at least six characters.
  • Your characters are specialized (=> different battlefield roles).
  • Enemies are specialized (=> require different tactics.)
  • Resource management is necessary.
  • Units have multiple attack options.
  • Delayed attacks are possible (=> counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.)
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available.
  • Units have multiple resistance options (=> e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.)
2. Exploration (9/9)
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation.
  • You can get a good sense of space (=> e.g. there is a grid.)
  • Combat can start at variable distances.
  • Directional facing plays a role (=> e.g. more damage from behind, flanking).
  • Terrain is variable (=> e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses).
  • Terrain can be manipulated (=> e.g. you can create barriers).
  • There are elevation effects (=> e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.)
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time.
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (=> e.g. environmental damage).
3. Story (6/6)
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue.
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (=> e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town).
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss".
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat.
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences.
  • There are memorable bosses.

Tags aren't up-to date yet. I modified the "good to know" list slightly, but can't post it right now.
 
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@Arhu

I like all of your rephrasing. English is really my secondary language.

But let's avoid the use of "=>" which means in a mathematical sense:
"from this it follows that", "As a consequence"
This is not always the case in our conditions -
most of them are only additional hints, clarifications.

We can use the more neutral "->" for example.

The term unit is better than troops.

Some more suggestions to enhance the wording?
 
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Arhu's rephrasing:

(new NtH List not in yet - need the source text)

Definition of a CRPG (V0.98)

The three core categories Character Development, Exploration and Story that need to be applied and quantified to determine if an interactive computerised game can be defined as a Computer Role Playing Game (hereafter referred to as CRPG) are listed to show the necessary component elements and qualifying factors. Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their Must Have (MH) elements fulfilled to achieve CRPG status.

These core categories must maintain some form of progressive nature that will improve from when the game starts and leads to a conclusive game ending.

Each core category and the auxiliary category Combat also has a related Should Have (SH) sub list, the reviewer should make a comment if a sub list item is not fulfilled. Should one or more (SH) not be fulfilled the game is most likely a special CRPG (see Tags) or a CRPG light.

If all (MH) and (SH) are fulfilled there's no further discussion necessary -> the game is a true CRPG.

Optional elements are listed in the Nice to Have (NtH) list. With it you get precise information which optional CRPG elements are implemented in the game. A general game info questionnaire is added too, to do some rating.


I. A CRPG is a computer game that fulfills these criterions:

Character Development
Describes ways to change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • Must Have
    C1: you can control one or more unique characters (-> not only uniform units)
    C2: you can progressively develop your characters' stats and/or abilities (-> e.g. through quests, exploration, conversation, combat, …)
    C3: you can equip and enhance your characters with items you acquire
  • Should Have
    C4: you can create your characters
    C5: character development requires careful thought and planning
    C6: the primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges is tactical use of character/party skills/abilities (-> the player's physical coordination skills are secondary)

Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • Must Have
    E1: the Gameworld is simulated by consistent rules and mechanics (-> the character/party can interact in it and find new locations by exploring.)
    E2: you can find items that can be collected in an inventory (-> there have to be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition and consumable stat boosters.)
    E3: you can find information sources (-> e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info)
  • Should Have
    E4: there are NPCs in the game
    E5: you can choose a path (-> there is at least some branching)
    E6: you can manipulate the game world in some way (-> e.g. pull levers, push buttons, open chests, …)
    E7: the gameworld can affect your party (-> e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, …)
    E8: you have to enhance your characters' abilities or solve quests or puzzles in order to progress or overcome obstacles (-> e.g. unlock locked areas, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …)

Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • Must Have
    S1: you can get info from information sources (-> e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, …)
    S2: you can follow quests (-> there is at least one main quest)
    S3: you can progress through connected events
  • Should Have
    S4: the story is influenced by your actions and character stats/abilities/skills
    S5: you can interact with information sources (-> e.g. NPC conversation, riddle statue question, …)
    S6: you can make choices in those interactions
    S7: your choices have consequences
    S8: advancing in the story requires thought (-> e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, …)


Combat
Describes how combat is influenced by elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • Should Have
    F1: Combat efficiency is in some way tied to character stats or abilities (-> e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, …)
    F2: Combat works with some random elements (game internal dice rolls)
    F3: Combat should provide some challenge (-> e.g. preparing, use of tactics or environment possible)

Tags are computer game tags that qualify the CRPG label even further:

  • Adventure-RPG: the main emphasis of the game are on Exploring and Story, less on Character Development
  • Rogue-like: the main emphasis of the game are on Exploring and Character Development, less on Story. Often features permanent death if a character dies and random generated levels.
  • Hack & Slash: many enemies, most of them easy to kill, respawning of enemies, much loot
  • J-RPG: Manga Style graphics, turn based combat, Eastern style CRPG
  • W-RPG: Western style CRPG
  • MMORPG: Many players are questing simultaneously online
  • Puzzle-RPG: the game's main emphasis are puzzles
  • Non-Combat: the game features no combat
  • Action: the combat is real time without pause
  • Strategic: additional troop (not your party) management available
  • Tactical: the game puts an emphasis on player tactical skill over character skill, often multiple squads (party splitting) are possible
  • Sneaker: combat is possible, avoiding it with stealth is better
  • Thief-like: combat is possible, avoiding it with stealth is better, thief-skills are essential (lock picking, ambush, hiding, sneaking,…)
  • Shooter: combat is mostly ranged and requires hand eye coordination and reflexes from the player
  • Sandbox: open environment where a lot of content is organized around simulation rather than story
  • Dungeon Crawler: closed environment where a lot of content is organized around dungeon interaction (traps, levers, buttons, teleports, riddles…) rather than story.
  • Fantasy
  • Historical
  • Modern
  • Post-apoc
  • Sci-fi
  • Steampunk
  • Technofantasy
  • Real World
  • Massive
  • Single + MP
  • Single-player
  • Co-Op
  • PvP
  • PvE
  • Real-time with pause: the real time combat can be paused any time
  • Real-time: the combat is real-time -> Action CRPG
  • Turn-based: the combat is turn-based
  • 1st-person
  • 3rd-person
  • Isometric
  • Top down
  • Floating camera: adds rotational control allowing full 3D navigation
  • Full control: full control over every party members action in combat
  • AI control: you only control part of the party directly, others are controlled by AI while they may accept general commands
  • subdued
  • realistic
  • whimsical
  • dazzling
1. Choice (13/13)
  • You can name your characters.
  • You can choose a gender.
  • You can choose looks or voice.
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race.
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition.
  • You can choose abilities.
  • You can choose spells.
  • You can modify primary stats.
  • Lots of different equipment is available.
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available.
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch.
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game.
  • You can have pets as party members.
2. Interdependence (6/6)
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC.
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options.
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made.
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world.
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world.
  • (Combat) Combat can be avoided due to stats (-> e.g. enemies flee.)
3. Interactivity (6/6)
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities.
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities.
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities.
  • You can rest or sleep.
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry.
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character.
4. Immersion (8/8)
  • You need to specialize (-> can't have everything.)
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character.
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game.
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor.
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (-> e.g. houses, medals, ranks, …)
  • Magic is in the game in some form.
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (-> e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.)
  • Your characters can eat or drink.
1. Choice (4/4)
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal.
  • You can reasonably go where you want.
  • You can return to previously visited locations.
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading.
2. Interdependence (6/6)
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world.
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets.
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations.
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (-> e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces).
  • (Combat) Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation.
3. Interactivity (10/10)
  • You can collect items (-> there is an inventory.)
  • You can trade items for currency and better equipment.
  • You can interact with items.
  • You can break or destroy items.
  • You can repair items.
  • You can move items.
  • You can combine or disaggregate items.
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use.
  • You can craft equipment, spells or items (e.g. alchemy).
  • Inventory size is limited.
4. Immersion (9/9)
  • There is a place you can call home.
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations.
  • Locations can evolve or change (-> e.g. town / destroyed town)
  • There are non-hostile creatures (-> e.g. wildlife)
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in.
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (-> no random encounters).
  • Looting makes sense (no shield on a dead wolf.)
  • Time is measured (-> e.g. there is a day/night cycle).
  • Time affects the game world (-> e.g. some things are only available at night).
1. Choice (6/6)
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (-> quest order doesn't matter much.)
  • Some quests depend on each other.
  • Some quests rule others out.
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way.
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time.
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices).
2. Interdependence (7/7)
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options.
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made.
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets.
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations.
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (-> e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces).
  • (Combat) Combat can be avoided through dialogue.
3. Interactivity (6/6)
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (-> there are multiple options in one conversation).
  • There is more than one game ending.
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets.
  • There are many side quests.
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions.
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions.
4. Immersion (10/10)
  • Lore is provided (-> context, faction rules, laws, history, …)
  • There are different factions (races, groups, guilds).
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (-> expansive background stories, etc.)
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other.
  • NPCs have schedules.
  • There are surprises and twists.
  • The storyline is character-driven (-> character development within the narrative.)
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure.
  • There are memorable antagonists.
  • Your main character is defined.
1. Character Development (9/9)
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (-> e.g. enemies flee).
  • You can control at least six characters.
  • Your characters are specialized (-> different battlefield roles).
  • Enemies are specialized (-> require different tactics.)
  • Resource management is necessary.
  • Units have multiple attack options.
  • Delayed attacks are possible (-> counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.)
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available.
  • Units have multiple resistance options (-> e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.)
2. Exploration (9/9)
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation.
  • You can get a good sense of space (-> e.g. there is a grid.)
  • Combat can start at variable distances.
  • Directional facing plays a role (-> e.g. more damage from behind, flanking).
  • Terrain is variable (-> e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses).
  • Terrain can be manipulated (-> e.g. you can create barriers).
  • There are elevation effects (-> e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.)
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time.
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (-> e.g. environmental damage).
3. Story (6/6)
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue.
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (-> e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town).
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss".
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat.
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences.
  • There are memorable bosses.
1. Interface
  • How often is gameplay interrupted with loading? (rarely, sometimes, often)
  • How would you rate the game's interface? (intuitive, clunky, …)
2. Difficulty
  • How difficult is the game? (easy, normal, hard)
  • Can difficulty be adjusted?
  • How balanced is trading? (good, not-so-good, bad)
  • How balanced is combat? (good, not-so-good, bad)
  • How much reloading is necessary to beat the game (little, some, much)
  • How good is the AI? (good, medium, bad)
  • How much handholing is there? (little, some, much)
3. Gameplay features
  • Are there Easter Eggs?
  • Are there minigames?
4. Exploration
  • Is Auto-Mapping available?
  • Is Fast Travelling available?
  • Are there quest markers?
  • Is there a quest compass?
  • How much realism is there? (little, balanced, much)
  • How much looting is in the game? (little, some, much)
5. Character Development
  • Are there useless skills?
  • How would you rate character progression? (fast, balanced, slow)
  • Is there auto-leveling of some sort?
6. Story
  • Does the story follow clichéd paths?
  • How linear is the game? (linear, network-like, non-linear)
  • How would you rate the suspense? (boring, gripping, fun, …)
  • Are there pre-selected options (choice is reduced)?
7. Combat
  • How much fighting is in the game? (little, some, much)
  • Grinding: Is filler combat necessary to develop your character?
 

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I would give it a try with Blackguards.

Would be nice - I have played the game, too. So we can discuss your ratings.

At the Codex we had a discussion/rambling about P&P CRPGs:
I found this Wiki - any P&P experts here to comment ? - I have not played so many P&P RPGs.

From Wikipedia:

A tabletop role-playing game, pen-and-paper role-playing game, or table-talk role-playing game is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.

Unlike other types of role-playing game, tabletop RPGs are often conducted like radio drama: only the spoken component of a role is acted. This acting is not always literal, and players do not always speak exclusively in-character. Instead, players act out their role by deciding and describing what actions their characters will take within the rules of the game. In most games, a specially designated player called the game master (GM) creates a setting in which each player plays the role of a single character. The GM describes the game world and its inhabitants; the other players describe the intended actions of their characters, and the GM describes the outcomes. Some outcomes are determined by the game system, and some are chosen by the GM.

The terms pen-and-paper and tabletop are generally only used to distinguish this format of RPG from other formats, since neither pen and paper nor a table are strictly necessary.

So we can define these conditions to call a game a P&P RPG:

1) Players describe their characters actions through speech.
2) The actions chosen by the player are determined by the characterization of the character.
3) The actions fail or succeed based on a rule system.
4) Within the rules the player are free to improvise and discuss with other players (in and out of character).
5) The choices have consequences and shape the direction and outcome of the game.
6) In most games a GM (*) describes the gameworld, the inhabitants, creates a setting and describes the outcome of the players choices.
7) The outcomes can be determined by the rule system and/or can be chosen by the GM.

(*) GM can be replaced by player consensus or a referee

I would add:
opt.: characters can be created
opt.: characters' stats/skills/abilities can be progressively developed
opt.: some randomness when using skills/abilities is involved
opt.: you can equip your character with items/weapons/gear…
 
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Let's take a look at the P&P RPG Wikipedia description and translate it if possible to CRPGs (Single Player)

1) Players describe their characters actions through speech.
CRPG: Players control their characters through the program interface

2) The actions chosen by the player are determined by the characterization of the character.
CRPG: true for most CRPGs, not for all, especially Light Action CRPGs

3) The actions fail or succeed based on a rule system.
CRPG: yes + physical skills of the player in case of Action or Shooter CRPGs

4) Within the rules the player are free to improvise and discuss with other players (in and out of character).
CRPG: cannot be implemented in a Single Player CRPG.

5) The choices have consequences and shape the direction and outcome of the game.
CRPG: CRPGs should have choices with consequences, unfortunately not all feature this.

6) In most games a GM (*) describes the gameworld, the inhabitants, creates a setting and describes the outcome of the players choices.
CRPG: the computer program provides the graphical, sound, encounter and story feedback and reacts to the players choices. Contrary to P&P RPGs the possible reactions are limited.

7) The outcomes can be determined by the rule system and/or can be chosen by the GM.
CRPG: The outcomes are determined by the computer program in general. Some CRPGs let the player choose his fate in certain situations.

opt.: characters can be created
CRPG: many CRPGs feature this

opt.: characters' stats/skills/abilities can be progressively developed
CRPG: nearly all CRPGs feature this

opt.: some randomness when using skills/abilities is involved
CRPG: most CRPGs feature this

opt.: you can equip your character with items/weapons/gear…
CRPG: nearly all CRPGs feature this

(*) GM can be replaced by player consensus or a referee
 
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HiddenX: Unfortunately I don't have any P&P experience whatsoever, so I can't help you with that.

Suggestion for a new tag group:

Player character background history

Predefined background
The background of the PC is completely predefined. (Witcher series, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age 2, Fallout 1-3 & NV)

Predefined background with selectable details
The background of the PC is mostly predefined. You may select details from a list. (Mass Effect)

Selectable background
You can select from a list of predefined backgrounds. (Dragon Age 1)

Free background
The PC has no explicit character background. (Gothic)
Nice. I added them but changed the names to make them shorter:

Character Backstory
- Predefined
- Mostly predefined
- Selectable
- Free-form


I'd like to add another tag-group: Theme
Any ideas for a basic set of tags?

- Vampires
- Zombies
- Survival
- Sword & Sorcery
- …

Actually, there's a list of fantasy subgenres on bestfantasybooks.com with lots of interesting names.

  • Epic
  • High
  • Low
  • Mundane
  • Hard
  • Young Adult
  • Juvenile
  • Quest
  • Coming-of-Age
  • Heroic
  • Sword and Sorcery
  • Swashbuckling
  • Wuxia
  • Military
  • Gritty
  • Dark
  • Vampire
  • Urban
  • Paranormal
  • Fantastic Romance
  • Romantic
  • Erotic
  • Medieval
  • Court Intrigue
  • Fantasy of Manners
  • Science
  • Sword and Planet
  • Dying Earth
  • Futuristic
  • Steampunk
  • Arcanepunk
  • Gaslamp
  • Weird West
  • Political
  • Literary
  • Magic Realism
  • New Weird
  • Comic/Humorous
  • Series
  • Super Hero
  • Media-tie-in
  • Historical
  • High Historical
  • Alternate History
  • Alternate World
  • Crossworlds
  • Portal
  • Christian
  • Celtic
  • Arthurian
  • Mythic
  • Legend-Retelling
  • Allegorical
  • Fables/Fairy Tale Books
  • Anthropomorphic
  • Bangsian Books
  • Assassin Books

The question is: Which is a setting and which is a theme? Is "Urban" a setting or a theme or both? What about Celtic or Asian? "New weird" would be a theme, and so would Christian or Wuxia …

Maybe we could put everything that describes a location or time period in "Setting" and the rest (if at all appropriate for CRPGs) in "Theme".
 
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The above list is a wild mix of tags for me :)

There are settings, subgenres, themes or simply describing adjectives in it.

But it can certainly be used (with some sorting).
 
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At the Codex we had a discussion/rambling about P&P CRPGs:
I found this Wiki - any P&P experts here to comment ? - I have not played so many P&P RPGs.
I do have some experience in P&P, but I don't quite understand what this has to do with our CRPG definition model. What exactly do you want comments for?
 
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The above list is a wild mix of tags for me :)
There are settings, subgenres, themes or simply describing adjectives in it.
But it can certainly be used (with some sorting).
Indeed. We may have a good mix in our Setting group, too.

Let's take VtM Bloodlines, for example. I'd describe it as follows:

Setting: Urban, Modern, (Fantasy?)
Theme: Vampires

We have "Fantasy" in our "Setting" list, but I think it actually describes a theme.
 
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I do have some experience in P&P, but I don't quite understand what this has to do with our CRPG definition model. What exactly do you want comments for?

Some people at the Codex think the CRPG definition should reflect better its P&P origins. I doubt this is useful. But I can't really counter it, because I played only a few P&P RPGs.
One example was the P&P game "Traveller". A game without/minimal character progression during the game (only during the char creation process). Their argumentation: Character Progression can't be a Must Have condition, because Traveller ported to a CRPG wouldn't have any character progression, too.
In my book games without character progression in a computer game context are simply called Adventures.

Example:
A car has its root in a carriage. They share common things like wheels, axis, transport persons,… . But carriages have unique attributes, concepts (Horses, reins,…) and cars too (motor, cylinder, steering wheel,…)

***

It's the same with P&P RPGs and CRPGs they share some common concepts, but that's all. Furthermore not all CRPGs are based on a P&P rulesystem.
 
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In my book games without character progression in a computer game context are simply called Adventures.
I agree. I read through the Codex thread and one thing that became apparent is that people instinctively object to the term "CRPG definition". They then go ahead and try to prove that a certain game fulfills all criteria from the list by trying to fit a square-ish peg into a round-ish hole.

Maybe we could call the first section "Defining Features" instead of "CRPG definition", to make it a little less threatening, so to speak.


I filtered the long list above, as well as our current "Setting" tag group, and came up with the following:

Setting (location / time period):
"includes the historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place" (from Wikipedia)
  • Historical
  • Alternate History
  • Medieval
  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Mythic
  • Futuristic
  • Real World
  • Alternate World
  • Crossworlds
  • Urban
  • Sylvan
  • Maritime
  • Desert
  • Wasteland
  • Wild West
  • Space
  • Winter / Snow

Design (or literary genre?)
  • High Fantasy
  • Low Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Arcanepunk
  • Steampunk
  • Cyberpunk
  • Technofantasy
  • Gaslamp Fantasy
  • Dark
  • Gritty
  • Asian
  • Celtic

Theme (what about):
  • Sword & Sorcery
  • Vampires
  • Zombies
  • Coming-of-Age
  • Survival
  • Swashbuckling
  • Wuxia
  • Military
  • Paranormal
  • Romantic
  • Erotic
  • Court Intrigue
  • Science
  • Political
  • Weird
  • Comic/Humorous
  • Super Hero
  • Religious/Spiritual
  • Philosophical
  • Fables/Fairy Tale

No idea / not necessary:
  • Arthurian
  • Portal
  • Allegorical
  • Anthropomorphic
  • Bangsian Books
  • Assassin Books
  • Epic
  • Mundane
  • Hard
  • Young Adult
  • Juvenile
  • Quest
  • Heroic
  • Fantasy of Manners
  • Sword and Planet
  • Dying Earth
  • Magic realism
  • Series
  • Media-tie-in
  • High Historical
  • Legend-Retelling
 
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Some people at the Codex think the CRPG definition should reflect better its P&P origins. I doubt this is useful. But I can't really counter it, because I played only a few P&P RPGs.
One example was the P&P game "Traveller". A game without/minimal character progression during the game (only during the char creation process). Their argumentation: Character Progression can't be a Must Have condition, because Traveller ported to a CRPG wouldn't have any character progression, too.
In my book games without character progression in a computer game context are simply called Adventures.

Example:
A car has its root in a carriage. They share common things like wheels, axis, transport persons,… . But carriages have unique attributes, concepts (Horses, reins,…) and cars too (motor, cylinder, steering wheel,…)

***

It's the same with P&P RPGs and CRPGs they share some common concepts, but that's all. Furthermore not all CRPGs are based on a P&P rulesystem.
Ok, I've just read the newest pages of the thread in the codex. (And I still can't believe I've wasted precious time by reading hiver's postings.)

The general conflict I see is that we try to create a model for binary classification here. Having a binary classification for something with a fuzzy definition will never be perfectly accurate. For various guys with differing opinions there will always be some false positives or false negatives, creating a conflict with their internal classificators.

But that's ok. We just mustn't claim to create the universally valid definition/classificator. We only can create "HiddenX's CRPG Definition" or "RPGWatch's Classificator", with which we can state something like "According to HiddenX's CRPG Definition game X is a CRPG." There may of course be other classificators which could exist in parallel and wouldn't be more wrong or right than this one.

So think it's not necessary to try to include all and every other guys' opinions and ideas in this model. If they want to create a formal definition on their own, let them do it.

(Besides, if I had started a project like this, I wouldn't have gone for binary. I would have gone for scores. Imho this fits better to a fuzzy definition.)
 
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@Morrandir
I hope we get reach a least a little consensus here :)

... and our classification system is NOT binary:

It is not
a CRPG vs. Not a CRPG

It is
CRPG / Action CRPG / linear CRPG /Shooter CRPG / Thief-like CRPG / Dungeon Crawler CRPG /etc. ... / not a CRPG

If one or more Should Have conditions are violated you have to find one or more tags to qualify the CRPG tag.

Only if all Should Have conditions are met you can call the game just "CRPG" without any qualifier.
 
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I found this Wiki - any P&P experts here to comment ? - I have not played so many P&P RPGs.

[…]

1) Players describe their characters actions through speech.
It's important to be precise here: "Players describe their characters intended actions through speech." The outcome depends on GM decision and/or ruleset (e.g. dice rolls). E.g. the player may say "My character tries to flee.", he can't say "My character flees." The GM then might say if it worked out or not, or he may call for a roll on a certain skill (with modifiers).
Also it is quite common to describe intended actions through other media, e.g. when only the GM should know about the intentions, not the other players. That mostly happens by small written notes or even through electronical devices (e.g. messengers on smartphones). Depends on the group's playing culture.

2) The actions chosen by the player are determined by the characterization of the character.
Well, in a perfect world, yes. Because in a perfect world, when creating their characters, players make up their mind and create a great backstory, know who their characters are and how they would decide in all and every situation in the fictional world, so their role is well defined.
But often that's not the case and before your first adventure the character is a little "empty". It then gets "filled" through adventures, making decisions (whereever they come from) and the character gets "deepness" through time. So it can even be the other way round that "The characterization of the character is determined by the actions chosen by the player." ;)
In practice it's something in between.

3) The actions fail or succeed based on a rule system.
… and the GM. There may be intended actions that aren't covered by the rule system, so the GM decides. Also dice roll modifications may be determined by the GM. And finally if the GM doesn't like an outcome determined by the rules system, he may override it. (Though this heavily depends on the group's playing culture.)

4) Within the rules the player are free to improvise and discuss with other players (in and out of character).
That as well depends heavily on the playing culture. If you have a pressing matter in character (IC), many GM's don't allow out of character (OOC) discussions. E.g.if an orc band is storming towards the heroes, he won't let the players dicuss OOC, if the heroes will try to flee or fight. Instead he lets them discuss IC with a time limit.
More generally, it's perhaps considered bad style, if you do too much OOC discussions like "Ok, we better flee, because this orc has an attack value of at least +15 and wields a nasty double bladed axe which deals 2d6+6 damage." or "Ok, it looks like the king is the villain, but in fact I think it's the king's advisor, because it's ALWAYS the advisor in fantasy books.", or "Well, my character could climb this wall, my success chances are 87,25%. Shall I try?". But as I said, this heavily depends on the group.

5) The choices have consequences and shape the direction and outcome of the game.
Well, actually it's not the "outcome of the game". In P&P you indeed mostly have quite closed adventures, where each adventure may be seen as a single game. But you can have something like a sandbox style as well, where the heroes don't have a particular quest.
It's more that the GM defines in how far the characters actions change the state of the fictional world. E.g. if a character successfully steals something from an NPC , the GM decides how the NPC will react when he finds out. Or when the heroes burn down a building. Or whatever.

6) In most games a GM (*) describes the gameworld, the inhabitants, creates a setting and describes the outcome of the players choices.
Yes, the GM more or less acts as the heroes senses. He says what they see, smell, hear etc.
Concerning the outcomes, see above.

7) The outcomes can be determined by the rule system and/or can be chosen by the GM.
See above.
 
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@Morrandir
I hope we get reach a least a little consensus here :)
I think this is achievable. ;)

… and our classification system is NOT binary:

It is not
a CRPG vs. Not a CRPG
If you consider the MHs only, it is binary:
Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their Must Have (MH) elements fulfilled to achieve CRPG status.
So either it achieves CRPG status or it doesn't.
And I think this is the core of the definition. And that is what is mainly discussed in the codex forums.
 
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