First, there are a lot of people that don’t know what I mean when I refer to gaming. I’m not talking about Monopoly or Poker. I’m talking about tabletop role-playing games. Basically, here’s how it works…
You take a bunch of geeks (or maybe geeks in denial), and give them some books that have information about how to design an imaginary person. A character. They make these characters, and then ad-lib them in situations presented by a game master. It ends up being mad-libs.
About the best way I’ve ever seen it explained is comparing it to Cops and Robbers. We’ve all seen or participated in the age old argument that goes like so…
Kid 1 – BANG! I got you.
Kid 2 – NO YOU DIDN’T!!!
Kid 1 – Yes I did! My finger was two inches from you.
Kid 2 – So. I’m the cop. I’ve got a bulletproof vest on.
And so on.
RPGs adjust that, and make the content a bit more mature. Most of the action resolution is taken care of using polyhedral dice with modifiers to rolls. Whether it’s driving a car or shooting the bad guy, a bag of dice will tell you how it all works out.
There’s probably a billion more websites out there, but those are some of the best I’ve found.