Role-playing video games use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics as early tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Players control a central game character, or multiple game characters, usually called a party, and attain victory by completing a series of quests or reaching the conclusion of a central storyline. Players explore a game world, while solving puzzles and engaging in combat. A key feature of the genre is that characters grow in power and abilities, and characters are typically designed by the player. RPGs rarely challenge a player’s physical coordination or reaction time, with the exception of action role-playing games.
Role-playing video games typically rely on a highly developed story and setting, which is divided into a number of quests. Players control one or several characters by issuing commands, which are performed by the character at an effectiveness determined by that character’s numeric attributes. Often these attributes increase each time a character gains a level, and a character’s level goes up each time the player accumulates a certain amount of experience.
Role-playing video games also typically attempt to offer more complex and dynamic character interaction than what is found in other video game genres. This usually involves additional focus on the artificial intelligence and scripted behavior of computer-controlled non-player characters.