Role playing games were the beginning of gaming, and they are the end of gaming
- Sean Heitmeyer
For those who seek entertainment, many different forms can be found, all of them spawning from the imagination. This is the place where it all begins.
In the beginning of modern gaming, Tabletop Role-Playing Games (RPGs) were developed as a way for groups to play to together in a fictional adventure, mostly fighting through dungeons filled with dragons. These adventures were guided by the game books and powered by player imagination.
As the idea for playing in fictional worlds became more popular, role-playing video games were developed. Video games are one of the most powerful forms of entertainment, where you can watch a story unfold and control a character to change the way things happen. To video gamers, the idea of playing a part in a great story is captivating and endearing, and is drastically different from watching a movie where you cannot affect anything. Video games continue to evolve and become more and more immersive but will always be limited to the depth of the programming.
After years of playing the most open ended games available, many gamers hunger for an even deeper gaming experience. When presented with the idea of a table-top RPG, these same gamers usually brush it off as an out of date form of gaming. But when they grasp the idea of becoming completely immersed as a character within a story where you can say or do anything, the gamers realize they have found the ultimate form of gaming. If they want to travel the world and explore, they can, if they want to save a town from monsters, they can, if they want to conquer that same town, or the entire world, they can. There are no limits to what can be done.
At its core, RPG gaming is storytelling, with the addition of dice rolls to decide the outcomes of certain actions. Storytelling is an ancient tool, used since the dawn of man to tell tales of adventure, fear, love, or tragedy, whether real or invented. These stories were used to inspire and teach others through their imagination. It is this ability that has enabled human society to learn from the past, work with the present, and reach toward the future.
Role playing games take this method, a single person telling a story, and then enable others to play a part of their own, spontaneously creating twists and turns not intended by the original storyteller. This added element, other participants affecting the story, results in an organic adventure grown from the imaginations of multiple minds. This idea, over the years, has developed into structured systems where certain events within the stories are left up to chance rather than the will of the lead storyteller. If within the story, a player wishes to climb a wall, rather than anyone deciding to "just make it happen," a dice may be rolled to determine success or failure. Using dice to determine the fate of characters, within a story, is the foundation of Role Playing structure, and the story is its soul.
Role playing Games are generally played using core books, which provide a setting, characters, creatures, items, plots, and rules with which the lead storyteller can create an adventure for the players to experience. Though these books make adventure creating simple, You are free to create your own elements to customize your experience. The game is as creative and unique as you choose.
ALTERA was created as a simple way to role-play in a world filled with intriguing characters, beasts, treasure, and danger.
The world of Aeilith, in which ALTERA takes place, is the setting of a series of fantasy stories, five years in the works. This laid the solid groundwork for ALTERA's history, races, creatures, and landscapes. After the initial decision to create a tabletop RPG out of the world of Aeilith, we looked at current and previous RPG's, and decided that the existing rule systems were more complicated than we would prefer. After research and testing, we developed an entirely new simple rule system, and ALTERA was born. With a deeply developed original fantasy world and a simple rule system, ALTERA is an RPG unlike any before it.