Theories Relevant to RPG Theory, Assessment, Research, Tips & Tools of the Trade, Standards, and Related Discussions / Lectures at RPG Research

by Hawke Robinson published 2018/08/31 08:29:00 GMT-7, last modified 2019-10-29T11:25:45-07:00
This is a work in progress. With so much going on you may have missed the recent broadcasts related to role-playing game theories we have been covering at RPG Research. This is a quick summary of a few of the recent topics with links to the audio/video.
This is a work in progress. Links and content will be added as time permits. Or you can just go directly to the lectures/content through our Patreon page as a supporter.


A list of Recent RPG Research Role-Playing Game Related Theory Lectures, Discussions, & Panels.



Immersion, Flow, & Role-Playing Games

Video. Audio. Text.




Avedon Interaction Patterns and RPGs overview.

Video. Audio. Text.

Topics Summary

The 8 Avedon Interaction Patterns from 1974

1-page Reference document created relevant to role-playing games.










Role-playing games and Tuckman's theories on small groups. Part 1.

Tuesday's Research Assistant trainees group: Video. Audio. Text.

Thursday's Applied Programs trainees group: Video. Audio. Text.

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning, Reforming.

All tied into context with role-playing games of various formats.

Topics Summary

Literature review and Meta-analysis that lead to Tuckman's theories on Small Groups. 

Definitions of Terms.

Small Group



Ethos, Logos, & Pathos

Communication: Self or Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Small Group, Public, Mass.

Group versus Individual.

Pooling of info.

Blind alley

Stimulation of ideas

Groups not always superior

Emergency/immediate, very simple, or very complex/specialized-skills.

Erikson development models related to group communication and self-concept.

Optimal group size.


Brief Summary of just a few Types of Research Designs within context of this particular topic:

  • Case Study
  • Correlative
  • Experimental
  • Longitudinal
  • Meta-Analysis


There are half a dozen others, but for the conversation those were just covered briefly.




2 Paradoxes

  1. Resource allocation toward task resolution versus social conflict resolution.
  2. Individual freedom and self concept-versus group affiliation and role.










Accessibility & Inclusiveness Considerations for Role-Playing Gamers

Video. Audio. Text.

Accessibility considerations for populations

Medication and treatments side effects considerations


Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Visual impairment

Wheelchair accessible

Fine motor skills, grasping, lifting, writing.

Brain injury considerations

LARP adaptations for Muscular Dystrophy and other disorders with similar physical challenges.

Computer adaptive equipment.

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI)

Reaction and coordination adaptations

Turn-based rather than real-time.

Cognitive impairment adaptations.

Cultural considerations

Competition versus cooperation

Assertiveness versus passivity

Idioms and colloquialisms



Player Archetypes & Role-Playing Games

Video. Audio. Text.

Archetypes history & background concepts

Character archetypes short review

Game master archetypes short review

Player archetypes

Educational archetypes

Therapeutic/medical archetypes



10 Tips for Players from B1 In Search of the Unknown

Video. Audio. Text.




Games & Resource Allocation Training / Conflation of RPG, Games, TRPG, & CRPG

Video. Audio. Text.




Do Some Older Games Fail to Register with Younger Gamers?

Video. Audio. Text.




Pros & Cons of all 4 Role-Playing Game (RPG) Formats (CRPG, LARP,  SABM, TRPG)

Video. Audio. Text.

Tabletop (RPG / TRPG)

Live-action (LARP)

Computer-based (CRPG)

Solo adventure books and modules (SABM)

New and Improved 4 RPG Formats: TRPG, ERPG, LRPG, HRPG


TRPG = Tabletop

ERPG = Electronic

LRPG = Live-action (Larp is a subset)

HRPG = Hybrid (SABM is a subset)


Revision of RPG Formats

Based on the RPG Model by Hawkes-Robinson there are 4 major RPG formats:

  1. Tabletop (TRPG)
  2. Live-action (LRPG)
  3. Electronic (ERPG)
  4. Hybrid (HRPG)

Larp is a subset of LRPG.

SABMs are subsets of HRPG.


Assessment of Role-Playing Games as an Instructional Technique Within the Constraints of a University Academic Setting from the Cognitive Neropsychology Perspective

Video. Audio. Text.


Neuroscience of Learning

Divided Attention

Cognitive interference factors

Deep level processing



Prior knowledge


Mass learning

Distributed practice

Differential learning


Inaccurate self-assessment of competency areas

Objective feedback

Mental imagery




Existing knowledge

Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation

Locus of control

Narrative technique

Associative knowledge

Self-reference effect

Desirable difficulties

Exploration of opportunities





Competitive Versus Cooperative Gaming Preferences

Video. Audio. Text.



Should Professional Role-playing Game Masters Be Paid?

Video. Audio. Text.


Does RPG reading complexity impact participant development of intrinsic reading motivation, speed of development, and total reading advancement?

Video. Audio. Text.





PAX Unplugged 2018

  • Roll for Healing: Therapeutic Game Master Panel -
  • Panel on Inclusiveness & Accessibility:


  • Role-playing Gaming as Therapy -
  • Cultivating Long-term Role-Playing Gaming Groups -
  • Psychology of Gamers & Hackers -
  • House Rules: Some Love, Others Hate. -
  • Game Design in the 21st Century August 2018 -
  • Meaningful Religions for Your Game -
  • Gaming with Children -
  • How to Write a Game Module -

WorldCon 73 (2015)



  • GenCon TV Seattle -
  • GenCon TV Indianapolis - GenCon 2019 -


  • ATRA National Annual Conference, Reno, NV -

Addressing Cognitive Dissonance Through RPGs



Gaming With Children

Video. Audio. Text.

SpoCon 2018



How to Write a Game Module

Video. Audio. Text.



House Rules: Some Love, Others Hate

Video. Audio. Text.


How to Build a Campaign

Video. Audio. Text.


Game Design in the 21st Century

Video. Audio. Text.


Creating Worlds the Players Control

Video. Audio. Text.


Role-Playing [Gaming] As Therapy

Video. Audio. Text.


Cultivating Long-term Role-Playing Gaming Groups

Video. Audio. Text.


Psychology of Hackers and Gamers

Video. Audio. Text.


Retro Gaming, Then and Now

Video. Audio. Text.



Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) & RPG

BCI RPGs & VR, AR, etc.

RPG Research ERPG Division Efforts

NWN Training

ERPG Scoping



Magic Circle



Spatial Mapping, LRPGs, & ERPGs


Application of CBT Principles with RPGs

Applicability of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy considerations, theories, & techniques to role-playing games.


Debate About ABA

In recent decades there as been an increasingly vociferous debate about the us of ABA used with Autism Spectrum.

Discuss the pros and cons of the original heavily Freudian and Skinner-based model.

Discussion of the more recent "less harsh" variations.

Applicability to RPG programs working with ASD/PDD populations.


Application of CFT to RPGs

Applicability of Compassion Focused Therapy theories and techniques to role-playing games.

Use of CFT for anger management and other goals.

Use of CFT-guided RPG programs.

Frustration Tolerance and RPGs

Use of role-playing games to help participants build better tolerance for frustrating situations.


RPGs and Tenacity, Grit, Perseverance, etc.


RPGs and Impulse control, Turn-taking, etc.





RPGs and Brain Injuries


RPGs and MD, CP, etc.


RPG Kits


GM Tips & Tricks of the Trade


Initiative Tracking/trackers


PC Tents


Sticky Notes


Index Cards


WotC Initiative Cards


Player / Character GM Roster


Dungeons & Dragons

  • OD&D -
  • BECMI -
  • 1st Edition -
  • 2nd Edition -
  • 3.x Edition -
  • 5e -
  • BFRPG -

Basic Role-playing (BRPG) by Chaosium -








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