What's role-playing? Put simply, it's the playing of a role. Either of fact or fiction, fantasty or reality. In theory ANY game we play is "role-playing". Halo? You're playing whoever that goof in the space suit is. Call of Duty? You're that dude who is running around and gunning...wait, that's me. You're the guy that's camping! (just messing, I don't care).
The genus of "role-playing" is typically geared towards the game genre where you take control of an individual or individuals and you act out various plans/plots/quests/missions in succession until you find the main villain, or defeat the main "boss" or solve whatever problem the world has fell into.
Some game titles that are "officially" RPGs (role-playing games) are Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII...I'll stop at VII because I don't think one is worth a damn past VII, Dragon Warrior (these were NES and SNES games, and really the last systems that they were worth a crap). Some more "modern" ones would be Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls (any variant), Mass Effect.
The idea amongst "nerds" for the longest time was that "turn based" was the requirement for an RPG. Based upon that, there's not been an RPG out for just about ever, unless you count the (to me at least) terrible, repetative, "tactics" style games. No, I don't want to move around 1-2 blocks and play the same stage 10,000 times and go into dungeons 100 levels deep that I cannot save in between and I can't leave once I start. I've got other things to do. If I was 15 again, maybe, but something runs in my mind that I had other things to do.
Now, there's other RPG's. Book and paper...ones that you play at a table top with your friends/family. Dungeons and Dragons is by and large the most popular. While I don't own any books any longer, I used to enjoy this when I was in high school. That was "2nd edition". I stopped at the book store and looked at some of the books, viewing what they've done to the game...and I don't like it. Not that I'd have time to play anymore anyway.
Long story short, the only things needed to "play" Dungeons and Dragons (used to be, as now you've got to get a few more things, like mini's, special grid/tile maps blah blah blah) were a note pad, a pencil, an eraser, a few friends and these dice. These dice had different amounts of sides, and were geometric shapes. 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20. Funny how we could figure out "any" problem with just a few rolls of the dice.
Oh, to hit that creature, you need a 14. Do you think that maybe Lyoto Machida (UFC fighter) in his recent fight against Jon Jones would've liked it that simple?
Oh, to pick that guy's pocket and get the key to the cell, you need an 88 or less on 2 10 sided dice. (one would be 10's column and one would be the 1's space).
Well, I'm not much of a role-player anymore, but I've got loads of these dice. I was adding photos to my stock collection and figured I could share these with you. If you've got more than 5 minutes of role playing experience, I'm sure you'll know what these are. Oh, to be a kid again and only have to worry about decisions like "what color dice to buy".
I'll have something more productive up once I'm done beating this bronchial pneumonia thing.