Open Roleplaying Game, (or ORPG), is a game that my friends an I invented several years ago. We had grown tired of the complexity of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and Champions. We wanted to play something that actually encouraged roleplaying, something that anyone could play in minutes without reading countless books. So ORPG was born.
The concept behind ORPG is that there are no rules, everything is controlled by the Dungeon Master. A character in ORPG has no statistics, no hit points, no level, and no armor class. Instead of rolling dice to create a character, you instead write a description of the character, their personality, history, and skills. (None of which are defined by numbers). This makes ORPG characters much more like real people.
ORPG does use dice though. Six sided dice to be specific. Any action that would require a dice roll in another RPG also requires one in ORPG. The player will roll 2-6 sided dice, and then the Dungeon Master will interpret the results. The lack of set rules speeds up gameplay by a factor of 10. There is no fumbling around in the rulebooks, because there are no rulebooks.
ORPG does require a very good Dungeon Master. You have to be fair, and keep track of a lot of things in your head. It is very important for the Dungeon Master to know, (mentally), the characters level of skill at various things, (so he can properly interpret the dice). Players tend to be a lot more cautious, than they are in other games, (just like real people they are never quite sure of what they are capable of).
Magic items become a lot more wonderous in ORPG. A magic sword is no longer just a +1 bonus. It is a wonderous thing, that you are never quite sure what it can do. As for magic spells, ORPG is quite flexible about those. The player describes the affect that he would like to acheive, (and how long he is going to try). Then the Dungeon Master rolls the dice and describes the effects. It is quite possible to backfire a spell, (or even kill yourself), if you attempt something beyond your power, (or try and cast to many spells in a short periond of time). This is all subjective of course. (The Dungeon Master has the final say).
The best thing about ORPG is that a good gamemaster can actually run a game right off the top of his head, (with no preplanning). This is possible in other games. But ORPG's lack of rules makes it a lot easier. So the next time you find yourself with a group of friends, why don't you break out the beer, chips, and dice, and play a little ORPG. You will be glad that you did.
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