In reply to your question, it's not quite that way in either case. The Role Playing side of things is very light, easy going and fun; it's definitely not Role Playing as you'd understand it from Playing an RPG. Questions about the series, we're all ready to help if you have any questions and the Library is full of info, but we're more about taking part than being a resource.
To be honest the best way to understand the site is to get involved, build up your post count and become a citizen. from there you get to see more of what is a massive site. The further you advance in membership (as far as you want to, no one really pushes) the wider your access (with the exception of Novices and Recruits, who lose a little and gain other forums). As I said, the best way to understand us is to take part, my explaining is never going to do the site justice.
It's good to see another History Graduate about the place.