Dustin isn't a naive game designer, having produced Synthicide and generally navigated modern publishing. He asked me how to promote a game which did not fit neatly into "trad or indie," "OSR or story game," or any other dichotomy which people presented to him. Which is a perfect opportunity for me to stomp upon those dichotomies with my hobnailed boots, both for him and as a general PSA.
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I've been working up a Design curriculum for role-playing for a long while, so when Justin Nichols approached me for a game design discussion that leaned toward mentoring, I accepted without reservation.
It is crazy how common and how widely-developed craziness is, in role-playing. As much as world-building, as much as combat options, as much as magic systems, this is a definite feature of the hobby with its own schools and aims. It is clearly a primary path toward characterization, character development, player agency (through its managed lack in many cases), and emergent plot.