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Seminar: Hearts & Minds

SEMINAR

What is this table-top role-playing thing? How does it work, what does it do, what kind of designs do which things? I've got some ideas, and so do you. This is where we talk it over.

Some of my posts here present a concept, game title, or a historical hobby event for discussion in the comments, so join in with a will. You'll also find interviews and conversations. (Soon I'll amend the Hearts & Minds  blue button so you can post these things on your own.)

I'm also running what I guess I call "labs," which are organized and prepared at the Patreon. I run them on Mondays using Discord, and anyone pledging there can participate when they feel like it. I post the recordings here the following Monday with ongoing discussion in the comments.

Apologies for the buzzword ...

The idea here was to examine our respective region when we encountered role-playing, and to think about how role-playing got there, and in what form. It's only four people, representing two slightly different parts of Califoria divided as well by about six years (mid-70s vs. early 80s), the Netherlands at about the same time, and Argentina during the 1990s.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
26 Aug 2018
4 comments

The comparison has been around for a long time; I first encountered it in an early edition of RuneQuest. It may even have entered that status of "everyone knows that," but I haven't run into much reflection on its content.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
25 Aug 2018
13 comments

Intent, Initiation, Execution, Effect - fictional things, probably the single most direct fictional content to be interfaced with real-people speaking and using rules, in the hobby. In a recent dialogue with Zac Porcu, he called it "the beating heart of role-playing."

Posted by: Ron Edwards
09 Jul 2018
8 comments

Looking at the topic of distributing GM-tasks all sorts of different ways, which we all know well, but maybe its widespread use doesn't reflect enough of its potential.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
25 Jun 2018
7 comments

There is little, possibly no hope left in me that discussing role-playing as phenomenology has been time well-spent. "Sporadic cynicism" indeed. But every so often something happens to disperse it. In this case, it's Dustin DePenning, author of Synthicide, whom you may have watched in play with me over in Actual Play.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
11 Jun 2018
2 comments

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.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
11 Jun 2018
0 comments

Ken Oswald is a game and comics retailer in Alabama, who'll be giving an ambitious introduction to role-playing later this summer, He contacted me for sort of a brainstorm, let's compare notes session. The question is, how might a non-role-playing, or sorta-semi, heard-about-it audience be best oriented? Without manipulating toward specific products, and without falling back on the familiar hobby framing-terms.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
31 May 2018
3 comments

Earthsea was clearly on everyone's mind in early role-playing. Due to rambling, I didn't include some of the time we spent realizing how many systems and settings dipped into its terms and the organization of magic.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
28 May 2018
20 comments

I like those diagrams so much that I feel lonely about it, and I was getting so irritated with being too personally talky during labs. that I was pleased to find the solution to both. "Bring your own," I said, and led a little curriculum through making them.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
21 May 2018
2 comments

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