I initially composed this as yet another reflection upon the game of Undiscovered that I'm playing with Sam, Helma, and Lorenzo, but decided it was more generally relevant to bring into Seminar as its own thing.
As a prelude, I'd like to repeat something I recently mentioned at the Patreon. It's the marked contrast I've experienced between playing games designated OSR and those I've categorized as Fantasy Heartbreakers (in which this game definitely qualifies): I have never learned anything from playing OSR games and I always learn something from playing a Fantasy Heartbreaker. Whether this means anything to anyone besides myself, and what it means, remains open to further discussion.
The presentation itself addresses two issues, broken down as follows:
- Are we unbalanced? I explode the term to address differences in effectiveness, in spotlight, and in relevance (consequence, presence; the term is uncertain).
- Can the GM talk? Or in talking about textual rules, is legal ruling automatically invoked? Or in talking about options for actions, is direction/imposition automatically in place?
Anyway, it's a lot of strong stuff, and forty-six years (probably more) of table-top role-playing has not provided us with sensible concepts or context, as well it should have so I wouldn't have to do this. Frankly, if someone says they "just know," or "it's obvious," or "well, when I hear 'balance, I think dot dot dot," then they are full of shit. They don't, it isn't, and who cares. We need to consider these things critically and crucially.