That's four role-playing games, from 1984, 1998, 2003, and 2012. Each one is strikingly different from other games of its respective publishing era - at the very least interesting and ambitious, and in my view, worth a lot more than "at the very least."
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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 about it - like this!
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.
I'm also recording 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.
This is an excerpt from my conversation with Ken Oswald, who contacted me regarding a bunch of role-playing topics. He was especially interested in the references he'd run across about Sean Demory's 2002 game le mon mouri, so here is the bit where we went through its system diagram and talked about its content.
The one thing I regret is not making up twenty characters across seven game titles and launching into fervent play right away. This was so much fun.
Oh golly, let’s see a bunch of guys over-share about how much their characters have been having sex!! ... for those few of you remaining in the room, you’ll see us talk well beyond the boilerplate. Sex has been freed-up in role-playing over the last decade and a half. This seems to have freed us as well into dialing-back and modulating how it plays into everything else, to find some new things this medium-and-activity can do.
Here's a conversation with Ivan, following up on his comments (and video) in the Finding D&D series. I split the last bit off to join the SFTV RPG seminar too, so this was sort of an all-over-Adept-Play discussion. It's divided roughly into some "how we met D&D" talk, thoughts on fantasy in role-playing and fantasy vs. role-playing, essentialism's virtues and limitations, and a little bit of rather good contrasts in views about playing on purpose.
Science fiction is a vast squishy thing spread throughout all sorts of media and culture/subculture. Got it. I wanted to examine its content in two pretty-specialized media: mainstream television series and table-top role-playing. You’ll see three dialogues: first with Ángel, then Ivan, and finally Moreno. I’m first to admit, the result is a mess: not much more than dialogue, spitballing, trying to stay on track, with a couple of difficult variables in play.
The topic is group preparation, when you spend some time together creating and customizing the setting and situation. Whether it's a pitch, a series of rules steps,a suggestion-and-approval process, or anything like that - we hit it from a lot of angles and a lot of examples.
Joining me are Ray, Herman, Ángel, Santiago, and Moreno, for what appears to be my first real success at production for a group activity. At last, no tiny head.
Part 5, final video out of five. Presenting a couple of definitions, asking a few pointed questions, copping to what I think.
Let the rumpus start.
Here's the follow-up to the earlier post in which Jason D'Angelo talked about my little diagramming habit. I'd planned to get this content into the comments there, but the games are so interesting and the diagrams are - I think - illuminating enough to merit their own presentation.
I'll also emphasize the point I make toward the end, that each game's diagram differs from the others in terms of what the rules refer to. That's a big deal.
"Everyone knows" what sandbox means. Except that it was a term 'ported into table-top role-playing from another medium and adopted as fashion rather than substance, so no, I don't. Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money, and let's see if this is a thing, and if so, how many things, and if so in a given case, whether it's something you really want to play in.