thread: 2005-05-06 : A complete game has...

On 2005-05-09, Ghoul wrote:

This post is to see if I'm in-synch with what you're saying...  I like the idea of defining this, as I've often felt that big RPGs I've read are somehow incomplete, while very small RPGs are complete.  And I've debated with people just what "complete" means a couple of times (for one example, here.

I've always (well, OK, for maybe 10 years or so... it's included in the blog post above) said an RPG needs only two things...

A) A means for creating characters that not only makes them interesting and dynamic but also determines them in a useful shorthand (usually game mechanical form) that can be used in...

B) A means for resolving conflicts between the characters or between the characters and the world at large.

But I actually like your list much better.  My (A) was intended to include your (2) and (3) and a tiny bit of (4), but not really enough of it (especially since "interesting and dynamic" are hard terms to define), and it isn't stated as well.  My (B) is (much) better stated as your (1).

(3) and (4) are, I think, the critical spot most games lack without realizing it.  Without them, characters are a bundle of abilities without a purpose (lack of (3)), or (even worse, I think) a bundle of abilities at cross purposes with other players' bundles of abilities on issues other than those covered by the mechanical rules for resolving opposition (i.e., the things you list in (4)).

I'd never thought about (5) much... but I like it.  It points out that this sort of conflict is NOT the sort refered to in (1) (though the same rules COULD be used, I suppose... perhaps Universalis is an example of this, if I understand it correctly).

I'd certainly write my blog post above differently with this list of requirements in-hand.  And it'd be a better post for it.


This makes...
short response
optional explanation (be brief!):

if you're human, not a spambot, type "human":