thread: 2012-03-15 : Monster Mania Con

On 2012-04-01, Joel wrote:

"But isn't that part of roleplaying? It's a skill that can be built and enjoyed, right?

I mean, if someone comes along and designs a game that doesn't require me to use or reward me for using these skills I've built up in the last few years, that's great! I'll do my best not to posture or play identity politics.

I'm not saying it can't be done, or shouldn't be, but is it cutting out something that's fundamental to roleplaying? Maybe, maybe not."

One thing about any skill/discipline/artform/methodology is that the pioneers have it hardest. New people coming in are able to piggyback on existing groundwork without even realizing they're doing so, and reach greater heights quicker. We see this a lot with Language Hunters: the game we're playing now is vastly different from the game I first encountered 3 or so years ago, and the constant refinement means that newbies can come in and get up to speed much quicker than I did when I first started, and I in turn reached my level with a lot more speed and ease than Willem did as he developed the system.

It can seem unfair that someone can "get there" with a skill without the massive effort that early practitioners had to put in, circumventing endless hours of hashing out best practices. But that's the way it works. The effort it took to wring Story Now play, for instance, out of AD&D was put to shame by Dogs in the Vineyard and Primetime Adventures, and they in turn are shown up by the next generation of purpose-built Story Now engines, which will in turn be shown up by the next. And it's not that DitV or PTA are bad rulesets with nothing to offer, far from it! But as we develop the communication tools to put players o the same page quicker and more fluently, all the skills that you and I had to develop to run and play a game like Dogs or PTA effectively are baked right into a newer text—just like those games had skills baked into THEIR texts that hadn't been effectively articulated before—to the point that story gaming newbies can jump in and take for granted that they acquire those skills effortlessly and immediately.

Now, this is semi-hypothetical; obviously the games that will engage the audiences we're talking about here haven't been (fully) developed yet. But I think they can be, and probably will be. And still contain the fundamentals of roleplaying., at least as Vincent's stated them.


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

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