thread: 2014-07-24 : The Trouble with RPGs (ii)

On 2014-07-24, Jesse Burneko wrote:

I think sometimes the "object" of the game is meant to be a guide that keeps play focused, but if everyone goes for it as fast and hard as they can you miss out on the journey.

I think Burning Empires suffers from this in that it clearly states that the object is to win the Infection mechanics.  But that's kind of trivial to do if everyone just aligns their Beliefs with that idea and maximizes their helping dice and skill use to mutual benefit.

If you don't take the extra step of treating your character as an individual with their own hopes, goals and dreams aside from stopping the Vaylen then the game is kind of boring.  There must be tension between the Infection driven macro game and the Belief driven micro game.  And since Beliefs are controlled by the players they have to buy into that tension and to certain degree create it themselves.  If all they cared about was the stated "object", then it's against your own interests as a player of the game to do anything but write Beliefs about winning the Infection.

Burning Empires requires a certain honesty about culture, politics and human ambitions.  In absence of that honesty the "object" is easily achievable.  So the "object" can't be the only thing you care about in the game.

So it might be best to downplay or be indirect about an "object" when it's supposed to be a distant beacon in the dark that informs are larger sea of priorities and expectations.


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