thread: 2005-04-18 : The Structure of the Game

On 2005-04-18, Jeff Rients wrote:

Hi Vincent, long time listener, first time caller.

I don't own DitV, but I'm a big fan of up-front "here's what you are supposed to do" signs from the designer.  I have often relied upon sample adventures and examples of play as my big cues for approaching the game in hand because designers (or their editors)can be unnecessarilycoy about these things.  As a result all my D&D ventures are to some degree nothing more than a pastiche of the Keep on the Borderlands.  That works just fine for me and I think it truly plays to the strengths of most versions of that game.  I would argue that the D&D Basic sets published in the 70's and 80's were all very focused procedurally, in as much as they had almost no rules for any activities other than the dungeon crawl.  I'd also argue that they were really cool games to play, especially the pre-Mentzer versions.

I'm also reminded of Merle Rasmussen's designer notes for 2nd edition Top Secret, published in a hoary old back issue of Dragon magazine.  In that article he provided a flow chart for espionage adventures.  I wish I had owned that issue when I was desperately trying to figure out how to structure scenarios for the James Bond 007 game from Victory.



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