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

On 2005-04-20, Tom wrote:

Very closely related to this concept of "here's how you play" are the "Examples of Play" sections.  Frankly, I find these preferable because once I see an example, I'm usually good to go.

The failing for most RPGs is that they usually use these sections to highlight just one aspect of the game (usually, whatever rule they happen to be explaining at the moment).

Nobilis and HeroQuest both have several long, drawn-out examples of play that not only cover the in-game rule system stuff, but they also cover a lot of the out-of-game group interaction stuff.  HeroQuest is particularly good about this.  They use the same gaming group for all their examples, and right from character creation, you get a feel for what each player is like.  One especially notable player is Jane who is a bit of a problem player.  The examples of play show how the GM deals with her when she acts up (or rather, doesn't act up.  Jane's big problem is that she's only tangentially interested in how the rules work).  This kind of stuff never gets enough explanation in most rulebooks and here it's just presented as part and parcel of how the game is played.

Good stuff.



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