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Thread: Tactile Role-Playing
Wednesday, 1st May, 2002, 04:03 AM #1
This was touched on some weeks ago in a thread concerning a different subject, but I'm interested enough in the topic to get more opinions.
Do you think there's a place for more tactile game play in role-playing? From what I've seen so far (and I admit that I'm by no means an experienced role-player) there are role-playing games then there are tactile games (like trading card games, miniatures games, etc). The latter connects strategizing and game play together in a way that can't be overlooked -- that is, the rules are intertwined with some physical presence in the game (like cards or miniatures) so one cannot exist without the other (e.g. 'magic' or 'diskwars' or 'chainmail'). Role-playing is more open-ended by providing a loose framework in which fundamental rules set limitations on players but really it's the imagination of those players (and of the DM/GM) that's in control.
I consider "Magic" to be a tactile game. You hold physical cards that are the key to winning the game. The setting of Magic, although fun to think about, really has little bearing on the game play itself. I love playing Magic for a lot of reasons but I do miss the immersive quality that role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons provides. Similarly, when playing Dungeons and Dragons I sometimes miss the rigid rules and visualizations that tactile games like Magic or DiskWars offer. Believe me, I love to imagine what's happening in the game while it's happening (in fact, sometimes I prefer that to seeing a picture or following rigid and seemingly arbitrary rules). But I think seeing a card with a picture that represents an element in the game or a miniature that represents me and is subject to rigid spatial rules would enhance game play.
Note: Now I realize that miniatures *are* used in DnD to bring spatial clarity to battle scenes and other situations, but I'm not sure if miniatures rules are all that well-defined (again, correct me if I'm wrong).
Note2: In retrospect, I can see how a message board passerby would find this topic exceedingly dull. if you're one of those people, I apologize -- sometimes i bore myself.