What have been the big innovations in RPGs? - Page 5

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  1. #41
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    One innovation that I've seen is the idea of meta-game editorial control being used as a balancing mechanic. Instead of GM's fudging things to make the game more interesting, now players have codified mechanics which allow them to directly exert editorial control over events in the game.

    Whether its something as simple as floating die roll bonuses to something like the FATE system, or even further into heavy story based games, this is one change that has spread to a lot of RPG's.
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  • #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Rouse View Post
    Forked from the "The Next Innovation in Gaming?" thread:

    So what would you consider to be the big innovations in the RPG category? This could be systems, rules, formats, accessories, IPs, technologies etc. I will get is started but mine is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

    • D&D 3e and the OGL
    • PDF format and distribution via RPGNow/Drivethru RPG
    • Print on Demand
    • Pre-painted plastic miniatures
    • e-Character Creators (e-tools, PC Gen, D&Di etc)
    • Internet game tables (Fantasy Grounds, Game Table Online)
    • Online rules databases (d20srd.org, D&Di Compendium)
    • RPG based web communities (ENWorld etc)
    • Web based RPG resource services (Obsidian Portal, D&D Insider)
    So what else would you say are the big innovations that change RPGs going forward.
    Online Communities --> OGL/d20 STL --> Digital Distribution --> Internet Game Tables -->

    I think the next major innovation in RPGs lies with what happens after Fantasy Grounds/Game Table Online. While the other internet-based innovations will aid what happens along the road ahead, the ability to game online with your friends is the essential element required to revolutionalize (and once again grow) the hobby. Everything else is too early for its time.

    We've been making baby steps for many years down this front, but no one has done it. MMORPGs succeed at bringing large amounts of gamers to the same game, but fail at the personalization required for a D&D game. Until software companies (or WotC) is ready to allow full customization, I see our industry stalled here waiting the next step.

    To just add to the list above (and try and bring this back on track before I hijack Scott's post), I'd add CCGs to the list above. The explosion of great CCGs infused the hobby with some sorely needed design finesse (math matters, but as invisible as possible to customers). Gone are the days of design whatever you want and let the DM fix it.
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  • #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man in the Funny Hat View Post
    I reckon that the word "innovation" is simply not quite what the OP had in mind. The definition of innovate pretty much comes down to ANYTHING new or different. Pick something, pick ANYTHING, that wasn't in a previously published RPG. That is by definition an innovation. People aren't using the word too lightly - the word itself is too light for what I think the OP was searching for.
    There is "innovative," which I take to be used in an evolutionary sense in this case. There is "influential" which has as much to do with how much what you have done is picked up and adapted by others. There is also "revolutionary" which is something innovative and probably influential (although not necessarily) that changes almost everything.

    Of course, I think most here would agree with most revolutionary thing in our hobby was D&D. Before that there weren't really any codified RPGs. We had cops & robbers, but no real rules.

    What I think would be interesting to explore would be the very innovative things that didn't catch on. For example, the Sandman RPG that was a series of adventures where you didn't know who the player was and were supposed to figure it out through the adventures (and there was supposed to be a prize for the first person to figure it out).
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  • #44
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    A few things that come to mind that have not been mentioned yet.

    Effects based games. Games like HERO where you build your power based on the game mechanics and the fluff is largely there for special effects and looks. So one mans flying hyperspeed is based on a jet pack and the others on wings given by the gods.

    In some ways effects based games were the beginning of narrative control by players.

    Exception based games. The only rpg where this is explicit, that I know of, off the top of me head, is D&D 4e. Specific rules break general rules.

    I think also that group/party dynamics like the interconnect rule in Mongoose Traveller are a bit of a revolution or revelation.

    Finally, I think a new one are the imposed conditions games, exactly like 4e. In fact with a bit of care, imposed conditions could be used to eliminate hit points and better, more easily, simulate combat, cinematically and otherwise.

  • #45
    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    d20 (3.0) - unified mechanic - again, they weren't first, but it was highly influential
    That's like saying that U2 was highly influential because they had a drummer.

    I mean, it's true that: (1) U2 was influential. (2) They had a drummer. The two just have no connection to each other whatsoever.

  • #46
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    Speaking of Warhammer 3E earlier, here is another thing:
    - Integrating physical components and game rules.

    Torg is the first game I personally knew that did something like that - the Torg Drama Deck is unique to the game and required for it. You can't really play the game without it.

    Warhammer 3E is the second game that does this. It has custom dice, cards and different types of tokens. Though Warhammer at least could be theoretically played without all this (using your own dice and tables, writing the content of cards on your character sheet, keeping track of the tokens the "traditional" way with pen & paper), the game is sold with them as integral part of the game. And I doubt anyone will play it without the game pieces.
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  • #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beginning of the End View Post
    That's like saying that U2 was highly influential because they had a drummer.

    I mean, it's true that: (1) U2 was influential. (2) They had a drummer. The two just have no connection to each other whatsoever.
    What? It certainly is not. Part of d20's influence is undeniably a unified mechanic. I stated upfront it was not the first game to do so, but was a radical change in D&D systems and subsystems and thus has become the expected for a large number of games. It was part of d20's widespread influence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    Is there perchance a quick link I might read that goes over the basics of this idea? It got me thinking about how I motivate players in my games.

    For instance, I want to run a campaign that encourages discovering the world. I was considering ditching XP, and instead granting access to new skills when the PCs encounter people who have those skills and take the time to learn them.

    Contrast that to my normal style. I usually run campaigns with a narrow-wide-narrow plot structure. Start in place X, do whatever you want to deal with a foe, then go to place Y to defeat that foe. I never used encounter-based XP, and just gave the PCs levels whenever I felt they'd accomplished something toward their goals. I never felt like I had to encourage them to do anything, because they bought into the world and did what their characters wanted, so I'm not sure if there was a reward structure.

    I'd like to read more thoughts on this topic.
    The Big Model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia has a lot of links though some don't work.

    Thsi google search returns the blog entries titled "Introduction to Forge Theory" by Ben Lehman. As he notes in the first installment the History resides in the Forge forums.

    Of course there are also many articles in the Forge: The Forge :: About the Forge

  • #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
    Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks.
    It isn't exactly well-known.

    Millenium's End (as coyote6 said above) could be the one I have been thinking...


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  • #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beginning of the End View Post
    That's like saying that U2 was highly influential because they had a drummer.

    I mean, it's true that: (1) U2 was influential. (2) They had a drummer. The two just have no connection to each other whatsoever.
    Perhaps it would make more sense if 75% of the songs you heard on the radio were U2, and a good portion of the rest were bands covering U2.

    (And then U2 decided to break into hip-hop. Sorry. /editionwar)

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