Valid. Although, I'd wager it can be done.I guess the big issue here is, if you ask for 100 pages or less, you're essentially excluding most games with an actual setting and/or which include any example adventures,
If this weren't qualified with "some"... no, it still doesn't make sense. Over 100-page games can be fiddly and poorly designed too.and this creating a slightly odd situation where you're going to be getting some games which are kind of complicated or fiddly or just not very well-designed,
I've seen short games with excellent setting ( Mork Borg). One could write a Star Trek RPG in 5 pages, and then mention, "if you want setting, try watching the show." So I don't see why setting is an issue for short games.but are only giving you the rules, and nothing else, requiring you to have or make up a setting and giving you no guidance on adventure design or the like. Whilst excluding games that are elegantly designed and run quickly and well, but actually have a setting/scenarios.
What is your favorite "thin" RPG core rules? That is, core rules in fewer pages than a big fat hardcover (or three!)?
I think RPG core rulebooks are entirely too long. I think you could do even modern D&D in 100 pages, tops, if you wanted to (just as an example). I want to try something new but every time I look at how big even "light" games have gotten I just throw up my hands and shake my head. Never mind trying to get into Warhammer or Symbaroum.
But I am guessing "thin" games still exist even if I don't know about them -- so recommend me one! Any genre or rules system.
NOTE: It does not count if you propose a 300 page book but with the caveat "the rules are in the first 30 pages." No. That's not what I want.
I'm sorry but what? Obviously. There's no legitimate way to read the words I say to suggest otherwise.If this weren't qualified with "some"... no, it still doesn't make sense. Over 100-page games can be fiddly and poorly designed too.
So you profoundly and honestly don't understand what I'm saying? That's kind of astonishing to me, as I thought it was very evident, too obvious to belabour. Your example literally proves my point though, almost perfectly. It's like you're trying to support my argument!I've seen short games with excellent setting ( Mork Borg). One could write a Star Trek RPG in 5 pages, and then mention, "if you want setting, try watching the show." So I don't see why setting is an issue for short games.
A thin RPG book doesn't preclude any of the things you listed.I posted my thought about your request on a different thread so that i won't bring OT this one... However i have a question about your original question: what are you looking for in a 100-page game?
Hereby a summary of what you could/couldn't find in it (not exhaustive):
Rules only (pure character building and game mechanics)
Full magic system (i.e. list of spells)
Rules for DMing (i.e. the golden guidelines)
Scum and Villainy is actually a perfect example of what I'm talking about: that game should be about 50 pages (and could probably fit on two pages plus playbooks, but that's a different thing). Instead it is a couple hundred pages of self indulgence.Have to push back on the premise here a bit, since the parameters are pretty unclear. As @Ruin Explorer noted, typesetting varies wildly, and page numbers can be a really bad measure of book length.
Scum and Villainy, for example, a Forged in the Dark game that's by no means rules-heavy, clocks in at about 354 pages. But it's an A5 digest-size book, so it's not that it uses large fonts, just fonts that appear bigger in a PDF than games with more words per page (because they have larger pages). When you hold it in print, it's much more obvious that despite its 350+ page count, its not some hefty tome.
Vaesen, on the other hand, seems pretty slim, coming it at about 212 pages. But it's an 8.5x11 book, with much bigger pages than SaV.
The word counts on them are more telling. About 112,000 for Scum and Villainy, and 94,000 for Vaesen. So SaV is longer, but not massively longer, which isn't reflected in its 140 or so more pages.
All of which is to say, remember that indie games are often in digest form these days, so what might seem in a PDF like big fonts or a surprising amount of white space is sometimes just the digital equivalent of you holding the page real close to your face. But also for various reasons page counts are kinda meaningless.
I'll say that my favorite short game right now is Trophy Gold. The rules are about 41 pages, then the next 190 or so pages are adventures.
Also, it's a digest size book, iirc (print edition only just now about to release).
Yep. Most gamers want big, hefty books so they feel like they’re getting a well-developed and fleshed out game at a good price. But, more often than not, it’s a lot of wasted space. Overly designed mechanics, self-indulgent writing, terrible layout and design choices, over use of art, on and on.Scum and Villainy is actually a perfect example of what I'm talking about: that game should be about 50 pages (and could probably fit on two pages plus playbooks, but that's a different thing). Instead it is a couple hundred pages of self indulgence.