RPG Theory- The Limits of My Language are the Limits of My World

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Eh, could be, but a game you can't find fellow players for is kind of useless except as an intellectual exercise. Its an area I can't help but think the advent of remote play has probably helped with since you don't have to locate everyone locally (though its still a challenge once you move into more obscure systems from what I've heard).

I somewhat agree. Having enough of a player base (or least being able to convince people to play) is important, but a massive player base brings its own issues. You go from finding players being difficult to filtering out who to play with being difficult. It's hard to find players who are specifically looking to play Apocalypse World, but when you do compatibility is likely to be high. It's easy to find 5e players, but finding compatible players can be extremely taxing. That's pretty much why I am willing to play 5e with the right group, but generally do not run it. I find it much easier to find compatible players for games like World Without Number and Pathfinder Second Edition.

In a match making market oversaturation is just as much of an issue as sparseness.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I somewhat agree. Having enough of a player base (or least being able to convince people to play) is important, but a massive player base brings its own issues. You go from finding players being difficult to filtering out who to play with being difficult. It's hard to find players who are specifically looking to play Apocalypse World, but when you do compatibility is likely to be high. It's easy to find 5e players, but finding compatible players can be extremely taxing. That's pretty much why I am willing to play 5e with the right group, but generally do not run it. I find it much easier to find compatible players for games like World Without Number and Pathfinder Second Edition.

In a match making market oversaturation is just as much of an issue as sparseness.
This is why I never sign up for campaigns with strangers. I always one shot my way up to a compatible and enjoyable group.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
A lot of the techniques I use in traditional games have their roots in other roleplaying games. I think the GM role is in part a game design role. Understanding how roleplaying games can be designed and played holistically provides a more comprehensive knowledge base that helps when it comes to tailoring the game to this specific set of players. The DMG2 is absolutely full of techniques that have their origin in other games as an example. Understanding how they work in other games really helps you apply them in 4e.

My own 4e games were immeasurably improved by both my World of Darkness/Exalted background and having an awareness of Burning Wheel. Burning Wheel taught me the scene framing techniques that grounded our 4e experience.

I also think we should spend time reflecting from time to time if the game we are playing matches with what we are trying to do. When I ran Lancer I realized that it was not a good match for our game and we moved the game over to Beam Saber.
D&D is very friendly toward modifying the game to fit ones preferred playstyle. If the argument is that one can analyze other games and incorporate compatible techniques that you prefer into 4e (using 4e as a stand in for any game) - I think that’s doable.

But most of the analysis and theory I see discussed Is more grandiose and general than that. As an example, what does classifying a playstyle as situation first or backstory first help in regards to running any game better?
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
But most of the analysis and theory I see discussed Is more grandiose and general than that. As an example, what does classifying a playstyle as situation first or backstory first help in regards to running any game better?

I would think that understanding the experience a game was designed to deliver would be a reasonable first step for understanding the best way to proceed when running/playing that game. This would apply to other design elements, too.

This is a big part of what makes discussion of games so frustrating when it comes to D&D 5e; it’s not entirely specific about the experience it means to deliver, and even where it may be, many folks routinely overwrite their own desired experience, and then proceed to discuss the game as if that is THE intended output.

See the comments above about Background Traits and Social Interactions for some solid examples.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
I would think that understanding the experience a game was designed to deliver would be a reasonable first step for understanding the best way to proceed when running/playing that game. This would apply to other design elements, too.

This is a big part of what makes discussion of games so frustrating when it comes to D&D 5e; it’s not entirely specific about the experience it means to deliver, and even where it may be, many folks routinely overwrite their own desired experience, and then proceed to discuss the game as if that is THE intended output.

See the comments above about Background Traits and Social Interactions for some solid examples.

Though honestly, that's true about a fair number of traditional games; they're intended as general purpose tools, perhaps within a broad genre, but not necessarily aimed at a particular sort of style or experience.

If anything, I've argued that D&D traditionally paints itself as more broad in usage than it really is at base (though as with a lot of games you can do the using-a-wrench-as-a-hammer thing of making it work beyond its strengths, which is often done by people when they have a game system they're used to and they don't really want to learn a new one).
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I would think that understanding the experience a game was designed to deliver would be a reasonable first step for understanding the best way to proceed when running/playing that game. This would apply to other design elements, too.

That works... if a game is designed to deliver one specific sort of experience. And some games are.

This is a big part of what makes discussion of games so frustrating when it comes to D&D 5e; it’s not entirely specific about the experience it means to deliver

Indeed, I would venture so far as to say that it is not actually intentionally designed for one specific experience - the presence of so many sidebars and optional rules, and a long history of houserules rather indicate a design to enable (or at least minimize interference with) a significant breadth of experiences.
 



Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top