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What's great about RPGing?


Here's Ron Edwards's answer, in the last minute or so of this video:

The enjoyment of the medium for the properties that it offers, that no other medium I know does. It really is a valuable human thing to do. Intimacy. Enjoyment. Creativity. Unpredictability. Varying levels of success as you go along, which is OK, right? And the surprising freedom, or at least semi-freedom, the intractability against commerce. It's really hard for commerce to take over, if you're just focusing on enjoying play. That's kind of a nice thing.

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Relaxed Intensity
I think the most important thing is that there are many things that are great/unique about the medium.

For me personally the capacity to dynamically frame situation and build a setting as we go with fairly minimal effort is one of its' biggest advantages. It means we can build off the things already established in a way that is personalized to our game, players and characters. If players enjoy interacting with an NPC we can make them more prominent. If we want to frame situations that are focused on things that matter to the players and characters we can.

The medium's other really big advantage from my perspective is that we can leverage our judgement over the fictional situation as part of the way we determine what happens. This helps us to engage with the shared fictional situation as if it were a tangible thing.


One documentary reveals that it stems from wargaming, where several played historical campaigns and then quantified procedures. From there, some began to focus more on roles played by individuals in those campaigns, which led to role-playing, and then quantified them in similar ways.

Theory of Games

Disaffected Game Warrior
The greatest part of the hobby? Being able to call people who disagree with me "brain-damaged". Watershed.

That and video game "rpgs" have walls. Big invisible walls that keep us "in the game". Tabletop rpgs don't have those kinds of boundaries normally.


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