I do not believe use of message baord resources oughtt o mean a game is a "forge game" a n "en world game", etc. Lots of companies use message boards and even in different ways but that doesn't automatically link their gaming philosophy to the philosophies of those sites
Maybe we are disccussing to seperate things though: the forge's contribution to the industry by assisting smaler companies by giving them a page on the site, and the forge's contribution to design approaches via GNS.
the Forge has certain "views" (or maybe ideologies would be a better word??) as far as making role playing games, and if you use their message boards but none of their theories, ideology, views, etc. I don't see how you've created a "Forge game"
This is along the lines of what I think when someone says something is a "Forge game"... that the game was designed around and with their principles in mind
I was reacting specifically to the phrase "deep within the Forge" applying to Fate, which would indicate to me a game whose design is heavily influenced by the GNS theory discussions on the Forge (or possibly even an "experimental" game within that framework.)
Ron Edwards had certain views and wrote most of the columns for the Forge. The Forge itself was about encouraging people to publish RPGs.
Ron Edwards had views. Ron Edwards was also a big contributor to The Forge. Doesn't mean they were the same thing
Yes, I'm somewhat puzzled by this imputation of a monolithic set of principles to "The Forge". The only principles that apply to The Forge as such, I would have thought, are sincerity in discussion: talk honestly about actual play, and post under your own name. The Forge also advocates for player-protagonist RPGing, but is not hostile to other forms of RPGing in which players make meaningful decisions (eg gamism).
As far as Edwards's analytical theory goes, I think Robin Laws summed it up well in the blog
that Ratskinner linked to upthread:
Since our education system teaches us to train certain analytical beacons on literature and its offshoots, it should come as no surprise when folks adapt these tools to the study of roleplaying narrative. These are people who already think that analysis and criticism are important and worthy pursuits. To call out our most prominent theorist by name, Ron Edwards is an academic. As such, there is no greater act of benediction he can perform for a pursuit he loves than to swaddle it in a thick, protective layer of theory.
I think GNS theory should be seen as having the same relationship to RPGing as any other form of criticism has to the production of the works that are its object. In methodological terms, GNS is analysis in terms of ideal types. The connection between theory and production, even in the avant garde, is complex and dynamic. But you wouldn't expect the best critic of surrealism, or the best theorist of absurdism, to necessarily produce the best piece of surrealist painting. And you might even expect the best piece of art in that general style to transcend theory in some fashion.
(An interesting example with the same person as both theorist and creator is Wagner's Ring Cycle: the Rheingold, which is by any measure a fine piece of music, adheres in its composition most closely to his theory of "the opera of the future" - eg voices and instrumentation in different registers so as not to compete - but the later music in the cycle is truly astounding in its richness and power, even though it doesn't always adhere to the technical requirements of the theory.)
calling something a "Forge game" has come to mean a lot more than just "indie". Forge fans seem to want to give the site credit for anything rpg and "indie", even though other indie games existed before the Forge. I would hope that you are not claiming that the Forge is responsible for inventing the ideas of player protagonism, metagame mechanics (still hate that phrase), or using fictional positioning for either.
Of course not. Nor does Edwards.
Over the Edge (1992) and Maelstrom Storytelling (1997) are the two earliest games I know with the "classic" indie features of free descriptors as the vector for player input into narrative-oriented resolution, and I learned about both of them from Edwards' acknowledgement of their influence and importance. (Though he is also critical of the setting-content aspects of OtE.)
My contention upthread was that the Forge was (or was associated with) a cultural movement promoting (i) creator owned and published RPGs (indie rpgs in the literal sense), and (ii) RPGing which involves player protagonism rather than 90s-style "storytelling" ("indie" rpgs in the stylistic sense - a game like Marvel Heroic RP is indie in sense (ii) though not in the literal sense). And I said that I find it hard to believe that the current success of Fate - which is indie in both senses, as far as I understand things - is a mark of failure
rather than success for that cultural movement. And nothing in the intervening 100-odd posts is making me change my mind on that. (Ditto for the success of Dungeon World.)
Burning Wheel <snip> in no way appears to be in line with GNS theory or look like a stereotypical Forge Game.
Burning Wheel is a darling of folks looking for a "Narrativism" example.
I see BW as in the same general design approach as The Riddle of Steel (and Jake Norwood - who is acknowledged by Edwards in some of his essays - wrote the foreword for the latest edition of BW). Edwards summed that up nicely here
The Riddle of Steel includes multiple text pieces regarding the thematic drive of the game, which I have paraphrased to the Premise: "What is worth killing for?" It also includes a tremendously detailed, in-game-causal combat system. My call is that we are looking at Narrativist-Simulationist hybrid design, with the latter in a distinctly subordinate/supportive role. This is a scary and difficult thing to do.
The first game to try it was RuneQuest. Realism, so-called, was supposed to be the foundation for heroic, mythic tale-creation. However, without metagame mechanics or any other mechanisms regarding protagonism, the realism-Sim took over, and RuneQuest became, essentially, a wargame at the individual level. The BRP (RuneQuest) system is right up there with AD&D and Champions in terms of its historical influence on other games, and no game design attempted to "power Narrativism with Simulationist combat" from the ground up again. I can even see dating the false dichotomy of "roll vs. role playing" back to this very moment in RPG history.
One functional solution to the problem, as illustrated for just about every Narrativist game out there, is to move combat mechanics very far into the metagame realm: Sorcerer, . . . Hero Wars, [etc] take that road to various distances, and it works. Until recently, I would have said these and similar designs presented the only functional solution from a Narrativism-first perspective.
However, The Riddle of Steel is like a guy waving his hand in the back of the room - "Scuse me, scuse me, what about that first road? I'm not ready to jettison that idea yet." It's as if someone stepped into The Chaosium in 1977, and said, "Hey, you know, if you don't put some kind of player-modulated personality mechanic in there, this game is going to be all about killing monsters and collecting Clacks." This didn't happen in 1977, and that's why RuneQuest play was often indeed all about those things. But it's happened now ...
Dan Davenport had a similar take on RPG.net
If you’ve ever wanted to combine the powerful emotions and epic grandeur of Lord of the Rings with the brutally detailed combat of RuneQuest, then boy, do I have the game for you
Burning Wheel is a narrativist game - in that its main goal is an emotionally and thematically deep, player-driven experience - but it uses techniques more often associated with process-sim design. (Edward has often said that techniques and creative agendas are only loosely related.) I think it has a high degree of affinity to 4e (though much grittier and thematically "heavier) - but rather than process sim 4e uses techniques more often associated with gamist design!