Thursday, May 1, 2008

Are Modern RPGs Too Complex?

The beginnings of a very interesting thread over at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse.

Unsurprisingly, I think the answer to the question is "yes" without qualification, but then I would, wouldn't I?

11 comments:

  1. Some are, yet some are exceedingly simple. The latter tend not to be the most popular ones, or the ones you find in bookstores.

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  2. I may be out of touch with RPG design, but I thought the last several years had been mostly characterized by more minimalist designs. Forge-y stuff and the like.

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  3. There certainly are more minimalist designs out there today, no question. However, these are very niche-y games, both in the sense that they're not widely played and (more importantly, I think) in the sense that their scope is often decidedly more limited than, say, D&D's. Many Indie games are much too focused and narrow in my opinion, even if their mechanics are in fact simple and the gameplay is enjoyable. What I want is something that's both broad in scope and simple mechanically.

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  4. Fudge is by far my favorite simple, broad game.

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  5. I like FUDGE a great deal. It hits a nice sweet spot, both in terms of complexity and in philosophy. It's a generic game toolkit without too many assumptions mechanically, so it's much better suited IMO than, say, GURPS to cover a wide swath of gaming territory.

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  6. Well, what's the scope you're looking for? If something like Sorcerer or Capes is too narrow and niche, and people in that thread complain about games with rules that cover too much, what's "just right"?

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  7. ...And I call foul on Fudge - Fudge isn't a rule system, it's a kit for MAKING rules systems. :)

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  8. Well, not quite. For example: It's true that the GM has to decide what skills and such will be used in his game, but he doesn't have to design a skill system as such. He just has to plug his skill list into Fudge's skill system.

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  9. Re: scope

    I tend to prefer "genre games," meaning things like D&D (heroic fantasy) or Traveller (Imperial SF) to games that model a specific situation/theme/conflict. I have never played Capes, but, if it's a superhero genre game without qualification, it's in the right ballpark.

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  10. Re: FUDGE

    Quite right. It is a toolkit, which is why I like it.

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  11. James, it would be awesome if you made a Fudge game!

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