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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Personally i think you can split it up by 3 metrics. Styles, Robustness and genre.

    Styles are the approach to game design. The osr Style approachs things very differently then a narrativist Style.

    I'd list 5 Styles as the general main 5 though they vary a lot in popularity.

    Trad games.

    I don't really know how to define this. But basically games like gurps dnd 5th edition and shadowrun are all trad games.

    Narrativist games typically try to embody a certain genre theme mood tone or concept typically (but not always) through meta mechanics like narrative currency or gm frameworks. Examples incude fate core/accelerated, Pbta games and Chuubo.

    Osr games are very hard for me to describe but basically they have high lethality and try to encourage strategic thinking. Also more focus on player skill the character skill. Think into the odd, sword and sorcery and knave.

    Beer and pretzel games.

    These are the not serious games. Essentially they are more focused on having a fun not so serious time with your pals. Examples include honey heist, koblods ate my babys and teenagers from outer space.

    Finally a Style i just found out about. The Free Kriegsspiel Revolution. Or fkr for short.

    Basically they are defined by this qoute.

    The freedom of the Player Characters to attempt any tactic to solve a problem, subject to the adjudication of the Game Master.

    Since i can't put it better myself here's a link.

    https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/250...iel-revolution

    Ok to quickly get through the other two metrics.

    There's a spectrum of rules lite all the way to rules heavy. Basically simplicity vs robustness.

    And ganres are stuff like fantasy sci fi and that jazz.

    I'm probably gonna use this framework from now on for knowing what rpgs to buy.

    What about you guys? How do you categorise rpgs?
    Last edited by Ameraaaaaa; 2021-09-17 at 01:48 AM. Reason: Spelling errors.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    I'd rather draw Venn diagrams than write lists of categories these days. Or trees of lineage. They are more informative than lists at conveying set-subset relationships.

    The three most useful ways to split roleplaying games are by medium (speech, text, drawing, physical action), by subject matter (horror, romance, etc.) and by what other game types they overlap with based on how they are played (dice game, wargame, storygame etc.). Trying to exhaustively list the combinations would be a fool's game.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    I'd rather draw Venn diagrams than write lists of categories these days. Or trees of lineage. They are more informative than lists at conveying set-subset relationships.

    The three most useful ways to split roleplaying games are by medium (speech, text, drawing, physical action), by subject matter (horror, romance, etc.) and by what other game types they overlap with based on how they are played (dice game, wargame, storygame etc.). Trying to exhaustively list the combinations would be a fool's game.
    That works too. I think everyone has their own way of categorising things.

    Tho to clarify my goal ain't to list the combations but the components. For example i know i like super hero games and i like more rules light stuff and that most but not all trad games are boring to me. So i know I'd likely prefer prowlers and paragons ultimate edition to mutants and masterminds 3e if given the choice.

    But of course 1 this doesn't always work (maybe 1 osr game is 1 of your favourites but otherwise your a narrativist all the way for example.) And 2 there's no perfect categorisation system.

    But it's still a fun and useful tool imo.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    I admit that I think the two main ways RPGs are approached and created are indeed described pretty well by the categories roleplaying and rollplaying. And the later probably mostly appeals to people because they don't understand the former.

    Though thinking some more about it, there might actually be four different types.
    - Story: The actions and choices of the players determine how events play out.
    - Dungeon: Players move freely through dungeons full of puzzles and challenges.
    - Skirmish: Tactical skirmish games where players have one highly customize unit.
    - Skript: Players act out a pre-written story with no real means to divert from it. (This is just bad and has no excuse.)

    Modern Dungeons & Dragons really only concerns itself with the last two, despite claims that it's about the first two.
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I admit that I think the two main ways RPGs are approached and created are indeed described pretty well by the categories roleplaying and rollplaying. And the later probably mostly appeals to people because they don't understand the former.

    Though thinking some more about it, there might actually be four different types.
    - Story: The actions and choices of the players determine how events play out.
    - Dungeon: Players move freely through dungeons full of puzzles and challenges.
    - Skirmish: Tactical skirmish games where players have one highly customize unit.
    - Skript: Players act out a pre-written story with no real means to divert from it. (This is just bad and has no excuse.)

    Modern Dungeons & Dragons really only concerns itself with the last two, despite claims that it's about the first two.
    I wouldn't say role-playing and rollplaying are mutually exclusive. There's probably many Optimizers also can roleplay well with said Optimization. Tho technically you didn't say they were mutually exclusive i just wanted to share my view on that.

    For the latter definitions i find them really interesting.

    My definitions of rpgs came down to a mix of 1 approach to game design 2 the scale from rules lite to rules heavy and 3 actual genre like superheroes or romance ect ect.

    Where's it seems (to me) your definitions come from how the games are actually played. It just goes back to showing why people differ on definitions. There's no right or wrong when it comes to defining stuff.

    About modern dnd i get that point of view. It's not impossible to run the former 2 in dnd 5e for instance. It's easier to do the latter 2. Honestly i like the story the most of the 4. Though i don't think i properly played a dungeon style game. I think I'd like to play an actual war game with one highly customisable unit but definitely not a role-playing game like that. Railroading just plain sucks tho.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    I generally would use two sliding scales, one for whether the rules resolve in-game events and results or instead gouvern the metagame and narrative and the other for rules-light to rules heavy with the extreme end of rules light being freeform rpg.

    On top of those, genre.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    I might have spend way more time looking into RPG design and GM techniques that necessary for normal people, but I think genre is actually mostly unimportant. Some genres strongly favor investigation while others focus on action, but other than that, I think they are mostly window dressing. Genre seems to make barely any difference regarding specific design or rules within the various niches of play styles.
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    How so ?

    If you try to use your Ars Magica rules for your Battletech campaign it simply won't work without rewriting the whole system.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    I'm also not sure what you mean. While there are certainly examples of what you mean, I would say that for the most part in games I've played the genre and mechanics are pretty baked into each other.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    How so ?

    If you try to use your Ars Magica rules for your Battletech campaign it simply won't work without rewriting the whole system.
    Of course they play completely different. But not because one is fantasy and the other is sci-fi. You can have many very different types of fantasy games, and many different types of sci-fi games. Identifying whether something is fantasy and sci-fi tells you basically nothing about how the rules are designed and how the game plays. You can have one branch of games that are all very similar that includes both fantasy and sci-fi games, and another branch that is completely different from that with its own shared traits, that also includes both fantasy and sci-fi games.

    Admittedly, as a player or GM, when you start looking for a new game that catches your interest, the first thing you decide on that you want is probably going to be its genre. You know you want a sci-fi game before you start thinking about any mechanical considerations. So if you'd make a big catalog of RPGs for people to find a good game for the kind of campaign they want, it really would make sense to sort by genre before anything else.

    But when it comes to looking how games are designed in their mechanics and how they are intended to be played, I think the genre of the game has very little of interest to say on that topic.

    As a less abstract example, lets look at vehicles. There are cars, ships, and planes. There are also mass transportation vehicles, luxury vehicles, sports vehicles, and cargo vehicles. How I see it, someone who's really into racing cars has much more in common with people who are into racing boats and racing planes, than with people who are into freight trucks. It's the racing aspect that is most central, less so whether it's racing on roads, water, or in air.
    (Not a perfect example, because actually the mechanical parts of cars are mostly the same in all types of cars, while a sports car mechanic would have no clue what half the parts in a racing plane are for. But I think you get the principle.)
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Of course they play completely different. But not because one is fantasy and the other is sci-fi. You can have many very different types of fantasy games, and many different types of sci-fi games. Identifying whether something is fantasy and sci-fi tells you basically nothing about how the rules are designed and how the game plays. You can have one branch of games that are all very similar that includes both fantasy and sci-fi games, and another branch that is completely different from that with its own shared traits, that also includes both fantasy and sci-fi games.
    Sure, fantasy and sci-fi are way to broad to tell you much of note. And they heavily overlap as well. But when i tell you that a game is mecha or planetary romance or space opera or cyberpunk, it will give you quite a lot of useful information.
    But when it comes to looking how games are designed in their mechanics and how they are intended to be played, I think the genre of the game has very little of interest to say on that topic.
    I don't disagree with that much. Though "intended to be played" can include genre expectations as well. Harem comedy, noir, pulp ...

    As a less abstract example, lets look at vehicles. There are cars, ships, and planes. There are also mass transportation vehicles, luxury vehicles, sports vehicles, and cargo vehicles. How I see it, someone who's really into racing cars has much more in common with people who are into racing boats and racing planes, than with people who are into freight trucks. It's the racing aspect that is most central, less so whether it's racing on roads, water, or in air.
    (Not a perfect example, because actually the mechanical parts of cars are mostly the same in all types of cars, while a sports car mechanic would have no clue what half the parts in a racing plane are for. But I think you get the principle.)
    I think i understand what you mean. Sure, many design principles and rules ideas are completely independedn of genre or at least can easily work the same way in very different genres.

    But that is relevant for writing systems or modifying them. If i look for an existing system for my next campaign i hardly care for how much of the system i could port to something else.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    The bizarre and illogical categories I'd use would be:

    DnD (DnD, pathfinder, Warhammer Fantasy and 40k, OSR, dnd heartbreakers galore)
    Horror (WoD, Call of Cthulhu and like, urban fantasy kind of gets shoved into this by default)
    Anti-DnD (Exalted, Wuxia genre rpgs, Talislanta, Legends of the Five Rings, Runequest, basically any fantasy that specifically sets out to not be DnD as much as possible)
    Universal/Superhero (Mutants and Masterminds, GURPS, Fate, Powered by Apocalypse, things like that if you can do supers you can do anything and if you can do anything you can do supers)
    Space Sci-fi (any rpg set in space with some FTL thing but no magic)
    Dystopian Sci-Fi (any rpg set in the apocalypse or cyberpunk)
    Jenna Moran (rgps made by Jenna Moran who are so mystical, odd and funny yet a bit incomprehensible despite how rules light they tend to be that they're this category unto themselves like Nobilis, Chuubos and such.)
    Licensed Game of non-TTRPG Franchise (Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, things like that)
    Paranoia (Just Paranoia)
    Never Played (a lot of worlds and systems that are interesting and weird but are so niche and unknown that its likely any discussion of them will be purely theoretical in how they work unless we find the unicorns (aka: the designers of the rpg) that actually played them or at least claim to, so most RPGs that aren't DnD-likes.)

    I'm probably forgetting some things in which feel free to remind me so I can shovel them into Never Played or make this even more baroque, asymmetrical and patchwork so that it accurately reflects the mess that it actually is rather than the symmetrical systematic thing people would like it to be. I'm a person who revels in chaos and disorderly order that only makes sense from a weird perspective that may or may not exist depending on how accepting you are of my train of thought deliberately going in zig-zags and loopedy-loops. also I'm like half-joking with all this maybe. critical logical thinkers, you have been warned.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2021-09-17 at 09:26 AM.
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Intent, focus, spaghetti, randomizer type, negotiation amount, creativity support, outcomes.

    Intent: overall goal of the game & design.
    Focus: core activity of the game by mechanic & play time.
    Spaghetti: both rule count & how interacting the rules are & if a graphic of the connections would look like a big pile of spaghetti.
    Randomizer type: basically a shorthand one-liner of the conflict resolution system centered around actual play functions.
    Negotiation amount: both between players & gm on actions and how much work the gm needs to do to smooth out kinks in the system.
    Creativity support: amount of support in rules of the game for player creativity during play.
    Outcomes: what actually gets delivered to the players & gms at the table by the system.

    To check any set of metrics (this is coming from a guy who built a spreadsheet to compare different game experiences) you need to apply it to a wide range of games and see if it accurately reflects the differences. While accepting that lots of this is subjective and personal opinion. So I'd have to sit down and work through... Amber, PbtA, Risus, 2-3 versions of Call of Cthulhu, 5 versions of D&D, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Exalted, Paranoia, Champions, Shadowrun, Lt5R, M&M, Rifts, Traveller (at least 2 versions), Deadlands, Pendragon, BESM, 3 to 5 WhiteWolf games, Twilight 2000, Silver Age Sentinels, 3 or 4 versions of Star Wars, Star Trek, Masks, 3 or 4 Warhammer games, Palladium, a couple OSRs, and a minimum of 3 different people's homebrew systems. Yeah, get a decent data set to see how well any category system worked.
    Last edited by Telok; 2021-09-17 at 09:57 AM.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    In general I prefer thinking in terms of tags or traits rather than categories.

    While it's often true that certain tags tend to get clumped together, I still think it's more useful as "categories" tend to get defined with harder lines than they should. These types of traits also tend to be more useful things to talk about and are easier to have a discourse around.
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    In general I prefer thinking in terms of tags or traits rather than categories.

    While it's often true that certain tags tend to get clumped together, I still think it's more useful as "categories" tend to get defined with harder lines than they should. These types of traits also tend to be more useful things to talk about and are easier to have a discourse around.
    Very true. Tho I'm curious as to how flexible these traits are. Mind giving a few examples.

    Also personally it's just very fun to categorise stuff. Though that might just be a symptom of being autistic (medically i mean not the slang. I have high functioning autism along with adhd.)

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    Default Re:

    How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?
    I don't bother, since that taxonomy doesn't help me play a game that is intended as a way to have fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    I'd rather draw Venn diagrams than write lists of categories these days. Or trees of lineage. They are more informative than lists at conveying set-subset relationships.

    The three most useful ways to split roleplaying games are by medium (speech, text, drawing, physical action), by subject matter (horror, romance, etc.) and by what other game types they overlap with based on how they are played (dice game, wargame, storygame etc.). Trying to exhaustively list the combinations would be a fool's game.
    IMO a better approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
    Styles are the approach to game design. The osr Style approachs things very differently then a narrativist Style.
    Overly broad assertion is overly broad, and falls into the Forge trap. GNS does not have legs.
    Beer and pretzel games.
    Any game can be a beer and pretzel game: it depends on the players. I have played D&D, over multiple editions, as anything from dead serious you may die to silly funny magic fun, with the same game.

    Beyond RPGs: we used to play softball as a beer and pretzel game when I was in the Navy, but it was called beerball. You had to chug a beer to get past second base.
    Genre
    A useful category marker.
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    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
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    Default Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?
    I don't bother, since that taxonomy doesn't help me play a game that is intended as a way to have fun.
    IMO a better approach.
    Overly broad assertion is overly broad, and falls into the Forge trap. GNS does not have legs.

    Any game can be a beer and pretzel game: it depends on the players. I have played D&D, over multiple editions, as anything from dead serious you may die to silly funny magic fun, with the same game.

    Beyond RPGs: we used to play softball as a beer and pretzel game when I was in the Navy, but it was called beerball. You had to chug a beer to get past second base.
    A useful category marker.
    I did try to make the broad assertion to help simplify what games to buy but perhaps i did over generalise.

    Btw i actually never heard of the forge before a few weeks before and even then only heard that ron edwards had some extreme views on dnd players. So i don't know what this forge trap is. Also i don't remember hearing what were the arguments against gamest narrativist and simulationist.

    Very true on the beer and pretzels point. Technically most rpgs can be played beer and pretzel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
    Also i don't remember hearing what were the arguments against gamest narrativist and simulationist.
    GNS was a first attempt at a theory that fell flat for a variety of reasons, but people still use the terms to describe styles of play. I don't have the link any more, but there was a serial to that attempt (Big Model, I think) which was far less reductionist - I'll leave the verdict to that attempt at RPG theory for another time. (I think I remember that discussion building momentum for "System matters!" as a mind set, or as a position, but I may be confusing discussions from over a decade ago). It was at least interesting to read through it, I will say that.
    Very true on the beer and pretzels point. Technically most rpgs can be played beer and pretzel.
    Aye, and with other, stronger stimulants as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Mine is very simple.

    -RPGs I get to play: Shadowrun, D6 Star Wars, D&D 5e, L5R 3rd, PbtA, and some Homebrew stuff.

    -RPGs I do not get to play: All the rest.
    Last edited by Easy e; 2021-09-17 at 02:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
    Very true on the beer and pretzels point. Technically most rpgs can be played beer and pretzel.
    Now I feel a need to write a quick beer & pretzels game.

    Ok, you need beers, packets of pretzels (small snack size ones are best), a reasonably sized table, and a bowl. The characters have infinite lives but every time your character dies you have to drink a beer. The characters are represented by packets of pretzels. Any time something would hurt the character, eat a pretzel. Any time your character would fail and you want them to succeed try to throw a pretzel from the end of the table, if you get it in the bowl your character succeeds. Any time you want to screw up another character trying to do something, bowl a pretzel. When your bag is empty the next bad thing that happens to the character kills them. Each resurrection of the character (after drinking the beer) requires a new bag of pretzels.

    The DM runs the bowl and uses it as their "bag" of npcs. If they want an npc to succeed at something they have to eat a pretzel or drink a beer. If they want to screw up a pc action or a monster attacks a character they throw a pretzel at the player (hits are successes) or take a drink. The DM starts with one bag of pretzels in the bowl. The party starts in a tavern where they have a quest to kill some rats, and they are attacked by goblins. Begin.
    Last edited by Telok; 2021-09-17 at 05:52 PM.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    A short commentary on GNS and the Forge:

    Everyone would be better off forgetting about GNS as a tool of analysis because it was largely useless as one.

    The reason why it was useless is that it was a hobbyist construct built on hobbyist pet peeves, with little reference to things outside the (back then, even nicher) tabletop RPG hobby. As such, it's only a "theory" on layman's terms, and made no predictions and received no testing in a way even a half-baked academic theory would.

    Worse, most of what people outside the Forge remember of the theory is pithy slogans like "System matters!", leading to really dim counterarguments like "System doesn't matter!". Systems matter allright - what never was proven is whether they matter in the way GNS claimed them to matter. You can, and should, analyze how systems matter without ever referencing GNS.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    In general I prefer thinking in terms of tags or traits rather than categories.

    While it's often true that certain tags tend to get clumped together, I still think it's more useful as "categories" tend to get defined with harder lines than they should. These types of traits also tend to be more useful things to talk about and are easier to have a discourse around.
    Pretty much this.

    For me, one of the most important tags / metrics is the ability to create new things.

    For example, in D&D (and maybe some day I'll be onboard with "editions where you can't do this aren't really D&D", but I'm not there yet), ShadowRun, Ars Magica, and maybe others, Wizards can meaningfully invent new spells. In D&D, Wizards can meaningfully craft new items.

    In Battletech, I can build new mechs (characters are more limited to customizing mechs). In WoD, characters *should* be able to create spells on the fly with a lot of variance, but it doesn't quite scratch the same itch.

    Most other systems offer nothing here.

    Another tag that is important to me is role-playing.

    D&D has no mechanics to get in the way of role-playing. Whereas any system that has "personality" mechanics inhibits role-playing.

    A third tag of importance is… Hmmm… the capacity for long-term character retention. There's no real point making a character (rather than a mechanical playing piece) if I cannot play it long-term.

    Other tags I care about include "has magic", "has PC magic", "can play character from the start", "Fighters rule!", "isn't fragile ('but what if we have 15 encounters without a long rest?)'", "can slay gods", "is actually an RPG (sorry 4e)", "is at least a mediocre war game", "not 'optimal play or fail' design", "diverse character design space", "accommodates concepts reasonable to genre", "hacks!" / "responds to player skill at the system level", "has meta-currencies".
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-09-18 at 06:49 AM.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    My basic metric is fun -v- work.

    To break it down a bit further.

    Setting
    Accessible -v- I have to learn a new language to understand this.
    Anything that takes longer than 10 seconds to describe to a potential new player starts being work.

    Mechanics
    Intuitive -v- Excuse me while I load up my custom spreadsheet.
    This isn’t necessarily about complexity. It’s about how easy it is to understand and the flow rate of decision making. THAC0 is an example of a mechanic that was simple, but not intuitive.

    Character sheet.
    It fits on the back of my business card -v- Here’s my 12 double sided page in 6 point font quick reference ring binder.
    The more details you have to keep track of the more work the game is.

    Customizability.
    This is a sword -v- choose between long sword, side sword, Zweihander, katana, rapier, falchion, scimitar, saber, estoc, bastard sword, back sword, dao and broad sword. Yes of course they are all different and have different effects.
    Having more options and ability to make your personal stuff personalized is cool. It is also more work.

    For a game to stick it needs some elements of work to create continued buy in from the player. Players will not start a game if it does not look like fun and will quit a game if the work overwhelm the fun.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Tactical vs. Narrative: I have a partially finished thread idea about it but mostly it is about with layer (mechanical or fiction) to be at the core of the game.

    And then for the types of story can be broken up by component:
    • Setting: Standard fantasy, modern day or the far future. If the system is really abstract
    • Character: Who are the PCs? What limits does the system place on them?
    • Plot: What are the standard campaign premises
    I don't really use categories here, more the things I think a good description of a system would touch on. But you can add categories/tags to any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    D&D has no mechanics to get in the way of role-playing. Whereas any system that has "personality" mechanics inhibits role-playing.
    But has so many rules inhibiting combat. You can't even set the DC to cut someone's head off without cutting a swath through the combat rules.
    You don't find D&D's mechanics get in the way of role-playing? And don't think I missed the 4e comment.
    I'm not actually going to open up the debate of which approach is better, but you can also organise systems by how they handle different aspects of characters. Combat and social are two areas that see a lot of variation in popular systems. So you can do some categorization on common activities within systems as well.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    - Story: The actions and choices of the players determine how events play out.
    - Roleplaying: Events occur due to resolution of the choices the player make for their characters actions.
    - Story: The players make choices about the narratively tied together events (plot) determine how the story play out.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    My biggest characterization is this:
    Games that support the genre vs. games that do not support the genre.

    Games that support the genre include:
    • TOON: If you lose all your hit points, you Fall Down, with little X’s in your eyes – and then walk back onscreen perfectly whole three minutes later. And you get an automatic Plot Point if you make the Animator laugh so hard he or she cannot continue running the game immediately.
    • Flashing Blades: a musketeers-era game with five different dueling styles. And each PC has an Advantage and a Secret. Your class is an actual social class – noble, gentleman, soldier, or rogue.
    • Pendragon: An Arthurian mythos game constantly focused on, and influenced by, your Passions, your Virtues, and your Vices.
    • Original D&D (primarily because the DM usually has to adjudicate almost anything)
    • Champions: You can make any superpower work, and fit into any superhero approach. Caveat: If you aren’t pretty facile with arithmetic, then the system gets in your way.
    • Chivalry and Sorcery: The most lush, vivid, realistic, immersive, detailed, complete, glorious unplayable mess ever written.
    • Paranoia: I won’t even describe it. By the time you have read the rules, you are deep into this dysfunctional science-fiction world.



    Games that do not support the genre include:
    • D&D 3.5e. The feel of a D&D game is its own unique worldview, totally unlike any fantasy world ever written. [This makes it great for the people who want the new, D&D-invented worldview.]
    • Tunnels and Trolls. The rules don't take the game seriously. How can you?



    D&D started out trying to simulate a fantasy world. With every step along the way, they have institutionalized more of their own inventions (nine-way alignment, for instance), and eliminated more and more of what came from actual fantasy literature.

    Yes, these are mostly old games. I started playing rpgs in 1975, with the original three-pamphlet white-box edition of D&D.

    And yes, I have far more examples of the games I like than the games I don't like. There are other games that sound like they would belong in the second list, but because I haven't played them, I have no informed opinion.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    But has so many rules inhibiting combat. You can't even set the DC to cut someone's head off without cutting a swath through the combat rules.
    Yes and no.

    The DC can be "has a Vorpal Blade" (or a sharpened stick (stupid ____)) and "rolled an 18+"/"confirmed a crit"/(stupid 3.5).

    If you've dealt enough damage to kill someone anyway, the DC can be, "ask your GM" (might be automatic).

    If you have someone helpless, you can cut their heads off. IIRC, it was even one of the examples in the early books.

    Hydras in certain editions have special rules for this (every X damage, sunder attempt, etc).

    But characters generally have… can I call it a "meta-currency"?… that generally prohibits such events until that currency is spent. But, as we haven't finished (or even continued) our HP discussion in another thread, it might be too early to have such a conversation.

    … but, just in case: realistically, if you sent 1,000 random noncoms with knives to one-on-one the thousand best Fighters IRL, and told/compelled them all to open with the move "slit their throat", while the Fighters were completely aware of the noncom and their actions… I personally wouldn't expect much (any) success. Whereas, if you sent these 1,000 noncoms, one at a time, against the same Fighter, I imagine it's possible that they might eventually wear them down, and, over millions of trials, you would see higher success rates in "1,000 v 1" than "1000x 1 v 1".

    That's my intuition.

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Don't forget the higher level distinction of pen and paper rpgs vs. crpgs

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    Default Re: How'd you split up the categories of rpgs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    [*]Chivalry and Sorcery: The most lush, vivid, realistic, immersive, detailed, complete, glorious unplayable mess ever written.
    We enjoyed quite a bit of that one in college, but yeah, complicated ...
    By genre, do you mean swords and sorcery, or something else in terms of supporting the genre that the game is trying to present?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Games that do not support the genre include:
    • D&D 3.5e. The feel of a D&D game is its own unique worldview, totally unlike any fantasy world ever written. [This makes it great for the people who want the new, D&D-invented worldview.]
    • Tunnels and Trolls. The rules don't take the game seriously. How can you?
    My only coherent reference point for T&T is the 5e deluxe, and after about eight sessions of that (which I was enjoying) the group fell apart. (On line play, one murder hobo basically turned off two of the other players). We played a little in college era, original rules, late 70's, in sessions that included drinking. TO say I never 'grasped' T&T would be true. (I never got the book). Around that time I had already purchased Empire of the Petal Throne and was very into running that when I DM'd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    D&D started out trying to simulate a fantasy world. With every step along the way, they have institutionalized more of their own inventions (nine-way alignment, for instance), and eliminated more and more of what came from actual fantasy literature.
    Do you mean fantasy, swords and sorcery, or both? (And in time those have certainly fused).
    I started playing rpgs in 1975, with the original three-pamphlet white-box edition of D&D.
    likewise. Your point on D&D's recursion is well taken, and video games/CRPGS/MMORPGs have only amplified that.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-09-22 at 10:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    Now I feel a need to write a quick beer & pretzels game.

    Ok, you need beers, packets of pretzels (small snack size ones are best), a reasonably sized table, and a bowl. The characters have infinite lives but every time your character dies you have to drink a beer. The characters are represented by packets of pretzels. Any time something would hurt the character, eat a pretzel. Any time your character would fail and you want them to succeed try to throw a pretzel from the end of the table, if you get it in the bowl your character succeeds. Any time you want to screw up another character trying to do something, bowl a pretzel. When your bag is empty the next bad thing that happens to the character kills them. Each resurrection of the character (after drinking the beer) requires a new bag of pretzels.

    The DM runs the bowl and uses it as their "bag" of npcs. If they want an npc to succeed at something they have to eat a pretzel or drink a beer. If they want to screw up a pc action or a monster attacks a character they throw a pretzel at the player (hits are successes) or take a drink. The DM starts with one bag of pretzels in the bowl. The party starts in a tavern where they have a quest to kill some rats, and they are attacked by goblins. Begin.
    I would totally play that!
    *This Space Available*

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