Links: story hour and theory

24 April, 2009 at 7:22 pm (game design, rpg theory) ()

Usually I have little patience for what I call “D&D fiction”, unless I am involved in creating it when playing. There’s an exception, which is a story hour on Enworld. The relevant threads are indexed and PDFified at League of imaginary heroes. They are actually well-written to the point of being engaging. There’s the occasional bit of 3rd edition D&D spell name cascade, since high level D&D includes mages with plenty of spells. Bruce recommended the story hour as a contrasting opinion on my piece regarding war being boring to roleplay through. About that: Most of the story focuses on characters that are, in some way, above war; the fights are nasty, brutish and short (to the extent that is possible with modern D&D), at least from descriptions.

Vincent Baker has been writing about rpg theory; what I get out of it is a new perspective on fiction affecting play. A perspective from the Forge theory point of view, to be more precise. Threads, in order: Fistfight, 3 resolution systems, scale, depth, clouds dice, cloud-to-cloud, moment of judgement, dice and cloud and finally GM fiat. Callan also posted something related. The conversation may continue there or elsewhere; it is supposedly related to old school gaming in some way. The latest linked Baker’s post shows some of that. Almost. Edit: Another post by Vincent and Callan, both of them highly recommended. Second edit: A podcast and a post at Deeper in the Game.

Kalle Bergman has also been writing on rpg theory (series is titled Towards a new paradigm for rpg design), but in Swedish, which is somewhat inconvenient (I can read and write a bit of Swedish, but Kalle does not use elementary vocabulary). The Google translations to English are not completely abysmal, although it understands leken (play, definitive form) as deck and makes the text awkward to read, as naive translations always do. By “not completely abysmal” I mean that even the English text is sort of readable most of the time.  The first post references Huizinga’s Homo ludens and reminds me of something I’ve written before. Links: Första (and English translation for convenience), andra, tredje post. I might comment on them later, should I manage to understand all of them. (The first one I’ve read, and it certainly is interesting).

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