thread: 2011-09-08 : Trad vs Indie: FIGHT! pt2

On 2011-09-21, Josh W wrote:

CC I’m glad you keep commenting here, you are being put on the spot, but you’re handling it like a man.

Why bother asking you all this stuff? Because you’ve got a different approach that is helpful, a different enough viewpoint to bring something new to the discussion. There’s little pride to be had in everyone saying “don’t plan” if it means that some people have to just stop the games they are playing, and then never get the particular experience and creative challenge they were after.

My understanding of D&D is that you can get an aesthetic out of it pretty reliably, without planning out a specific path, but the scope of that aesthetic is very constrained. Dungeon crawls work, with tales of low-tech improvisation and reconnaissance. The further you go beyond that the flakier it gets.

I could reel off a list of indie games too and the scope they work in. It’s in a way amazing that they work, and a lot of people are suprised by it, but you can get distinctive stories out of using them that you were not expecting. And through my game-designer eyes, the solution is simple; you haven’t yet got systems set up to reliably set up the kind play you want without pre-planning. But I suspect my prejudices about pre-planned stories might be getting in the way!

I have a theory that there is a playstyle here that I can’t run effectively, which is essentially “I tell the GM what I want to do when in character, then he manipulates the environment so that I do”.

It’s like putting on a blindfold and being directed by your friends. When you open the blindfold, you’re roughly where you expected to be, but it’s a nice surprise to actually be there. And they’ve probably messed with you a bit on the way there, but not so much that you’re bothered by it.

I could be right or wrong about that, can’t tell without more details.

I’d also like to see the kind of way missions work in your games, because it may say all kinds of stuff about the way your planning works; where players get to plan ahead themselves, where and why they bump into stuff and change their plans, what parts of their ideas you re-incorporate into the game etc.


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