Ideas and game discussions are enthusiastically welcome.
There is no correct way to create and play a role-play game. Adventure game label may be more inclusive. The only benchmark is fun. How entertaining is it? That varies with players.
Tell me a few computer games you like? I gravitate to turn-based that allow me to save or walk away. Darkest Dungeon was good design, except I found the endgame had fewer solutions than character combinations. Battle Brothers is nice, and the affinity I grow for the characters I progress translates into combat. I don’t want my toons to die. I even call them by fellow gamers names to make it personal. I have yet to join the battle Brothers modder community, which has added some nice strange additions (on that one). Both games are on Steam.
Role-play games have changed in forty years. We once wrote rules with board game elements, because the tabletop was our focus. We moved figures through mazes (simplification). The online community has decided that conversation in-character is the focus; the type of play pushed by the two Matts. It’s pleasant; I find it self-indulgent. I like to explore and see what the Ref presents. I also like to Ref but hated the time-sink involved.
Hence the four types of Better Games:
My favorite is Cutlass Style with event driven combat and encounters. The scale is small company, not individual. The events will often relate to how the character leads. Not always, but it drives a wargamer play I enjoy. Not with org chart and pieces as much as sliders and declining cohesion of the main. The complaint would be that players lack choice, free-will. The choices are limited, not Sandbox. The character is reacting to what comes next. Macro – I want to travel here next. But not Micro – I fire my bow. The players can and do move the story, but they also need to cross obstacles to final victory. It’s not D&D old nor new. Takes some resilience, since characters get shite upon regularly. You have to enjoy the journey and revel in the grind to increased power.
A player will evolve his character within the generated events. For instance, if a character has three events that suggest he uses a two-hander (rare), the player might decide his toon always does. Then when a card event occurs, the narrative might change to reflect his growing personality. The event result remains, but the reason he’s facing that problem alters.
Brash 4 Coins: Roving afield, the encounter may have ended or only abrogated
long enough for the sides to reform and clash anew. Success and player ignores all negative dice roll modifiers; nothing adversely changes the Difficulty of his rolls for the remainder of this battle. If skilled Man-at-Arms, Difficulty reduces by two. Difficulty: 13 Advantage: Longboat Vigilant (E)
The first line “roving afield…” that is color for the story. The result that negative dice pips are nullified is the outcome, assuming the roll of thirteen (2D8) is made. Advantage being have that Trait, Skill or Swaggering and dice become 3D8 (easier). Modifier for being skill Man-at-Arms.
Admittedly a lot to digest. Most people who play Cutlass style, learned directly from me or someone who played with me. I have yet to find someone who remains baffled after a session. It just takes a fresh mindset (and some lumps from gameplay mistakes).
Now a seasoned player might get that same card flip and decide his two-hander guy will swing so wildly at all comers that the forces involve (both sides) pretty much stand back and let him work. A break in the action per se. Did he evade or cause the enemy to seek easier prey? Seeing players react as characters to the scripted events is more enjoyable than watching a series of high die-low die hit-miss rolls.
I tend to write verbose. I won’t waste yours or my time going further on what seems like a salespitch. If you want to hear more about Better Games, and the other styles of games: Free-style, OSR and Two-Page, reply to this thread.
Retired gamers are living the best life. Cross fingers, that we all get there as I have.