Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #rpgtheory

Most recents (10)

One way to think about roleplaying is, roleplaying is the umbrella act. Each rpg offers its own take on this larger, transcendent act, the act of roleplaying. Some rpgs' rules get you (you in particular) into the act of roleplaying more quickly, more reliably, more soundly...
...And so it makes sense that you'd shop around, look for the rpg that gives you the roleplaying experience you prefer, try different approaches, seek your ideal, and (for some of us) create the game that gets you roleplaying just right.
Another way to think about roleplaying is, roleplaying is the small, technical act, just the act of roleplaying. Each rpg includes this act for its own technical reasons, in pursuit of its own specific goals...
Read 11 tweets
A short piece of #PbtA #RPGTheory.

Many of Apocalypse World's rules refer explicitly to the interactions you have when you play.

Implicit: On a 10+, your character hits theirs. They choose where.

Explicit: On a 10+, tell them that your character hits theirs. Ask them where.
A lot of the time, it doesn't matter. The examples above are basically interchangeable.

But compare these:

Implicit: On a 10+, your character guesses what they should be on the lookout for.

Explicit: On a 10+, ask the GM: "What should my character be on the lookout for?"
These aren't interchangeable in the same way. In the implicit version, you have to kind of guess or interpret what interaction you should have with the GM, to get the result the rule describes. The explicit version describes the interaction directly instead.
Read 8 tweets
How about some #RPGtheory?

I think by far the hardest thing for RPG gamers is being able to look at a game's mechanics and procedures and perceive if they're inspired and good.
Mostly we fall back on trying to perceive if they're functional. We compare them to other games we've played, and try to make a decent guess about if they're functional.
And because functional procedures aren't something to get excited about, we pin our excitement on other factors, like style, worldbuilding, cleverness, and production quality.
Read 6 tweets
Good morning!

I have an #RPGTheory thread for you.

I'm kind of serious about it, but I want to offer it for what it's worth, not to convince you, just for your consideration. Maybe you'll find it useful or interesting too.
It's about #PbtA, but PbtA games don't have any kind of lock or monopoly on it, at all. Take this idea and use it in every way that serves your own games, PbtA, non-PbtA, or anti-PbtA!

Here goes.
A normal roleplaying game models objects and entities in the game world. Sometimes in significant detail.

For example: Here's my dude, he's x-much strong, he's x-much skilled, he's got x-many hit points. He owns a sword that's x-much sharp and armor that's x-much hard.
Read 21 tweets
#PbtA #RPGTheory #RPGTheoryJuly

Apocalypse World says "play to find out what happens."
What it means is, play to find out what the characters make of their world. Both what they choose to make of their world, and, because Apocalypse World is a game of compromises, what they're able to make of their world.
This appears, more or less explicitly, on the back cover of the game.
Read 16 tweets
A #PbtA #RPGtheory thread!

So you have a whole bunch of stuff in a game's design. Characters, fictional setting, dice, rules, abilities on character sheets, player roles like "player" and "GM"...
...And you have the moment of play, four friends talking together, live, right now.

It's tempting to say that the design-stuff "constrains" the moment of play, that the moment of play "enacts" the design-stuff. But I think that's backwards.
In the moment of play, you reach into the design-stuff and choose what of it you'll bring to bear. Better to say that the moment of play draws on the design-stuff, that the design-stuff is there as a resource for the playgroup to use.
Read 11 tweets
I'm in an airport waiting for a flight so you know what that means? #RPGTheory! Today I'm going to talk about Experience, advancement, and specifically XP on Failure. But I want to consider it from a direction I don't see people talking about a lot: Framing Milestones.
It takes struggle to make muscle, right? What you give and get XP for, defines what makes our character's struggle. Three Points:
1. Maybe D&D is onto something (maybe not)
2. XP on Failure
3. Flagged XP
(Also fair warning I'm on my laptop which has none of my PDFs, and I'm away from my books so my quotes are gonna be iffy and my examples nigh non-existent. WE FLYING BLIND TONIGHT, BABY!)
Read 38 tweets
How about some #RPGtheory? Great. Are you designing an RPG? They are fragile social constructs. They fail to deliver on your envisioned play experience for them all the time.
If you want the best for your RPG you need to inform your decisions by knowing how you expect it to deliver on your envisioned play experience.
There are three ways RPGs do it.

When John Harper runs 3:16 he brings a ton of compelling NPC play and genre detail to the table. There's malevolent drill sergeants and narcissistic generals and scarily faulty equipment.
Read 15 tweets
My #sadmechjam entry has been released! 4 players, about an hour or so, freeform RPG. Uses mechs as a frame to discuss end-of-life decision making. It's a real feels train and so pretty! Catch it here:

#RPGTheory time! I want to talk about Artifacts of Play and Rider's Last Rites, and this is literally one of my favourite parts of RPGs, so I hope I can help people to make more games that support them!

As always you can find Rider's here:
This is a photo of a few people who have just finished playing @shiftyginger's To Serve Her Wintery Hunger. In our hands (well, not mine. I ran that game) are snowflakes that we made as part of the mechanisms of that game, based on our success or failure.…
Read 18 tweets

"20. Favorite design tools?"

Alright, let's open this toolbox!
I'm going to ignore hardware & software for a moment here & discuss them at the end of this thread for reasons I'll get into later.

Instead, I'm going to start with conceptual tools—Paradigms & Practices that have served me well.

We'll start with some Basic P&P…
Designing Vast & Starlit, I delved into the very least a game had to do and still satisfy my own personal needs. Therein I found the 3 things that make game design easy:

• A Gravid Situation
• Functional Collaboration
• Interesting Content Generation
Read 40 tweets

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