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Abstract Musings

Assorted ideas about games.

  1. Searchers of the Unknown + True20 + Numenera = ???

    by , Yesterday at 03:15 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Lately I've found myself fascinated by minimalist D&D rules like "Searchers of the Unknown" and its worthy successor "1974 Style". I also like the d20-only philosophy of True20 and Numenera's Only Players Roll principle. All three have collided in my brain to create the following incomplete rules:
    • Every character, player or NPC, has a Level, which denotes attack, defense, and miscellaneous physical prowess. PCs start at 1, as usual.
    • Every character has the
    ...
  2. A Space Opera Recursion for The Strange

    by , 11-14-2014 at 04:30 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Recently I've been playing The Strange with a reasonably stable group. Yesterday I had an idea for a space-opera style recursion (parallel world for the rest of the gaming world), and having nobody else to tell I'm telling you. Don't you feel special?

    The problem with wedging an entire galaxy, or even a solar system, into one of the Strange's recursions is that recursions are supposed to be small, much smaller than Earth, so that the GM isn't madly mapping planets for every adventure. ...

    Updated 11-14-2014 at 04:35 AM by fmitchell

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  3. Another Weird Idea: Sixgun and Planet

    by , 05-26-2014 at 12:29 PM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    For those of you who don't know what "sword and planet" is, it's science fiction in which our lone Earthling hero is thrown onto an alien planet with generally low technology and must fight to survive. Examples include Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom series (A Princess on Mars, etc.) and some of Jack Vance's work (particularly the Planet of Adventure series). The excuse for swords being the weapon of choice varies from decaying cultures to alien oppressors.

    Recently I've ...

    Updated 05-26-2014 at 12:50 PM by fmitchell

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  4. "Always Chaotic Evil" Considered Stupid

    by , 01-26-2014 at 02:10 AM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    (Originally posted on Google+, for some inexplicable reason.)

    Just to toss out a topic (or possibly sweaty dynamite) ... what's the general opinion on "evil races" in games? By which I mean entire intelligent species whose sole purpose is essentially to kill/enslave/annoy humans.

    As one might gather, I'm not a fan. My first problem is that real-world societies have attributed two-dimensional malice to their enemies far too often, with tragic results, and ...
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  5. Rules as Interfaces Redux

    by , 01-09-2014 at 01:28 PM (Inside lives a goblin that feeds on indecision.)
    Yesterday I babbled about viewing RPG rules as an interface between players and GMs, similar to a GUI or API in computer programs. In this view, the game rules, like GUIs or APIs, are most useful when they avoid unnecessary clutter and complexity.

    One other interesting consequence of this analogy is that, like interfaces, rules have to be stable in order to be useful. This applies both to official versions of the rules and house rules.

    For example, in every version ...
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