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Thread: What is an Indie RPG? FAQ, Info, Links

  1. #46
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    I think Indie is any game not published by one of the big 5; Paizo, WOTC, FFG, Steve Jackson Games and Pinnacle. Everything else is basically Indie at this juncture. Small press, small group, freelancers and outsourcing. Evil Hat MAY be coming up to make a big 6, but that would be more in sales than staff. :-) Even White Wolf now Onyx Path is really a conglomerate of freelancers. Our hobby has a cottage industry, and I think this distinction probably is less useful than the Storygame vs. Traditional axis.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

  2. #47
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    ...which is...fluffy vs. crunchy? We'll break out of "cottage" when enough video gamers decide to cross over to tabletops. Then a gamer will be a gamer.
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    I don't think the particulars matter anymore. Generally speaking most of the "story games" and "narrative games" et al are lighter in crunch. Simplification and focus seem to be the hallmarks. Traditional games tend to have more crunch and follow some standard design patters. This is not universal. Of the big 5 noted, Star Wars, Pathfinder and GURPS 4e are heavier in crunch. D&D5e and Savage Worlds are medium to light in crunch. FATE is medium in crunch. Take the Apocalypse World engine games. These are lighter in crunch, with plenty of fluff to help you run the game. These are considered some fantastic "indie" games. But so is Atlantis: The 2nd Age from Kephera publishing. Hero games is now an "indie" publisher, but Hero is decidedly more crunchy than say AWE. I would say Eclipse Phase is a medium crunch traditional game (by an "indie" publisher), where Shadowrun is a medium to heavy crunch game by a newly downsized Catalyst Game Labs (whom I would now consider an "indie" publisher).

    Personally, I subscribe more to the Storygame vs. Traditional split when it comes to mechanics and the Big * vs. "Indie" split when it comes to marketing/sales/size of company. Neither split is better or worse. I have participated in a plethora of fantastic Kickstarters from Indie/boutique publishers with production values that rival some of the "Big 10" from years past. It's a mess. A wonderful chaotic fun nerd-tastic mess!
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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