D101’s Wave 2 (publishing its own games) is firmly here, hitting the shores and reaching the people and with it came a firm realisation (or perhaps the obvious slapping me in the face) of where I’m going with this.
In short ‘Its all about the Story’.
My favourite Roleplaying experiences have always been those where you remember the game play sessions by the stories that people tell afterwards. Please excuse me if I look bored to high heaven if you wander up to me and tell me about your favourite character and what awesome powers they have or how system X hits the sweet spot for play. These things don’t do it for me.
These are the three things I’m I looking for in a ‘story-telling’ roleplaying game.
- Flexible and easy to learn. Story telling often requires you be inventive on the fly. I want a game systems that support me as I make things up. I don’t want a large overhead of confused players as we have to roll out a new rule to cover the situation that’s cropped up in play. I want the system to be straightforward, not necessary rules-lite, so that it can blend into the background and let the fun and the story take over.
- Make the best use of the system features. I want to produce games that encourage and reward story telling and have clever systems that channel, not force, play in this direction.
- Violence is not the only option. I want to cut down on the amount of random violence that occurs in my games due to players exerting their character’s superiority over npcs. As big a fan as I am of Sword and Sorcery and the Action Movie genres, I getting sick of the ‘toys for the boys’ approach that most RPGs take. Its not just about having systems that can handle politics or ‘social conflict’ its about presenting a world that actually encourages the players to be more than just walking weapons’ platforms. Monkey , as much as it is filled with Wacky Kung-fu fighting, is a step in this direction.
How we are going to do it
- Trad systems with Story telling bias for example OpenQuest.
- New modern Storytelling systems purpose built for story telling, such as Wordplay and HeroQuest.
I put the emphasis on ‘we’ here because D101 is already a collaborative enterprise. Hearts in Glorantha is one big collaboration and so was the production of OpenQuest. This trend will continue when some of the upcoming projects I have in the pipeline come to light over the coming months. This is perhaps the final point about D101’s Direction, while I remain the figure head and benevolent dictator for life, D101 has moved away from being my vehicle for self-publication and more of a collective. So if you have an idea for a book, that matches our direction, get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).