Saturday, July 13, 2013

In Case You Were Confused....(AKA Dog headed opinion time)



To all want-to-be RPG designers, I feel it is my public duty to point out an issue that seems to be being overlooked in many new RPGs, and that seems to confuse many recent authors: RPG rules are not a venue for publishing your short (or interminable) gaming fanfic.

Not only is it blatantly inflating the page count (and price), but publishing your own fiction  in your own game is self indulgent vanity wankery of the first water.

I understand that a setting has to tell a story (really, I do) and yes, adventures need setting up – but neither of these are effectively accomplished by including interminable short stories about the tragic hero with a long duster, a shiny gunswordpowerthingie, and a tragic backstory attempting to make up for incomprehensible motivations stereotyped personality traits and pathologically confused  social relationships.    Okay ?  

Repeat after me: "A good RPG author is not automatically a good fiction author, and vice versa."  

Rules need playtest; stories need editorial criticism.   One doesn't substitute for the other. 
Cut it the hell out.   When I want crappy adventure fiction, I’ll read Gor; for crappy SF, there’s always Blake 7.


As an afterthought, the lack of actual fiction sections alone can be considered a major strength of the OSR and pocket/lite RPG design schools.  Even if I hated everything else about them, (and I don't) that alone would endear them to me.

2 comments:

Marc said...

Name and shame!

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