Thursday, August 2, 2012

The best introduction to roleplaying games I read.

I stumbled across this from the introduction of Monsters! Monsters! by Ken St. Andre. You can read by downloading the full preview from RPG.
Wargaming is an ancient and honorable pastime. The game you are holding, however is an example of a relatively new type of wargame - the "fantasy role-playing" variety. In a fantasy game, the players command no armies and set no strategy. Each controls one character, or, at the most, a small band. The emphasis is not on meticulous detail-planning, but on creativity, and (let's face it) escapism. Although role-playing games are an offshoot of conflict simulation, they appeal most strongly to those who enjoy the literature of fantasy and science fiction. But reading is a solitary escape. A fantasy game can take a whole group away together to the world as it once was, or should have been, or may someday be.

Necessarily, then, fantasy games are complicated without being precise. If you like games where everything is spelled out, then this won't be for you and if you like your games quick and simple, put this one down now. Fantasy games are open-ended; the rulebook is only the skeleton. The Game Master provides the flesh, and the players breathe life into it.


Chad Rose said...

“Written rules by themselves cannot make for great adventure. The game master must envision a fantastic world and the players breathe life into it and only then will everyone be lost in epic fantasy.”

Jeremy Deram said...

I'm glad you liked it too! It's really well put.

Anonymous said...

Did you see that a new edition of Tunnels & Trolls was announced two days ago? check it outtttt!!!

Anonymous said...

More than a few games have a blurb somewhere along the lines of this in the rulebook. I like to take a look just to see what kind of thing I should expect, and that sounds great.