Friday, September 30, 2005

Introduction to Forge Theory #1

Introduction to Forge Theory #1

Players at a table

When looking at the theory that comes out of the Forge, there is one basic assumption that, while not unspoken, may not really be spoken loudly enough. The only consideration of Forge theory is the real people participating the play of a role-playing game.

Anything else -- character motivation, genre concerns, setting material, rules, game text, whether elfin ears are 2" or 3" long, whether or not they are playing a role-playing game at all -- is considered solely in terms of the effect that it has on these people, their experience of play, and their relationships to each other and their own creative output.

This isn't just the base of the theory. This is the entire theory. We are going to talk about nothing that isn't the players of the game. Keep that in mind as I talk, and feel free to bludgeon me with it later.

That was unexpectedly short. Next chapter may be longer.

(There are rumblings about this social context business, but we can safely leave that aside as a concern for designers, which means it is for later.)


Blogger Joshua BishopRoby said...


Increasingly I think we need to make a nice, formal, vocabulary-based distinction between "people around a table" game and "rules and setting written in a book" game. This conflation is the source of more problems than I can count.

2:18 AM  

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