Help me with a Stabbingcontest episode: the new rpg concepts recap.

edited June 2011 in Story Games
So Lukas and I are going to record an ep of stabbingcontest and we're going to go over the big story game/indy concepts in a sort of looking backwards kind of way because... it's time.

So what are they?

What I have so far are:
say yes or roll the dice
no secrets from other players
stake setting
rewards for failure/failing forward/make failure interesting
let the characters drive the story (I don't want to be a character in your novel)

There are more somewhere in my head, but I'm trying to get this out before I run out the door.


  • I still think one of the biggest concepts to blow my brain from years ago is that the PLAYERS are hooked into the fiction is what matters, rather than counting on the CHARACTERS being hooked into the fiction to drag the Players in.

    This leads to Player authored Flags, Kickers and lots of other formalized rules, rather than just showing with characters created completely independent of other prep and being "run through" the GM's adventure and hoping the Players can make sure to care.
  • edited June 2011
    Most of these aren't new but have been embraced and refined by many indie games...

    Relationship maps
    Failure means success but at a cost
    Scene Framing
    Social Contract
    Lines & Veils
    Players roll all the dice
    Relationships replace Stats
    Beliefs / Keys / Aspects / Kickers / Flags
    Reward Cycles
    Traits can be used both positively and negatively
    Reverse gender roles
    The primary in game resources are tied to the player, not the character
    Charging traits before use
    The more damage you take, the stronger you are
    Damage turns into experience
    Healing as refresh interpersonal scenes
    Social mechanics
  • edited June 2011
    Social contract stuff [isn't that what SC was purportedly about, way back when? ;) ]


    Modes of Play/Game Expectations

    -I Will Not Abandon You
    -No One Gets Hurt


    -Lines & Veils
  • edited June 2011
    Talk to your players. - Sons of Kryos, I believe. Just as important as the other concepts.

    There are different/codified ways to GM - Apocalypse World, Mouse Guard, Paranoia, etc.

    Yes, and... - Improv influences...

    Rule 0 - Bullshit, or no system can run without a gm adjusting it.

    Conditions instead of Hit Points - Mouse Guard, Lady Blackbird

    Generational Play - IAWA, Hero's Banner, Pendragon, Houses of The Blooded

    Roleplaying games SHOULDN'T do everything - focused games are better?

    That's some of what I've gotten from these games.
  • System matters.

    (I think there's a danger in taking these out of context, by the way. Stake Setting isn't a general indie game guideline or principle.)
  • Telegraphing - the art saying what you are doing in such a way that others know what you would like them to do
  • Let it ride - Burning Wheel
  • edited June 2011
    Posted By: GrahamSystem matters.

    (I think there's a danger in taking these out of context, by the way. Stake Setting isn't a general indie game guideline or principle.)
    It's a ball that many indys picked up and ran for yardage.

    Eta: I can't believe I just used a football metaphor.
  • The deconstruction of "Game Master" in separate tasks and responsibilities (infinitely changeable depending on the game).

    In the same vein, the revolutionary idea that each game CAN need a specific way to GM. Or, in other words, that GMing can mean very different things depending on the game: duties, responsibilities and so on.

    I can expand, if that's not clear enough :)
  • These games actually expect you to follow the rules.

    Players have areas of authority and responsibility. A GM is a kind of player.

    A particular game is its own thing and played in its own way, not some instance of a mythical "true roleplaying". You can't arbitrarily mix and match mechanics or techniques from different games and expect them to work.

    Game design is not so hard that only the anointed few with backing from large companies can do it. Game design is not so easy that you can do it on the fly and expect good results.
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