Monday, June 30, 2014

Traditional Roleplaying and Doing The Same Old Thing

I have been, for a long while, struggling against a certain odd assumption. This is, bluntly, that there is no innovation possible/being done within the traditional RPG envelope. It seems to be a fairly common assumption - traditional RPGs are dead, they just don't know it yet - but it is also unconscious and for the most part unvoiced, showing itself mainly in circumstantial ways.

Here is the thing I keep hitting in a nutshell: _All traditional RPG designers are doing is what has been done before, either purposefully, as in the OSR, or blindly, in all other cases. All real innovation is coming from story oriented games or from 'the challenge is the game' games._

As a designer who does his best to push the envelope while still remaining within the traditional framework, this is crippling. It is akin to the "I read a game you wrote back in 2004 and it wasn't for me, so nothing you do could ever be of interest" put down - like one can't ever get better, or learn from one's mistakes, or even just change. This assumption makes every day a salmon day - I'm swimming upstream, against the current, so I can spawn and die.

What is funny is I never feel this from other designers. Never. They design the games they design because they are interested in exploring this way, and they assume other designers are doing the same thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment