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Roleplaying Theory for Dummies

This is it. Read this one short page of very short essays, and you pretty much have everything you need to know about RPG theory (by way of the Forge). Start at the top, and work your way down.

Chris also says you need to play 2 of the following: InSpectres, Universalis, Primetime Adventures, Dogs in the Vineyard. He's right. I'll also add Trollbabe (or Stranger Things) and The Shadow of Yesterday to that mix of choices.

There, all done? That wasn't so bad, was it?

Cool! I qualify.

So why don't I understand it? :)

Well, that particular page of Vincent's is a scattershot collection of stuff from his old site... My basic syllabus begins with demanding actual play, then reading 4 links. I generally think it's useless to talk about functional rules, or what role they play in games, unless people have had a chance to experience them.

Chris is right, of course. You gotta play and play and play.

BUT, all the play in the world won't help if you drift everything right back to what you've been doing all along. I see this happen a lot. Someone plays Sorcerer, but they do it just like they do Vampire or Champions and then they're all confused and disappointed.

It's a bit of a catch-22, actually. It's hard to read and understand some of these games without the context of play, but it's very hard to play them if you don't understand what the text means.

You have to aggresively tear down your assumptions, first. Just like any new experience, it works better if you don't go into it with the attitude that you already know everything.

Hi John,

Yeah, Sorcerer isn't in my list for just that reason.

I think Sorcerer, Burning Wheel and Riddle of Steel all suffer from that kind of drift because outwardly- they appear similar to mainstream games and are an "easier" drift. After all, if someone is used to rules that don't work, the first thing they try to do is drift them.

Stuff like Inspectres or Universalis appear so different from the mainstream, you have to ignore the whole damn book to drift them there.

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