There’ve been lots of games over the years that have surprised me with a novel twist to the rules or, unfortunately, with surprisingly uninspiring or inappropriate rules that didn’t really support the setting, or didn’t fit well with the rest of the rules. And, of course, I’ve been sometimes surprised by an aspect of setting that had interesting ramifications.
But probably the most surprising game I’ve encountered is Remember Tomorrow, by Gregor Hutton. It is a simple “Story Now” game that captures the essence of cyberpunk and turns it into an RPG. And what sets it apart is precisely that: it is successful at capturing that essence.
So, I was reading Reactions to OD&D: Character Sheets, and I came upon
The counter-argument, of course, is that nothing stops me from making a wizard with his highest abiltiy score in Wisdom. True. But there is a distinct difference between facing a challenge and dealing with a self-imposed handicap. Just as there is a difference between being given a character and seeing what you can make of it and carefully scultping every detail of the character for yourself.
And I think there’s also a tendency to read the word “challenge” and think that I’m merely talking about the gamist side of the game. But I’m also talking about a creative challenge. The act of creation does not always have to begin with a blank slate. In some cases, deliberately eschewing the blank slate will give unexpected and extraordinary results which might never have been achieved if you limit yourself to a tabula rasa.
Which reminds me of something I’ve always wanted to do, but have mostly not managed to make happen. I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere else, so I won’t take credit for the idea, but what I want to do is a fantasy game where we all use minis to make characters. That is, everybody goes to the store, or digs through a website, or whatever, and finds a miniature they like, and buys it. And then makes a character to fit that mini.
The appeal of this, for me, comes from 3 different aspects: