- The DM controls the world, providing interesting settings and situations.
- Players control the actions of their characters, and consequences of actions or restrictions on actions are explainable within the fiction of the game world.
- There’s a random element to the game that sometime brings unexpected fortune, and sometimes unexpected disaster.
- Plot and story are not imposed directly upon the game - they are an emergent property of interaction between the previous rules.
- Failure should always be a possibility.
- The DM is an impartial referee.
- The DM makes rulings when needed, and can override rules if they deem necessary.
- The DM and players often come to a gentleman’s agreement about aspects of the game – this does not violate player choice.
- It is better for aspects of the world that will have consequences for player choices to be determined by the DM before those choices are made.
- The DM should abide by the outcome of dice rolls.
- The DM should not alter the world to invalidate players’ choices.
- Random Tables can provide inspiration for the DM – but not a strait jacket – this is not fudging.
- Impartial adjudication of NPC/monster behaviour can be enabled through dice.
- It is better to roll a dice to resolve whether something is possible, than debate it endlessly.
- It is your responsibility not to game with people who wreck it, not the game designer’s responsibility to stop them from wrecking it.
- Rules should only be as complex as they need to be; less is often more.
- The more complex the game mechanic, the harder it is to discover the consequences of it, and the more likely it is to be deeply flawed.
- If someone burns all your rules, character sheets, dice, modules, melts your miniatures, and puts an axe to your laptop - you should be able to carry on playing almost the same game with rock-paper-scissors.
- Content is more important than presentation, and clarity is the most important aspect of presentation.
- There is more to learn from RPGs dating from the era of runaway success - the first ten years (1974-1984) – than there is from the niche appeal and limited success of subsequent games.
- No game mechanic is a sacred cow.
- Rules in a game are there for situations which require them, they do not indicate the relative importance of the situation to the game.
- More time should be spent playing than preparing.
- The proof of the game is in the playing.
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
An RPG Manifesto
This is my manifesto for how I like my games to roll - what's yours?