RPG a Day: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

14. What is an awesome RPG for open-ended campaign play?

This is sort of the opposite of the Day 9 question. Most RPGs work for this, unless they are specifically designed for short play. What really matters is how engaged everyone at the table is, and whether you’re tracking what has gone on from episode to episode so dangling plot threads and interesting NPCs can be reincorporated in play, making the GM’s life easier (the adventures write themselves) and the players’ actions more important (they impact the game world.)

That said, some games make it particularly easy for me, because the mechanics are light enough that statting more NPCs and creating new locations and plots does not create a burden on the GM. I particularly like games based on Fate Accelerated (like War of Ashes or Dresden Files Accelerated), PDQ (like Truth & Justice, Jaws of the Six Serpents, or The Zorcerer of Zo), or Heroquest (like Mythic Russia or of course Glorantha.) Some (not all) games Powered by the Apocalypse work well for this style of play, like Dungeon World or Monster of the Week.


Fate, Difference, and Advantages

Fudge or Fate dice

In which I spill some more thoughts about the Fate roleplaying system, in line with recent ones and still thinking about game mechanics as I write the War of Ashes RPG, but applicable to all Fate games.

I’ve been saying that among the four types of actions used in Fate Core and in Fate Accelerated, “Create an Advantage” is the key one.1  I want to take a few minutes to think about the mechanical reasons for the necessity and effectiveness of what may appear once again as “just” a narrative issue.

The Mathematics of Success

A very smart friend of mine who posts under the handle “theletteromega” has been writing on probability, statistics and game mechanics in roleplaying games for a few years now, discussing a variety of systems.  If you like to understand how things work, I’d like to point you to his articles on variance and game design, variance in Spirit of the Century, combat in Fate 2.0, combat in The Dresden Files RPG and other Fate-derived systems, and the use of fate points to counter the difference in skill level.

For now I will merely give you a digest:  Continue reading “Fate, Difference, and Advantages”