Vincent Baker Nov 11, 2012 - Public
We can argue about what the crucial failure of rpg design at the Forge was, but the crucial failure of rpg design at the Forge was the abandonment of concrete imagery as the medium and product of play.
(And then I wrote this:)
Zak SmithNov 11, 2012 (edited)
And the weird thing about that thing I wrote is the little "+8" next to it.
I don't often get "+8" when I am talking in a place where everyone's favorite game is my least favorite. But I'm not here to Forgebash strictly on the strength of a handful of people agreeing with me.
Because what I'm thinking is that this is not really just a weakness of the Forge, it's a weakness of every single RPG community:
They are really good at analyzing the kinds of games their members want to play and they totally fucking suck at analyzing games their members do not want to play.
(Likewise people suck at describing the function of art they don't want to look at. I would've turned the word "suck" into a link to that gamerconservative blog that attacked Hyun Tae Kim but they don't deserve the traffic.)
Everyone there has either never played the hated game, or played it, disliked the experience, and moved away from it and is eager to tell everyone all about that all the time.
And while their criticisms may be valid, in a game (as in anything) you are always trading some inconveniences for some reward and it is that reward that you will have a hard time understanding or appreciating the value of if you don't like the game.
You know, like they say: a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Despite having it described to me many times and read the book and heard AP reports, I have no real clue what the payoff of playing Dogs In The Vineyard is really supposed to be, really. Like whatever emotions it appeals to are ones I don't have. I can't judge it except in terms of the cost, not the value. It's not my kinda thing. People insisting it is universally good have thus far been inarticulate on that score. Not their fault. They are trying to describe the color blue to a blind person.
(And from what I've read it seems its author is ok with that. Which is good. Some people don't get why anyone wouldn't want to play their game. Those people suck.)
Although it's not my D&D of choice, I play and have enjoyed playing 4e, but I freely admit (and this thread demonstrates) I have no fucking clue (or had no fucking clue) what the average internet-talking 4e fan considered the strengths of that system.
I have a great friend here in LA who's decided 4e is his favorite D&D. I still don't know why, but I know that for whatever alchemy goes into his brain when he is putting together an adventure it is the one that meshes best with his internal list of "wanna deal withs" and "don't wanna deal withs". I'd have to get far deeper into his brain than I ever have to figure it out.
Or I could just play and enjoy it, which I do. P.S. Darren when are you running a game?
What would make me suck even more is if I tried to describe it without knowing that I had no idea what I was talking about or without even having played it or after only having played it with a bunch of psychotic jerks that I hated.
If that sounds like a fun thing to read, you can read it pretty much anywhere on the gaming internet: just go to a forum devoted to any game and then look for them talking about the opposite of that game.
This goes for every other RPG community.
And if you belong to that community, and trust the taste of the people there because you have played and talked together, and want to find out about a game or an idea outside that community's wheelhouse, what do you do?
Try to find someone who likes that game and have them make their best argument.
And if you are outside a thing and have an idea about it. Find someone inside and ask them.
The costs (all the reasons the people in your Vampire group don't play Cthulhu instead) are always easy to find.
The value, though, that's a thing you may have to go outside your comfort zone to get.