…Okay, not literally, but in an article. He brought something to the forefront that has bothered me for a while in the role-playing industry. There has been a creep towards less role-playing focus and more “roll-playing”. You all know what I mean. I own a lot of games (last count was something like 30 on the shelf) and I want to say most of them are not focused on combat. I loathe games that are just “You fight a monster, slay it, and then get the loot….”. Rinse, repeat. One of my favorite games (as told in my previous post) is Song of Ice and Fire Role Play. It is focused, not on the combat aspects, but instead on the character development aspects. I played 4th edition D&D for around six months, and I have to say, I was not impressed. It felt more like playing a miniature skirmish game. So, how do I decide if a game is for me? As always I will break it down to three easy things (even though it can be more complicated):
1. Does it allow me to tell awesome stories, in spite of the rules? If this is not met, then forget about it. I don’t do a lot of crunchy games. The ones I do play I house rule the hell out of. The rules have to allow the story to proceed, not limit it.
2. Does it focus too much on any one aspect of play? If the rules focus too much on skill challenges or combat then it probably isn’t for me. The rules have to flow easily together and be of a single mind.
3. Is most of the book rules? This goes back to my distaste for crunchy games. If 75% of the core book is rules, then I don’t normally touch it.
What kind of things do you look for when you are looking into new games? Crunch or story-driven? How do you decide what is best for you?