Round-Table Discussion: Complexity in Gaming

Kevin hopped on Skype with Jason Morningstar, Judd Karlman, and Jonathan Tweet to discuss how the complexity of a rules system affects the narrative in RPG’s.

Relevant Links

Crunchy Bits!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Round-Table Discussion: Complexity in Gaming”

  1. Sam Cain Says:

    “It’s like doing taxes, ya’ know, but cooler”


  2. Aaron Friesen Says:

    It… doesn’t sound like Mr. Tweet is having the same conversation as the rest of you. Otherwise, cool cast, lots of good talk here!

  3. Kevin Weiser Says:


    Yeah, I think he got a bit thrown off by the example and he turned it into a defense of D&D, which wasn’t really where I was going with that.

  4. Hunter Says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the podcast. Interesting discussion going on, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    My thoughts on a few elements that came up…

    Not naming your character until 2nd or 3rd level? Come on, that’s just lazy gaming. In a world of random name generators, there’s no excuse.

    I also think that the players are *different* from the NPCs, in regards to level. Someone in the podcast made the point that they exist in a world of thousands of other “1st level characters” and they are a dime a dozen. That strips the characters of their powers and obligation to be heroes, in my opinion, since they are “a dime a dozen.” Why not populate the world with low level NPCs, such as artisans, warriors, and adepts, thus allowing the PCs to embark on epic adventures from the get-go? There’s no need to get a few levels under their belts before naming their characters and beginning an epic campaign.

  5. Jason Says:

    This is a very weird discussion. I thank you Kevin to speaking on us “hippie” gamer’s side. I have this style of debates with some of my people from my gaming crew. Felt like everyone seemed to bow down to the D&D, perhaps they were intimidated or something. I felt like this conversation was totally one sided and the new aged style RPG side was blocked a lot. And when the others talked about Burning Wheel, I felt like never really played it or something. haha

  6. Keovar Says:

    I play games at both ends of the simulationist-narrativist spectrum, such as Pathfinder and Dresden Files Fate.

    I will admit that I find the practically rule-free Fiasco a bit intimidating, but I could say the same of the chart-heavy Rolemaster. I call the space between a spectrum because it blends and every game and every group has a different balance of narrativist and simulationist elements.

    RPG’s are a mix of telling-a-story and playing-a-game, and neither is bad-wrong-fun.

Leave a Reply