Saturday, January 21, 2012

GeekSpeek - Gaming Innovations

Since the beginning of the Role-Playing game, it has constantly been about innovation. Each game tries to capture audience through innovation.

Over the last couple years I have seen some great new innovations, one of them I just read tonight.

1. Aspects (from the FATE/FUDGE systems)
Aspects are a great role-playing innovation. Aspects are easiest to imagine when you equate them to movies, when you think of Luke Skywalker saying the words; "I'm a Jedi, like my father before me." Well since we've seen the prequels now, we now that Luke's father wasn't the best of Jedi, that his anger and jealousy were a bit over balancing and that the Emperor could play him like a cheap guitar. Those simple words can mean so much. The beautiful thing about aspects is they CAN work both ways, they Should work both ways and make the system pure awesome when they do work both ways. You call out an aspect while you're acting to get bonuses, but only one person can use the free tag, after that you need FATE chips, (hero chips in other games).

2. Archetypes (Pathfinder) - While archetypes were around mechanically, it wasn't until Pathfinder really put them to paper in the Advanced Player's guide that they really truly showed their true potential. While 3.5 used class ability swaps in their splat books, they felt clunky, and never really seemed right. Obviously these all stem from kits in 2nd edition. So this was the evolution of innovation.

3. City creation rules (Dresden Files). Really what is more innovative than having the players help design the main city with you? When players have vested interest in the city where they work and play, it becomes much easier to make that city come alive. The players want to interact in the city, become part of it an make it grow, make it live and breath. Creating the conflicts, the movers and shakers, and write themselves into the city. Does it work for every game? Nope, but it works for enough to be very innovative.

4. City Trappings (San Francisco: The Ruins by the Bay) - I just came across this idea in the San Francisco - Ruins by the Bay supplement for Interface Zero. It really is brilliant. Effectively this is templates for a city, but if you boil it down to aspects, it becomes easier to deal with in a more basic sense. Tagging an aspect of a building, city or even country to get a bonus. If a portion of a city is Crime Ridden and you have Profession (Criminal, grifter, con artist, etc) you should be able to tag that known aspect, the city trapping and get bonuses to whatever you want to tag.

Is this all the brilliant innovations? Nope, but it's all I'm going to talk about right now, One thing about gamers, is that anyone with a house rule could be an innovator...