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Preferred Style of Play

Started by Senkusha, Thursday, February 08, 2024, 13:20

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How do you prefer to play within a forum envrironment?

With a detailed RPG game and system (cruchy)
With a loose RPG game system (loose/narrative based)
Free-form based with very loose rules (Only using the system for Character Consistancy)
Totally free-form (multi-authored story)
Other (Describe Below)


When participating on a forum in a role playing game, how do you prefer to engage in the story?  I've listed a few of the methods that I've seen commonly on different role playing forms, and I've used all of these styles in the past.  Each method has it's own pros and cons, and I'm going to explain my own feeling on each of these.

A detailed RPG system, whether it's Dungeons and Dragons or Big Eyes Small Mouth has the advantage of established and (mostly) balanced mechanics, stating what's possible and not-so-possible.  Actions are definite and concrete and the passage of time is fixed.  Lots of calculations are used and the character's actions are all pretty consistent.  However, playing on a forum, despite RPG's lending this standard, is also it's weak point.  A role playing game/system must have a constant back-and-forth communication between the game master and the players, something that a forum doesn't handle very well.  The result ends up being a fairly stable game, however, dreadfully slow in progress.

A loose RPG system, something like FATE, which is a narrative based system, allows for more fluidity and creation from the players, however, there is still the mechanics that need to be considered, indicating what can be done and not during a turn.  Again, we have the same type of dialog between the game master and player, and in fact, we may have more dialog, because a narrative based game often has additional mechanics engineered for give and take, usually using a Token type of mechanic.  All the players are fashioning the story-line and contributing toward the plot, instead of just the one game master, but limited within the scope of the give-and-take mechanism.  So, while the players have more authority within their postings, the same end result occurs:  slow game progression.

A free-form game, that only incorporates the character composition of a game system still allows for standardization of what types of things a character can do, but without using the mechanical aspects of the game system, such as dice rolling and does away with much of the dialog between game master and player.  While this may seem advantageous, what can result is a messy game where confusion can occur and characters, despite being consistent, can become overpowered and unbalanced, because the mechanics that power the characters aren't being strictly used.  This can lead toward out-of-game arguments about characters' interactions.

A completely free-form game is the freest of all gaming mechanisms.  You're essentially taking a character, and writing a story based on that character's perception.  First person gaming works well in this style as you can get really intense with the emotions of the character you're playing.  However, this type of game suffers from a lack of clarity on what a character can do and can not do, and this can lead toward characters becoming wildly unbalanced.  The benefit of this type of gaming is that you don't need to learn any particular game system, and you're typically free to use whatever inspirations from any game systems that you've played to develop your character.  So despite not having any consistency for character building, the people involved in the game are more concerned about world-building.  Another aspect of this style of gaming is that there is little regard for character development and advancement.  However, this can lead towards players becoming bored with the game because there isn't much reward beyond telling a story from the perspective of the characters that are being portrayed.

What are your thoughts on this?

Favored Class:  Magical Girl