Sunday, December 7, 2014

RPGaDay #7 Most "Intellectual" RPG Owned

Unlike the  mass of bespectacled geeks running amok in local interest new articles, I've never considered role playing games to be particularly intellectual.  The video game play concept was not forged from the 3rd Edition D&D playtests. Many many intelligent people were playing a simple game with simple mechanics.

While GURPS is long relegated to the role of game of choice for engineers, it is a consistent rules engine.

But like GURPS, D&D has the same problems, simply with a wide variety of archaic systems, which may require a  greater intellectual handle on the subject to matter.

I'm not running games that would focus on the "philosophical."

Vampire?  What I read of Vampire 2nd Edition and the Player's Guide, and what I saw on tabletops and at LARPS for a decade appeared to be something wholly different altogether.   Existential angst and deep-rooted political games usually turned into Prison Gang: The RPG.

Despite GURPS, Hackmaster, and even The End sitting on my shelf, the most intellectual RPG I own is probably Risus.

Yes, I'm dead serious.

For while there is no wrong way to play Risus, it's very easy for a GM to take a moment to pause and realize the game is being played wrong.   And that may or may not be okay.

It's one the simplest games out there, but my GMing style takes a good deal of effort to give free reign to your players, yet, know when to tug on the invisibile rope that you need to hold them back from making things go completely out of control. 

And as a player, it takes considerable skill and cunning to run a Bavarian Ninja Hairdresser Serving Wench and know when to take advantage of Talkative Hairdresser (1) in a game of Oni Oktoberfest.

Most RPGs devolve into charts, lists, and spreadsheets.  I hope Risus never advances beyond an index card full of cliches, essential equipment, and a few pieces of backstory that they've picked up during the game, such as Fear of 8-bit Video Games and Enemy: Snake Gandhi.  Anything more would confine the imagination, and good Lord, do they need it my IOU game.

1 comment:

  1. I've never played Risus, but I think I feel something similar about Carnage Amongst the Stars.