Friday, November 22, 2013

Not All Games Are Created Equal

This is not an argument for or against any kind of game, style of play, but more of a note. I'm never playing any one game for long. Part of this is a way to support the community and all of the great work it produces. Part of it is just a general need to always be moving and trying new things. Part of it is to see the different approaches to exploring the unimagined world. Either way, in trying all of these games, one thing has become abundantly clear: not all games are created equal.

I don't mean this in the sense that one game is better than another, though I have my favorites. What I mean is that each game incentivizes certain behaviors through the rules they include. D&D, for example, has rules for killing monsters, and it excels at giving opportunity for doing so extremely well. However, if you want to play a game of high political intrigue in a noble court a la Game of Thrones, D&D is going to offer far less than a game of Fate Core or The Burning Wheel.

Another way to think about this is that there is no universal game system that covers all situations. Each time your group starts a new campaign, talk about the kind of game you want to play. Talk about the kinds of conflicts you want to resolve. Then look at game systems. And remember The Golden Rule, play anything, but only GM the systems you want.

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