Friday, March 21, 2014

March Madness Non-D&D Blog Challenge: Day Twenty-One

What is the narrowest genre RPG you have ever played? How was it?

If you're even passingly familiar with the content of this blog, you're probably already nodding your head and thinking, "He's going to say Pendragon." And that is a damn narrow-focus game. In fact, a lot of people dismiss it because, "Oh, I can only play a knight? Boring!" (Please don't be that person, dear reader.)


But I have to say that, in my experience, Fiasco was an even more narrowly-focused game. I mean, here's a game where, no matter what flavor it takes on, it's designed to go pear-shaped and screw everyone over by the end of the session. Every Fiasco game, no matter the gloss, ends the same way. "The Coen Brothers RPG" is how I've heard it described, and that's not far off.

Furthermore, that gloss of the way you interact with the game is defined by the "playset" you choose. So if you only have a handful of playsets, those will be the only flavors of Fiasco that you ever experience. (Of course, playsets tend to be free, so there's no excuse not to grab lots of them.) I've only played Fiasco once, and it was using one of the playsets from the main rulebook. So I have no idea how re-playable playsets are. My suspicion is that, much like Pendragon, the seemingly narrow nature of these playsets actually conceal an incredibly deep, rich gaming experience that invites multiple plays.

Between my interest in Fiasco and Dungeon World, it seems like the seeds are there for some completely different incarnation of RPG gaming I could be engaging in, that of the pick-up/low-prep indie game, should I choose to do so. It's kind of funny when you realize there's a whole other way to interact with your chosen hobby, and that you could be spending 100 percent of your time interacting in that fashion. It's sort of in the same vein of what I've written about people who are exclusively convention gamers.

Worlds within worlds, man.
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