About when I think it's time to retire the old email for good, as it mostly delivers spam whose algorithm is clearly confused, someone uses it for the only reason anyone should. Ransom contacted me to ask some questions about Sorcerer which led to this conversation. They were pretty deep questions, including positions regarding the occult and general thematic or intentional issues.
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You can go all the way back to 1998 to see me saying, “I want to talk about point-builds and dice, so let’s get past some easy points about goals of play and get to the good practical stuff.” Twenty-one years later and people are still blubbering about “but but simulation." I’ve repeated this plea many times, ever more plaintively ... Can we fucking just talk about dice already?!
Dustin isn't a naive game designer, having produced Synthicide and generally navigated modern publishing. He asked me how to promote a game which did not fit neatly into "trad or indie," "OSR or story game," or any other dichotomy which people presented to him. Which is a perfect opportunity for me to stomp upon those dichotomies with my hobnailed boots, both for him and as a general PSA.
I've been working up a Design curriculum for role-playing for a long while, so when Justin Nichols approached me for a game design discussion that leaned toward mentoring, I accepted without reservation.
It is crazy how common and how widely-developed craziness is, in role-playing. As much as world-building, as much as combat options, as much as magic systems, this is a definite feature of the hobby with its own schools and aims. It is clearly a primary path toward characterization, character development, player agency (through its managed lack in many cases), and emergent plot.