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Originally posted on Fiction, function and game design.:
I grew up in a world where death happened more like an accident. That world was the 1990s tabletop roleplaying and those deaths were rarely a satisfying experience. Death happened more like an error made in a videogame. Except unlike a videogame no one in a tabletop game had a quickload button.
Back then, it was the GM’s job to balance an abstract world with very concrete rule set to protect the players from the game itself. But with the recent resurgence of dungeon crawlers and the modern paradigm of story-before-stats tabletop games, we’re seeing systems that rely much more on player authorship and collaboration than careful GM monster balancing.
This new perspective on roleplaying gives GMs the leeway to introduce dangers to the players without allowing your player to cheat. The new paradigm permeates the parts of the games that were once considered the holy realm of the GM. …
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