The World Beyond: al-Jazira Sadim
RPG Design Theory - Articles and Resources
A number of online resources have been helpful in formulating MULRAH’s design. Below are just a few of the articles and resources I’ve bookmarked during the game’s development.
RPG Design Models & Gaming Styles
- My Eyes Glaze Over – A succinct overview of GNS theory without all the jabs, tangents, analysis, and verbosity of the original essays. Although MULRAH has been initially designed to facilitate Narrativist play, the most successful sessions have been those with Gamist priorities.
- The 3D Model of Role-Playing – Takes the GNS “Threefold” model and adds another dimension for player narrative control. Despite the infusion of rules from theme-supporting games, the current MULRAH campaign has meandered among the various combinations of Immersive-Challenge and Centralized-Guided styles, pretty much everything Forge-inspired indie games don’t cover.
- RPGs, Pulleys, & Microwave Ovens – An excellent article that points to an overlooked distinction in the GNS/“Big” Model.
- What’s Your Gaming Style? – A nice schematic that lays out a variety of gaming styles without reference to the the GNS behemoth.
- Law’s Game Style – A clever quiz to help assess your gaming style. When answering the questions how I thought my players would, the result came out as Storyteller-Tactician, though the quiz’s definition of “Storyteller” is that you want to “play out” a story rather than actively create one yourself.
- I got your threefold model right here! – A fun alternative view on the GNS model that’s actually quite accurate.
- Retro Gaming: For those with little interest in Stupid or Pretentious games, there’s A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming and Old is new again – a guide to retro roleplaying games.
RPG Design Tips, Tricks, & Thoughts
- The Interactive Toolkit – Accessible essays that serve as entree to the “Story Game” movement. MULRAH supports this style of play, but only if the players are interested.
- Immersive Story Methods – A excellent example of Decentralized Immersive play and how to achieve it.
- Roleplaying Theory, Hardcore – Interesting thoughts from Vincent Baker, the creator of Dogs in the Vineyard.
- Silent Railroading and the Intersection of Scenario Prep & Player Authorship – A fascinating thread about some of the challenges in creating a compelling game session for all involved.
- Elements of Tactics – Tips on bringing tactical play to the fore in your RPG.
- Collaborative Roleplaying – A thorough article that is not relevant to the style of play MULRAH supports but is fascinating nonetheless.
- Game Design Essentials – 20 RPGs