Thinking about the Forge paradigm

The Forge has had a tremendous impact on the way I think about roleplaying.  I think it’s probably had a significant impact on how a number of people think about roleplaying.  That isn’t to say that the Forge is always right, or that its influence is a good (or bad) thing.  I just think that’s the way things are.

Over the past few months I’ve been edging around some ideas that I think are out of sync with Forge thinking.  Which is great, really.  The Forge paradigm of roleplaying is a very useful model, but it’s only a model.  And like any model it is extremely accurate and powerful within its bounds.  I get really excited when I see other models because they have the potential to do very interestig stuff that lies outside the bounds of the current Forge model.

This post doesn’t really have anything more to say.  I’ve got ideas swimming around about key Forge ideas like ‘System Does Matter’ and how they affect the roleplaying design, play, and publishing landscape.  And those posts are coming, someday soon I hope.  I just wanted to give you a heads-up: I consider myself deeply indebted to the Forge, and so I feel the need to pick at it to see where it unravels.

(Important note: while this post treats the Forge as a giant body of thought, that’s a pretty misleading characterization.  The Forge is really a purpose-driven community, and the seemingly unified body of thought has grown out of that purpose and that community.  I do think that community has some common values and assumptions regarding roleplaying, but then again, who doesn’t?)

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