(I'm doing the "give me things to talk about
" meme, with a few caveats. Feel free to leave me prompts. Leave more than one, if you want.)auguris
gave: "Summarize your perfect RPG. (Console or tabletop. Hell, both if you're up for it.)"
I'm going to tackle tabletop for now, because the tabletop system I'm writing has eaten my brain entirely.
As some of you might know, I'm in the process of writing a tabletop system and setting (and it's apparently grown a LARP setting) called Salt, Silk, and Steel
. The impetus for this had a lot to do with a general state of dissatisfaction with tabletop RPGs.
First off: setting. I am fucking sick
of Western European-inspired fantasy settings. I'm even more sick of them when they try to add other cultures in some bid for "inclusiveness" and come out looking like Imperialist caricatures, draped in the worst bits of Orientalism and "exotic" fetishization. (DnD Oriental Adventures
, I am side-eying you so. hard
.) The last woods-LARP I was in I left in disgust over having my complaints about a rather problematic take on my mother's culture ignored by the all-white staff. Let's not even get into rants about fantasy novels, as I have some rather unkind things to say about a rather popular and beloved YA fantasy author's portrayals.
So what I want is a setting that kicks the Western-Euro-centric setting of most fantasy systems to the curb and explores anything else
. (In 3S, it just might be canonical that the Western Europe analogue is the least-interesting part of the world. I AM THAT BITTER.)
Second, and this is probably the most important: mechanics-roleplay integration. I want a game where both
are equally important and necessary. In a lot of DnD, for example, the non-combat skills feel a bit tacked on (this has been lessened in later editions, but it's still somewhat there in 4E). And then you have games like FATE, where it's all roleplay and the mechanics are very lightweight. There needs to be a balance between "crunch" and "fluff". Something where someone who is a very good roleplayer can socially manipulate his way to his goals without necessarily needing to roll for it all the time, but at the same time, the mechanics junkie who isn't quite as good at talking to people off-the-cuff still feels like she can match him head-on if she puts enough points into the correct skills and the dice favor her.
That sort of balance is incredibly hard to even think about hitting. Hell, it might be impossible. But I'd love to see it happen.
Third: customization. Something where two PCs might look to have similar stats, but play very, very differently. Where it's pretty hard to find the One True Optimization, and a system that rewards unorthodox combinations and lateral thinking. Also hell to design, but we're on "perfect RPG" so why not.
Finally: A system where a single combat is tactically interesting and doesn't take 3 hours. :)