Inadvert Founder of Swo'
- Sep 24, 2017
- Reaction score
OMG @TristramEvans you just totally won the internet with this post !!!Once upon a time there was a web forum called The Forge, run by one Ron Edwards, which devoted itself to developing "RPG Theory". Edward's approach to RPG Theory was based upon the premise that the majority of people playing Roleplaying games weren't having any fun playing Role-playing games. Edwards believed this was because RPGs were "incoherent" because they promised one thing, but their mechanics did not support that thing (Edwards go-to example was that White Wolf games used the "Storyteller system" but that system did not support "creating stories"). This premise is summarized in the essay "System Matters" (The Forge featured a lot of essays by Edwards).
Edwards' solution was to attempt to create a lexicon that definitively classified rules, approaches to rules, and playstyles, with the idea that a correct method of game design would chose exacty one playstyle to focus on and then include only rules that were similiarly classified as supporting that playstyle. He and his fellow adherants at the Forge began by taking the Threefold Model developed on usenet that had gained popularity, switching around all the meanings of the terms, and then, over the course of several years, adding more and more terms with more and more baroque explanations.
Meanwhile, there was a very outspoken poster who frequented RPG forums in those days going by the name Nisarg who idolized both Hunter S Thompson and traditional Dungeons & Dragons. As this was years befor the OSR, posters on forums tended to look down on and be contemptuous of D&D in those days, and Nisarg, being the sort of fellow who smoked a lot of weed and got into a lot of online fights, got very angry about people's pretentious attitudes towards D&D. And as Edwards was not only one such person who was basically constructing a pseudo-scientific theorywank that "proved" D&D was badwrongfun, but he was getting a lot of attention for it, Nisarg declared Edwards his arch-enemy. Nisarg saw himself as the righteous protector of all that was good and pure in RPGs and people who actually gamed, and Edwards as the personification of all the worst aspects of pompous theorywanking RPG forum-goers. Niarg launched a personal civil war upon the Forge.
To this day, I'm still not entirely sure if The Forge was even aware of this.
Anyways, Meanwhile The Forge theory had finished it's bastardization of the threefold theory to come up with the terms "Narrativism, Simulationism, and Gamism". And from that point on, every gamer on every forum of the world would completely misunderstand the counter-intuitive explanations Forge Theory offered of these terms and utterly misuse them for all eternity.
An RPG that had Gamism as it's design goal is meant to be a game-game. The Forge members didn't devote much attention to this, it was just sort of tut-tutted as the domain of Power Gamers, D&D-playing relics, and those awful gamers who didn't take RPGs as seriously as they deserved and just played to have fun.
An RPG that had Simulationism as it's design goal sought to model a specific reality or genre, and became associated with those players who talked about stuff like "Immersion". Edwards and co didn't care much for this at all, and eventually backtracked and decided that Simulationism didn't actually exist, and that all those posters on forums who talked about Immersion were just liar-liars pants on fire.
Which left the major focus of the Forge's attention, and those people who adopted the theories, on Narrativism, those games whose goal was to provide a satisfying narrative experience. I'm not sure who first dubbed such games "Storygames", but the name stuck and its usage spread like wildfire.
Cut back to Nisarg, who thus decided that since the evil Forge liked these Storygames, they in turn must also be evil, and in fact were part of a plot to destroy the hobby by being all narrative and stuff and not being real Roleplaying games, because they weren't D&D.
Around this time there was a small forum devoted to a Youtuber named Spoony who was associated with the Nostalgia Critic and that group (there's a whole nother cycle of drama there, but that's a story for another time). Anyways, Spoony got tired of running this forum and decided to hand it off to someone else, and Nisarg was like "I'd like a forum", as by that point he'd been booted off most every other forum. And so Nisarg took over this forum anf re-branded it "The RPGSite", and Nisarg, now having a platform for his gaming ideologies, went super saiyan and transformed into his Final Boss form - The RPGPundit.
Pundit thus declared that "storygames" were all the RPGs that weren't really RPGs, and written by people he disliked from the Forge, and were thus attempts to destroy the RPG hobby. For years and years posters pressed him for an actual definition of a Storygame so they could figure out the distinction between them and "actual RPGs", but RPGPundit never did so, so that eventually people just accepted that "Storygame" was just any game Pundit didn't like.
Other people thus came up with their own definitions of Storygames, some of which made sense, and others didn't*, and anything "not a storygame" became, by default, known as a "Traditional game".
Meanwhile, eventually, Edwards and Co reached maximum Theorywank, and declared The Forge "finished" and "a success". No one was sure what The Forge had succeeded at except causing decades of online arguments about RPG terminology, but Edwards then shut the doors of the forum, turned out the lights, and passed away into legend...or, well, into Google Plus at least.
Then the OSR happened, and suddenly instead of looking down on and tut-tutting D&D, a bunch of people started posting about how awesome D&D was, especially the old D&D. Because Pundit had been doing this for years without any thanks, he initially resented the OSR and called them a bunch of posers.
And the OSR basically ignored him.
Then, abruptly, years later, Pundit declared himself the leader and spokesperson of the OSR.
And the OSR continues to ignore him.
And then, in a move that (in my headcannon at least) was meant to be the ultimate troll of Pundit, Edwards abruptly declared that he and the Forge had created the OSR.
The OSR ignored him too.
Cut to now, now, and we have people who continue to abuse Forge terminology (declaring games "Simulationist" or whatnot) and we have a hundred different individual definitions of Storygame floating around. If you see anyone use that term at any point, the best course of action is to ask them their definition of it, because chances are they will more than gladly pour out their personal manifesto on what that means (presumably while masturbating furiously*).
View attachment 20582
And thus the definition of "Traditional Games" is , ultimately "whatever that person doesn't think is a storygame".
*I have my own definition of Storygames, and I will gladly share it if requested.
I'm spilling my coffee here laughing at this! Outstanding insight and humour
This post is definately a Critical Success; it's exceptional and will be referenced and quoted for years to come heh heh !!!