Wednesday, August 24, 2005A post on the Indie Game Awards site as well as Chris Chinn's blog post today got me thinking about all of the amazing design work that has been happening over the last few years. We're really seeing a great leap in RPG design innovations -- almost all of which build on work which has come before. Here are a few, off the top of my head.
I think I first saw the idea in Hero Wars. Also: Sorcerer, The Pool, and My Life with Master. Perfected by Primetime Adventures, Dogs in the Vineyard, and The Shadow Of Yesterday.
I first saw this in Sorcerer and Sorcerer & Sword. Perfected as a game system element in PTA.
Sorcerer. Conspiracy of Shadows. PTA.
Keys (player-created rewards):
I first saw this in The Riddle of Steel's spiritual attributes. Perfected by TSOY. Also, FATE's Aspects. Burning Wheel's instincts and BiTs.
Hero Wars. Trollbabe. Dogs. PTA.
Conflicts at multiple resolution scales:
Trollbabe's pace system. TSOY's "bringing down the pain."
I first saw this in InSpectres. Also: The Pool, Donjon, Wushu, Trollbabe, PTA.
Sorcerer. Puppetland. MLwM. The Mountain Witch. TSOY. Polaris.
Shared GM Duties:
Universalis. Great Ork Gods. Capes. Polaris.
Dying Earth. Dogs. Burning Wheel.
Group Created Point-of-Play:
Universalis. Capes. PTA.
Over the Edge. Everway. Hero Wars. Uni. PTA. Dogs.
All of these things are conspicuously absent from the texts of so-called "mainstream" RPGs. When I say that almost all of the innovative design work in RPGs is being done by the "indie" crowd, that's what I mean.
Have anything to add? More innovations? Details about where a given innovation comes from? Please comment.