An RPGBloggers Network Small-Press-Week Entry
So I joined RPGBloggers Network a month or two ago. Someone decided it would be a good and fun thing to have bloggers give small press games (and when you consider the size of the ‘big’ press in this industry, small press is Very Small Indeed!) a little coverage, not in a shilling/advertising way, but as a means of calling attention to Cool Stuff that might otherwise be easily missed. I scanned down the list of smaller companies interested in participating, and saw Moebius Adventures, a universal RPG.
I love universal RPGs. They’re one of my main passions, and one reason I tend to greatly dislike Forge-style games, which are by design anti-universal — they’re often extremely narrow in scope and are only capable of resolving conflicts which the designer decided ahead of time should be resolved. (Or they have some incredibly vague and generic mechanic which is barely a step above “Roll two dice, if the red one is higher than the blue one, you win!”) I freely admit to preferring more “simulationist” systems, because I am an insane worldbuilder, and I want a system to handle any idea I have, to turn any concept I can come up with into game mechanics I can rely on. If I attack a hamster with an Uzi, I do not want the game to tell me this is a “Conflict Of Violence” and apply the exact same resolution mechanic (“Compare your Heart to the Tragedy Rating of the current Interlude. You may spend Hope.”) as if I’d attacked a tyrannosaurus with a flint knife. Sure, you can go way too far the other way (Spycraft teeters right on the edge of ‘too complex’; something like Phoenix Command plunges way into the abyss), but I find it’s easier to strip rules than to add them, and the perfect game, for me, is one where I can find a rule for anything I might reasonably need to resolve, and the rule reflects, to at least some extent, the perceived reality of the conflict — a wall covered in grease is harder to climb than one which is not, a large animal takes more damage than a smaller one, a strong-willed dwarf is harder to persuade than a cowardly kobold, etcetera.
We’re digressing, of course, but if you’ve read anything in this blog before, you’ll know I’m the Tristram Shandy of bloggers, which is amusing since I utterly despised that piece of incoherent dreck when they made us read it in college.
Enough about why I like universal games, then. Let’s look at Moebius Adventures. I will try not make this review/chargen too one sided.
Get it? Moebius? One sided? Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.
More after the break!