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The island: (adventure seed)

From the prow of your ship you see the island come into view. At first it is nothing but a glint on the horizon, then a shining sphere.. a ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Musings about RPG's : Growth as reward? Story Vs. Numbers round 12

In my opinion Characters in RPG’s should change over time, but not necessarily via statistical improvements.

We have worked a ton of that into Phase Abandon; I would work in even more if I could find a way to do so.
Goals push a characters story forward.  You have a goal to learn about the old sword you carry , great , you reach your goal, you tell a story about how the  was your great grandfathers,  a gift given to him for helping some dwarves survive a high mountain blizzard . Your character has grown, become more of a story than a sheet of numbers.
Connections work the same way. You meet someone you forge a connection. When you need help perhaps you call on that guy, you strengthen the connection. Latter on in the story you hear of him getting arrested and your character says, “Hey I know that guy I got to find out what’s up?” Your character is automatically more interesting because your character is part of a world.
I‘m wondering are purely role-playing based rewards (Character growth over time) enough, or does there need to be some kind of statistical boons to keep players interested?
I vacillate between hating the fiddly numbers of say GURPS or DunD3.5, and loving it. I also enjoy the narrative aspects of RPG’s as group storytelling and myth building, but realize that the numbers ground the characters so that they have a place in the world and a way to measure them in context with everything else. So is it a good decision to move most or all of the games reward cycle towards purely role playing,  (improving character as persona not as statistical construct.) kind of rewards?

I guess it’s a balance that needs to be struck.
I guess think that if I were to write an RPG today it would look very different than my past efforts.