Tag Archives: Burning Wheel

Applying "indie" principles to "trad" games

This is another good gaming post I've salvaged and cleaned up from my old blog.  Independent games are breaking a tremendous amount of new ground in RPG design but most gamers still play the old standards: D&D, White Wolf, etc. If you like what indie games do but still love traditional tabletop RPGs, what can you do?  As it turns out, lots!

These are some principles you can use to spice up your traditional RPG experience.  I'll be mostly using D&D as an example, they should apply to any game.  And note that these are techniques I use - they're not just theoretical.

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Character-First Character Design

When my friends and I play traditional RPGs like D&D we have a maxim: figure out who your character is first, then build them.  Alternately: make your PC a character in need of a mechanic rather than a mechanic in need of a character.  Or to put it even more straightforwardly: you are not your feats.  From here on, I'll call this principle character-first design.

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