25 Aug 2011

HeroWars wasn't designed to be Narrativist

Well I think it was, but it wasn't expressed well in the text, and controversially I don't think Robin Laws fully understands Narrativism, some of his comments on the subject seem plain wrong.

But, even if it was an accident of design, HW was rapidly picked up as a poster child for Narrativist style roleplaying. This wasn't some kind of co-incidence or because of some misunderstanding of the Narrativist crowd, it was because lots of elements of the mechanics actively support this style of play. The Fortune-in-the-middle system; the use of Hero-points in contests; the bidding system in Extended Contests; the grabby and situation heavy 100 word character generation; the universal conflict system, specifically the equality of relationships and character traits to more standard skills; all aid and support a Narrativist agenda.

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