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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breaking the Game?

RISK: Legacy rules (PDF)

Well, folks, there you have it. Another version of RISK. But what sets this one apart is rather fascinating: you are intentionally supposed to permanently modify the game throughout the first 15 playthroughs. That's right. You put stickers on the board, get rid of territory cards, and open up sealed packs to add new rules into the rulebook. You also write names for cities and continents on the board as the game is played again and again. Yeah. That sounds pretty different to me.

Madness? A Disposable Game? Let's be clear here, right now. This is one of the most thoroughly interesting ideas that I've seen recently. I initially had a very knee-jerk reaction to it, because (let's face it) nobody likes the idea of "marking up" their game. Well, okay, I know a guy who thoroughly rewrote his copy of the 4th Edition Player's Handbook, but that's one exception. The idea of being able to reverse our game/product to its pristine, unopened state (or close enough) appeals to us. Make one markup to that game, and it's RUINED FOREVER.

But is it?

I'm reading through the "designer notes" thread on BoardGameGeek, namely the opening post, and thinking a bit. What really strikes me is the idea that some people have reminded everyone of, that when you've played the first 15 games, you will now have a completely customized version of RISK. Completely customized. Your initial games have woven a backstory into this game that leaves its lasting scars. I think that's pretty cool.

Not Just for Board Games? And then came some dangerous thinking. What if there were to be an RPG created like this? It would be a core book that also contained slots to stick new rules (to be opened from packs as more games were played), giving players the chance to make small customizations to the rules of the game, based on their contributions. It would have to be a fast and light game system, so that you could play a lot of games of it, but at the end, you'd have an RPG that was totally unlike any other group's RPG, even if they bought the same game.

A pretty cool idea, at least to me. It's a scary thing to make permanent, irreversible changes. But when you learn to do that, and to get over your fear, that can be a very satisfying feeling. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I think most of us "customize" our RPGs as we play - that's where house rules come from after all. In an on-going campaign, you also write the history and backstory as you go. However, I do really like the idea of a formalized setting to do this in. Usually the GM is the driving force behind rules tweaking, but if you had a creative group and everyone got involved... Well, the possibilities are endless.

    And the customizable RISK game sounds brilliant. Maybe we can finally make a version that doesn't suck. ;-)


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