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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Ron Edwards on March 22, 2006, 07:01:32 PM



Title: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on March 22, 2006, 07:01:32 PM
This forum is for working through early drafts and posing design questions about the fundamental concepts for new games. If you're starting a thread here, then it's very important for you to make specific inquiries and to raise specific points - don't post a ton of material and ask "what do you think," because it won't help much.

If you're a little stuck on just how to post, then it's always good to reference your own play experiences which led you to this particular game idea ... so yes, threads here can easily be actual-play discussion posts too.

One last point: don't post long excerpts from your game texts. Instead, include links to documents.

Here are some sites to check out as well, which are closely allied with the goals of this forum:
Socratic Design (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/)
Story Games forum (http://www.story-games.com/)

Any questions about what this forum is for? Ask them here in this thread, or ask me by private message.


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: FinalFantasy7 on June 21, 2006, 09:08:17 PM
Hello. I'm new to this website and I find myself to be somewhat confused. Is this a website where RPs are created and played? Or is this more of a place where you can recieve help in creating one or advertise a game?

I'm sure these questions are answered somewhere here, but I'm alittle lost trying to travel the site.


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 23, 2006, 03:41:36 AM
Hi there,

I'm the site content moderator for the general forums. Welcome to the Forge.

The site's for discussion, not play. You won't find on-line play right here, although some folks organize it through the Connections forum.

The topic is person-to-person dialogue-based role-playing, what a lot of people call "pen and paper" or "table-top" play.

The main goal of the site is to help people publish their games in the way best suited for them, but that also involves a lot of discussion of play experiences.

The best place to learn more are the sticky threads at the top of the Site Discussion forum (this one). Please send me a private message (click on my username, then find the option) if you have any more questions.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 13, 2006, 04:37:11 AM
This forum always makes me happy. To people showing up: thanks for being here, thanks for posting, and thanks for being willing to enter into discussions.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Justin Berman on July 20, 2006, 07:16:37 AM
Is opening a discussion about ideas for a system allowed anywhere here? That is, could I start a topic dedicated to exploring the potentially varied differing ways to handle such a thing as freeform magic, or would I need to ask about my specific ideas?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 21, 2006, 12:31:31 PM
For this forum, please focus on your specific ideas. For the more general topic, you should discuss it (raise questions, etc) by posting about your real-life experiences in the Actual Play forum. In other words, general or highly conceptual topics are welcome, but you need to provide examples from your real experiences, so what you are talking about is as clear as possible.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Steven Stewart on August 03, 2006, 05:43:36 PM
I understand that if I have questions about this forum, this is the place to post, so I hope I got that right. New to the Forge and to the ideas of the Forge, but hearing Podcasts and interviews I became very excited, but now find myself at a loss on where to get started. I understand that this community has done a lot of leg work and theorey on game design, specifically on independent game design and story telling.

My original post was long, too long, so I will just try to sum it up in one point and hopefully no-one will be offended, "Is there a dummy's guide or primer "on Game Design and Theory?" hopefully specifically that servers as a good starting point for understanding narrative games like Polaris v. "traditional games" and addresses the issues of "play now v. backstory" and some of the other things I see in people's posts on Actual Play and in this forum, to get those us coming to this site from a more traditional background in gaming?

Cheers for now,



Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 04, 2006, 05:43:39 AM
Hi Steven,

There's an Articles link at the top of the page you can follow to a number of essays. I recommend you to "The Provisional Glossary," which despite its name is not just a list of terms, but begins with a short, non-tautological explanation of the basic concepts.

If you look at the GNS and RPG Theory forums, which are closed for posting, each one begins with a sticky that includes many links to others' summaries and continuing discussions. I especially recommend the site called "anyway."

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ricky Donato on August 29, 2006, 10:23:13 AM
While scouring the Forge and related sites I found a bunch of links that are useful for thinking about your design:

Big 3 (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-are-big-three.html)
Alt. 3 (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/03/what-are-alt-3.html)
Power 19 pt. 1 (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-1.html)
Power 19 pt. 2 (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-2.html)
Structured Game Design (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=1896.0)
Troy's 12-step Process (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/04/what-is-troys-12-step-process.html)
Mike Miller's Design Process (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/04/another-process.html)
Design Process from Ron Edwards and others (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=19646.0)


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ricky Donato on August 30, 2006, 01:29:16 PM
And of course, the same day that I post the above, Troy adds another useful post to his blog: When is a Concept Ready to be a Draft? (http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/08/when-is-concept-ready-to-be-draft.html)


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Sovem on September 12, 2006, 07:58:10 AM
Hi Ron,

I've seen you say many times not to post to older threads, but I can't find any examples of a guidline. What, precisely, qualifies as a thread too old to post to?

Thanks,
John


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 13, 2006, 11:37:25 AM
Hi there,

The rules in the Site Discussion thread (sticky at the top of that forum) say that a thread is too old if it off the first page or three weeks old, whichever comes first.

I have altered that rule in the Actual Play forum by saying that any thread in the first three pages of the forum is OK to post to.

First Thoughts moves awfully quickly too, so I may consider opening that up a bit, but for now, the old rule stands.

And as always, the specific publisher forums have their own rules as laid down by their owners (I don't moderate there). You'll usually see their rules posted at the top of those forums.

Best, Ron


Title: How many first thoughts is too many?
Post by: andrew_kenrick on October 12, 2006, 02:11:46 PM
I'm not entirely sure this is even an issue, but is there such a thing as too many first thoughts or too many designs that one person can be bouncing around?

Each time I come to the First Thoughts forum with my own design questions, it seems to be with a different project idea. This is not to say that my previous projects have died a death (far from it, in most cases) and I've moved on to the next big thing, but it's more symptamatic of the way my brain fires creatively.

So, is it polite to pose questions about one project at a time and to try to rein in my wandering mind, or doesn't it really matter how many designs I have on the go (and post about)?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 12, 2006, 03:04:35 PM
Hi Andrew,

Everyone's process is different, so I'm reluctant to impose strictures of this kind. On the average, and referring only to posting threads and participating in them, it seems to me that people benefit more from concentrating on one "first thought" at a time. Again, I'm not talking about their actual heads or notebooks or hard drives. I'm talking about forum use.

But as I say, that's only on average based on what I've seen here. So there's no forum rule about it. I have, in the past, PMed people to advise them to slow down a little, only because scattershotting a bunch of threads is a common internet tactic to try to fit in, and it becomes apparent when the person's thoughts become scattered in some cases. That's only suggestion, not moderating, and it's based on what I see in the actual post content rather than on any hard-and-fast "only so many threads" number.

As a related point, I do want to say that First Thoughts really should be limited to actual game ideas in their earliest stages. If you've ever playtested the game, even once, all your subsequent posting should go into Playtesting, no matter what. A couple of recent threads have convinced me we really need to stick with that more carefully.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Eric Schwenke on December 15, 2006, 11:40:49 AM
Hey, I'm new.  I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask about this, but her it goes:

I've been working on Troy's "Power 19," but even after consulting the "Provisional Glossary" I am confused over what is meant by "Color."  Could someone give examples of Color as it appears in some of the more well known games?  The impression that I get is that it is largely a setting issue, so since I'm working o a "Purity-of-System" rules-set does that mean that I shouldn't wory about Color until I get to creating settings for the rules to work with?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 21, 2006, 01:40:37 PM
Hiya,

Color isn't just a setting issue - it can apply to anything that gets described or that happens during play.

"I cut off his head!" (that's what's described & what happens)

"Blood squirts everywhere! The head spins twice in the air and hits the ground!" (that's Color)

The Color doesn't change anything about what's there or what happens. It only makes imagining it more vivid.

Sometimes, Color can turn into more important stuff later. Someone might describe some candlesticks just to round out the shared visual image of a given room, and a little bit later, someone is using those very candlesticks to conk someone else. Or perhaps it can be the other way around - someone introduces a key character ("this is Tony the chauffeur"), but due to events and due to others' lack of interest, that character becomes just Color (the group is not interested in Tony the chauffeur and eventually the GM gives up trying to make them listen to him, and from then on, Tony just drives the damn limo).

Does that help?

Best, Ron

P.S. I'll split your inquiry and my answer into their own thread. The very best way you can help me with this is to provide at least one example of your own experience in play which seem to you to be like or unlike (your choice) my explanation of Color.


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Paul T on May 06, 2007, 10:29:31 PM
I have a draft of a game I'd like to get some feedback on, in PDF format. This sounds like the right forum for that.

However, I do not have a website where I could post it for people to refer to. Can anyone suggest what the easiest way to get a small PDF file hosted online might be?

Thank you,


Paul


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Paul T on May 07, 2007, 10:18:48 AM
To answer my own question, "PBWiki" provides free web space that's really easy to set up as a means of advertising their paid services. This is most quick, easy, and painless means I've found.

http://pbwiki.com/

I'm posting this here because I think it might useful to anyone who, like me, wasn't savvy enough to know about this.

If I am alone in this, I won't be in the least offended if the moderators decide to remove my two posts from this thread,

If, on the other hand, this is useful information and any of you have other suggestions to make, please do so.

Best,


Paul


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Sydney Freedberg on May 29, 2007, 06:31:20 AM
For those of us too Internet-inept even to use PBWiki (like, say, me), you can also send your PDF to the "1mt1kt" free RPGS website (short for "one thousand monkeys, one thousand typewriters"), which seems to be very good about throwing your document up there within a day:

http://www.1km1kt.net/submissions/

It's not really a place to publish your final game, nor for putting up fragments of a game, but it's ideal for putting up a "beta version" that's reasonably complete but almost certainly broken.


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Adam Dray on August 01, 2007, 02:17:24 PM
The rules in the Site Discussion thread (sticky at the top of that forum) say that a thread is too old if it off the first page or three weeks old, whichever comes first.

I have altered that rule in the Actual Play forum by saying that any thread in the first three pages of the forum is OK to post to.

First Thoughts moves awfully quickly too, so I may consider opening that up a bit, but for now, the old rule stands.

Oops, I just checked this after responding to a couple page-2 threads that needed some love. They're mostly less than a week old. Threads are rolling off page 1 in about 3.5 days right now. Can we get this extended to page 2 or 3?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on August 02, 2007, 05:05:30 AM
No sweat, Adam. I don't want to formalize a change yet, but it does seem wrong to disallow a thread's continuance when it's only a few days old.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: bookworm_85 on December 04, 2007, 12:03:50 PM
Hello.  Me any a group of friends are working on writing a roleplaying game system, and it seemed to us that it would be a good idea to try and do some research on what kinds of things people liked to see most in games, what their biggest complains were with other systems, and so on.  We've put together a survey, and I was wondering if I could post the link on this forum somewhere, but I thought that I had better ask here first in case it counted as spam.  If it's any help, we'd be happy to post the results on the forum as well.  So, would posting the link to our survey website be OK?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 04, 2007, 01:57:32 PM
Hi there,

The Connections forum is the best place for that post. In any other forum, posting requires a topic for discussion, rather than merely participation in a poll.

Best, Ron
content moderator


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: castus nigh on April 09, 2008, 05:59:03 PM
To Those at The Forge
The very reason I found my way onto 'The Forge' is to find a gaming company or RPG publisher to publish my system.  Medieval, The Experts Rule Playing System is unique rules heavy system with fluid combat rules and the most personalized character generation you have ever seen.  I have removed the areas in traditional D&D games that foster arguments (alignments) and replaced them with a quantitative system that fosters true role-playing with a reward in both experience for such play and the ability to purchase additional abilities for your character.   And thats not all!

The system has taken me 10 years to write, has many unique features I would be happy to discuss at length, at the end of which, I'm sure you will be one of the Medieval e.r.s. too!

Castus Nigh


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: David Artman on April 11, 2008, 06:45:27 AM
Hi, dude;

This site is called "indie-rpgs.com" for a rather specific reason: we are independent publishers, be it by self-distributing of small-run print job or be it by Print On Demand services.

That said, you could try to approach some of the smaller indie publishers (large, for us) about being represented. But here, there's a BIG "can-do" attitude of self-management and self-publishing.

Hope this helps you find your way--I am not a mod;
David


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Greg 1 on May 06, 2008, 07:19:32 AM

Hi there!

I just found The Forge and I'm not sure if this forum is the place to post what I would like to post.

I have written three brief game settings and am working on a fourth.  I am not trying to make money, I just want to give away free content online.  It is my hope that I can find useful feedback here.  My work does not include new rules systems.  In fact, while it is my hope that they could be plunderable by people using a variety of systems, all rules are given in GURPS terms.  I do not reprint the GURPS rules nor in any other way infringe the copywrite of Steve Jackson Games.

My instinct is to start three threads in this forum (First Thoughts).  Each thread would include a very brief introduction to one of my settings and a link to the entire writeup.  Is this appropriate?


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on May 07, 2008, 05:33:46 AM
Sounds appropriate to me! But hey, in the future, let's have these discussions in the Site Discussion forum, right? Not you Greg, but the next one who's going to write in this thread: do it at Site Discussion (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0) instead, it fits there better. It's a bit awkward to have sporadical questions about conduct on the forums in this thread.

(I'm not a moderator or anything, mind; just doing my bit in trying to save Ron some work.)


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: vilonious on June 22, 2008, 04:26:50 PM
Hello,

I love the site I just found it and I'm sure will spend countless hours going through the wonderful resources here.

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this but I didn't see anywhere else.  I was wondering if anyone could point me towards any links dealing more with the game aspects of independent rpg development if they exist?  So far I've mostly seen stuff on setting, story development, tone and roleplaying issues.  Is anyone aware of good resources or discussions on conflict resolution designs and theory, the mechanics of character design, game system scalability, game balance, or character advancement?  I was kind of suprised that I couldn't find much about that sort of thing on the forums and I'm hope I was just looking in the wrong posts.


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 23, 2008, 12:36:24 PM
Hiya,

That sort of thing is actually pretty core stuff at the Forge, usually centered around the concept of "Currency." I'm surprised you didn't find it more easily.

Maybe the best way to get to it is to post about some actual play of your own, focusing on some quantitative feature that was important in that game (for good or ill), and then the discussion will end up pointing to various useful threads in the past. If you have any other questions, or want to chew over how to get to it a little bit more, then send me a private message.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Carnifex on May 21, 2009, 11:46:21 PM
Hi Ron,

I'm working on a boardgame (but I've been playing RPG's for a almost 30 years). The boardgame is in the playtesting phase but I'd need some help. Is The Forge the right place to post or could you recommend any other place?

//Claes


Title: Re: Rules for the First Thoughts forum
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 17, 2009, 04:42:56 PM
Hi Claes,

The Forge is a good secondary resource for that purpose. A post in the Connections forum which clarifies the game's distinctive aspects is a good way to gather appropriate playtesters. If the game has any colorful or imaginative elements which are even sort of like role-playing, then it's OK to post about playtesting and further development issues in Playtesting. If you want to discuss production and marketing, the Publishing will do.

However, since the focus here is on role-playing, you'll mainly get role-players who also like boardgames. There are some other resources you should use as primary. Although I don't visit there enough to know for sure, I think Boardgamegeek (http://www.boardgamegeek.com) is a good start.

Best, Ron