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"Fantasy Heartbreakers" by Ron Edwards

Started by Clinton R. Nixon, April 02, 2002, 01:08:49 AM

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Clinton R. Nixon

Everyone -

Ron has a new essay in the Articles section - well worth reading, in my opinion. Post comments here.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games


Heh.  I could have written that article.  I almost did.  I think Ron was channeling the feelings of many of us.

Of the games listed, I have Forge and Gods and Men.  Gods and Men has the distinction of being the only game I've ever bought that I've been more disappointed in than Forge.  And Forge has the distinction of being the first game to disappoint me more than Legacy: War of Highlander rip offs.

I loathe Forge: out of Chaos as a game.  It represents to me all that is painful and disjointed, and horrible about fantasy roleplaying.  I read it and said..."you've got to be kidding me.  You bundled up a collection of AD&D house rules and sold it to me as innocative!" I never felt more cheated by a game in my life.

But I never really blasted the game on any websites, or unleashed venomous diatribe at the creators...because I realized that that game, and all the promise, and all the effort...was me.  In junior high school, I was the guy with 18 binders of AD&D house rules that were "so much better than D&D I should publish them".  If I'd had parents with a pocket book willing to indulge me, I probably would have.

Reading through Forge, the love, devotion and enthusiasm of the Brothers Kibbe literally sweeps off the page.  I literally felt guilty any time I offered criticism.  I mean how dare I dampen the enthusiasm of such a bright eyed band of eager game designers...and heck they at least got off the couch and published the thing.  I have a dozen designs sitting on my hard drive that never have and never will see the light of day.

Ron's totally on target when he describes these games as being Drift from the AD&D parent.  Even then he finds a nugget of innovation buried in them.  Imagine for a moment, if that level of devotion, eagerness, and commitment had spawned from a different parent.  Imagine if the Brothers Kibbe had not suckled at the teat of D&D, but if Forge:Out of Chaos was an evolution of Hero Wars or Maelstrom or some other game not shackled to its wargame heritage.  What might these guys have come up with then?