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[Forge policy] Review submissions accepted

Started by Ron Edwards, November 04, 2002, 02:00:04 AM

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Ron Edwards

Hi everyone,

At last: a Forge Review Policy for Everyone.

One reason that people post reviews is so they can talk about the game with others. If this is your goal, then please consider simply posting about the game in an appropriate forum (usually RPG Theory or Actual Play). This is always permitted and welcomed at the Forge, for any role-playing game at all. If you don't want to conform with the review-standards listed below, then forum-posting is definitely your best option.

Forge reviews may be submitted by anyone. However, to be posted, they must conform to the following editorial policy.

I. The role-playing game must be independent, as defined by the Forge. That is to say, its creator (or head creator) must own the game and also be the publisher (person who paid for print). Venture-capitalism is included (e.g. donations, stock, etc), as long as the creator is the one who manages those funds. Please ask Clinton or me if there's any question in your mind about a given game. No negotiation is permitted regarding our decision.

II. A Forge review must contain all of the following:

1) An explanation of the economics and means of publishing of the game. This may be as simple as just describing "it's a book available in game stores" or whatever, or it may be a whole history if you think the history offers an insight of some kind.

2) Comparison with other game systems, especially in terms of similarities. Again, this may be brief or extensive, as you see fit.

3) Critical thinking regarding the system and its relationship to actual play. Use whatever jargon you see fit, if any, but if you do, reference your source. Also, please avoid non-critical terms like "balance" or similar things unless you define them carefully.

4) A description or evaluation of play itself, or some insight derived from play itself. Also, explain how much actual play was involved (one session, eighty sessions, etc).

III. A Forge review cannot contain any of the following:

1) Blanket value judgments of any kind, directed at anything (author, game, genre, etc). Value judgments as such are fine, as long as their criteria and target are specific rather than general, and as long as you acknowledge that you are speaking from a personal preference.

2) Recommendations regarding purchase or getting the game. In line with this, no ratings systems of any kind are permitted. It is fine to match the game as a whole or some aspect of it with a specific role-playing goal or preference ("people who like X will like X in this game"), but not fine to say "Buy/get this game, period." All reviews at the Forge should be considered promotion, even highly critical ones.

3) Play details irrelevant to the game text. Don't tell us about driving to the game session, details regarding your preferences in pop culture, whether the cute chick played that evening, and so on.

So how does the submission process work? Here's how.

1) Make the review available to both Clinton and me, either through email or by notifying us of a URL where it's posted. It may be in any format, but if you put it into the BBC code used at the Forge, Clinton and I will burn a candle in your honor.

2) Either the review will slam right into the Forge, or one of us will email you with required revisions (usually a range of suggestions, not a re-write). It's your option (i) to accept these revisions/suggestions and re-submit, (ii) to take your review to another site, or (iii) to switch to the forum-posting method described above.

3) If you decide on (i) above, then the review is permitted to go through two full rounds of revision - if it's not acceptable to us by then, then the process stops and your review isn't going up. Clinton and I reserve the right to make public all drafts and correspondence of the revision process, if we want to, on Site Discussion, in order to clarify why and how the review wasn't acceptable.

Please ask any questions you'd like about the policy.


Spooky Fanboy

Pelgrane Press' Dying Earth RPG?

Is that eligible for a review?
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

With great regrets and suffering, I'm thinkin' not. But I'm willing to turn it over in my mind. There is a grey area in this creator-ownership deal, although it's not the one most people think.



FATAL games and FATAL? I wam working an interview with the Author and I do believe that it qualifies as Independant and the game is certianly very interesting. Clearly if you read the review on I can promise it will be nothing like that one.


Ron Edwards

Hi Sean,

Well, it qualifies, that's true.