“How many PbtA games do you own, and which one best captures its most clichéd genre tropes?”

I’m not near my game shelf at the moment, but iirc I own seven PbtA games. And of those, I am going to say that Dungeon World best captures the tropes of its genre, said genre being: “How we played D&D back in the day before we knew how it was supposed to work”.

Seriously, that’s DW’s genre as far as I can tell, and the little I’ve played of it totally feels like that. Which also makes sense given that PbtA’s primary conceit is roleplaying is basically us all talking about some stuff until a rule comes up. Sounds like 12-year-old me playing D&D, all right.

This is, IMO, the main reason DW has surged in popularity, and why it’s interesting to see its rise to fame alongside the OSR, given that the OSR’s raison d’être is playing D&D how God and Gary intended, which is a totally different (and equally awesome) thing. DW lets you be awesome out of the gate (what we all wanted and fudged towards back in the day) while assuming the trappings of penniless murderhobos, while the OSR is all about embracing the suck of being a penniless murderhobo.

That’s how I see it, at least.

4 thoughts on “#INDIEGAMEaDAY2016

  1. Yep, that’s how I understand it too… and why it never had much appeal to me. I don’t have any longing for those long-lost days (quite the opposite). Also, more than half the tropes DW plays upon are from later versions of DnD that I never encountered.