It's clear to me that in any practical sense I play and design RPGs rather differently than... well just about everybody. This is due to how I approach the subject and isn't that hard to define, but its still worth a post making it a bit detailing it a bit.
The concept arises out of three core beliefs.
- I think realism is a definable and achievable goal in game design. That puts me at odds with most people in the modern gaming scene who feel completely differently- often for the simple reason that they'd feel that admitting such a thing would lessen the games they play themselves (because they almost without exception have serious flaws with respect to realism).
- I think simulation of genre is desirable and also achievable by a mix of game mechanics and what could be called meta-mechanics (more commonly called play style). This puts me at odds with everyone who identifies as Simulationist be it Threefold, GNS, or the more individual definitions I've encountered online.
- I believe this combination allows one to create (or recreate) their own fantasy or sci-fi epics, basically on par with modern film and literature themes, plots, and events (perhaps more a sad comment of the state of modern film and literature than a comment about how great the gaming style is)- and thus serves many of the more common 'story' goals people have expressed in the past.
In total it is in short a middle of the road style that uses sophisticated and rather complex rules to reach a perfect mix of realism, genre and story without stressing one to the point that the others break. This style was born in the 70s and remained common in the 80s although most attempts at game design for it was a failure (mostly of scaling).
It has however nearly completely faded from the scene over the last couple of decades for reasons that are IMO mostly cultural and irreversible. But I still design and play according to it, and have settled on the label 'Genre Simulation RPG' to describe it.
Paizo Advanced Class Guide: Second Impressions
18 hours ago