Monday, December 26, 2005

What are "The Big Three" ?

This is what I would call the first post that really fits into what this website is about. My mission is to provide entry tools into the world of RPG design. What I’m examining here is a tool that is used very often at the Forge and to a lesser degree on RPGnet. I have personally used this tool to create my three entries into Ronnies contest run be Adept Press (at the time of this publishing, two of them had won a Ronny award). This tool is basically a set of three simple, yet piercing questions about what an RPG is and what it can do. These three questions have been dubbed by some “The Big Three.”

First, some historical background (or really lack thereof) on The Big Three. I can’t tell you, and I doubt anyone else can either, who first used and created them. My guess is they evolved over time, probably one by one, as the need to create a framework to discuss an RPG design became apparent. As to whom first called them The Big Three, again I have no answer. However, the history of them are not nearly as important as their use.

So enough already, what are The Big Three?

Answer:

1. What is your game about?

2. What do the characters do?

3. What do the players do?

At first glance, how simple could you get? Each has only a measly five words. No follow up questions are tacked on. No real theory jargon can be found in any of them. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that for many, many designers these questions are the hardest questions they’ve ever had to answer.

I first wrote about them here at the Forge in Troy’s Standard Rant #1 and furthered their explanation in Troy’s Standard Rant #2. Those are prerequisite readings for discussing these questions on this site.

These questions can be so hard to answer for designers because they are so attached to old-style preconceived notions about the way an RPG should look and play. I often, often have seen answers from people when asked question #1 like “The point is to have fun, isn’t that what all games are about?” Or worse, I’ve seen things like “Aren’t characters and players basically the same thing?” These are the kinds of newbish answers I gave when I was first asked them concerning Ember Twilight. I didn’t understand the questions. I didn’t try to understand them, and for it, my game did not reach its full potential. If you don’t understand these questions, and refuse to understand them, you’ve got a very long very hard road ahead of you.

But there is hope for those who want to seize a hold of this design tool. First, discard all notions you have of what an RPG “should be.” For an excellent post and discussion on this topic (which I will revisit later here on this blog) check out Josh Bishop Roby’s “Games, The Standard, and Spoons” on his blog. Second, jot down your ideas first. Don’t start to create a game based off these three questions. The likelihood of that working out for ya isn’t too great IMHO. Write out briefly what you would like a session, an adventure, a campaign, to look like. Decide what’s most important to you in your game and then come back to these questions. Third, write out a brief “snip-it” answer for each that will give other people a good idea of what your game is, then write out a much lengthier answer for yourself. The lengthier answer will be your guide for design. Fourth, take your answers and design over to the Forge and post it in Indie Design. I cannot stress that fourth step enough. Get feedback-get feedback-get feedback.

Oh, and be prepared to change and tweak your answers as you go. The feedback you will get will have a significant impact on your design so remain fluid. No design is perfect on the first try.

The last part of this post is to open it up for questions about the Big Three. That’s what we’re here for after all, to ask questions.

Quick note to veteran designers. This post probably isn’t for you. I welcome your feedback, but much of the advise I give here is for first time designers. What you think an RPG should be and what a fresh-out-of-the-oven guy (much like myself) thinks will be two very different things.

Peace,

-Troy

55 comments:

John said...

Amazing inputs, I love RPG games, one that blew my mind was Zork Nemesis.


------------------------------------------
viagra online

healthposts said...

To be honest, this article made me understand the genuineness. I understood many things, Related to the topic. I keep on wondering why people keep on wondering so much on the topic.A very good article post.I must appreciate you knowledge about the subject.Thanks for sharing the relevant stuff, I was searching since a very long time.I must appreciate your article writing skills.Every time i come here i see something very new.Thanks for sharing the information.I love when you share your views through the best articles.Keep sharing and posting articles like these.This article has helped me a lot.Keep posting this stuff.
Generic Viagra Online

healthposts said...

I love when you share your views through the best articles.Keep sharing and posting articles like these.This article has helped me a lot.Keep posting this stuff.

Online Viagra

carepharmarx said...

Thank you for your post it was really helpful.
http://www.carepharmarx.com

John Green said...

This tool is basically a set of three simple, yet piercing questions about what an RPG is and what it can do. These three questions have been dubbed by some “The Big Three.” lyrica

marven said...

I love when you share your views through the best articles.business logo design

stevesmith said...

Hi,
The three questions are really very interesting.. Thanks for sharing !!!

http://www.expressmedsrx.com

Aden said...

Hi friend
Nice blog very interesting............. and also enjoyable blog.
Thank you very much!!!!!!
Expresspharmarx

Unknown said...

Damn spambots

Unknown said...

Damn spambots

Alex said...

Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. Great Lyricasite and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this.

Aron said...

I am very happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of Bactrim information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post.

Awais Attari said...

I'm glad to have found this post as its such an interesting Tadalafil one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this!

Muhammad Awais said...

I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can Sildenafil come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job

Julia said...

I really appreciate the construction of words in this post. It is well written, Provigil and informative post. thanks for the sharing.

Miky said...

The articles have pure clarity. You have great command over this Meridia issue. A blog can’t be better than this. Thanks a great deal.

Sonia Blade said...

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness Darvocet and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck!!!

Sonia said...

Thank you for posting such article. Its great to see such eye opening Tramadol post. There are still many things to learn and more surprises to come.

Abraham said...

Well this is really a informative post and I am glad to read such a great Valtrex post. I came to your site by mistake but from now I am going to read all of your posts. Great article thanks

Mark said...

Its very nice to read such a fantastic post like this. I am very much happy that I found this blog. I enjoyed reading every little bit of it. I’ll put a Buy Accutane link to this site on my blog.

Destro said...

I liked your article a lot. I thought it was full of knowledge it was also quite nicely written Lomotil and I am looking forward to reading some more articles wrote by you, well done.

David Ross said...

Wow!
This is a nice post shared here. thank you so mach for sharing this pattern. I like this......

Generic Viagra

Joshua said...

Really your blog is very interesting.... it contains great and unique information.i work on generic viagra keep posting with such beautiful post..

checking said...

Setting is one of those game elements that trips people up (including me) because it seems like it isn't necessary, just a nice add-on. "This game doesn't need a setting! It's generic!" I think that if that's true, then you don't actually have a game. In fact, what actually happens is that the players create a setting (with or without realizing it) to play this "setting-less" game in. So in fact the game does need a setting - it just doesn't provide one.bohyme

john said...

Thanks to a brilliant effort in publishing your article. One can be more informative as this. There are many things I can know only after reading your wonderful article.
organic seo service

Greenbiz Pakistan said...

really amazing!! i read out your entire blog and found it very much interesting and informative thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post keep posting !!
Solar pv panel
Wind turbines
power inverters
ups prices
Solar Tubewell

jamesfrac said...

Thanks for sharing this great article! I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. It is extremely helpful for me. I hope you post again soon
Lingerie

sunitha said...

Several things in here' haven't considered before.Thank you for making this type of awesome publish that is really perfectly written, is going to be mentioning lots of buddies relating to this. Maintain blogging. joomla websites | joomla development

philip said...

Such a good one.Thanks a lot for sharing.

penegra Online

Derlierprossy said...

I absolutely adore reading your blog posts, the variety of writing is smashing.This blog as usual was educational, I have had to bookmark your site and subscribe to your feed in i feed. Your theme looks lovely.

computer store

Tariq said...

If you want to buy xanax online then I think you are at right place mycare pharmacy is one of the best pharmacy . Here you can buy medicines at very cheap rates as like buy ritalin online and many more .

Farrah said...

Intimately, the post is actually the best on this laudable topic. I harmonize with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.

doctor ratings and reviews | find doctor list | doctor reviews by patients | doctor ratings and reviews by patients

Farrah Khan said...

Este es realmente mi primera vez aquí, el blog de gran apariencia. Descubrí tantas cosas interesantes dentro de tu blog en especial su discusión.

nutricionista Barcelona | dietista Barcelona | dietas Barcelona

Farrah said...

I’m satisfied by the way you brought out ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Tubal Reversals | Tubal Ligation reversal Surgery

Health said...

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and useful!
Brand Viagra

Abby said...

I wana congratulate you for such a wonderful and excellent work keep it up though its awesome
buy xanax online

anita grace said...

organic vitamins
Fantastic layout and great content! Every site should have that. Awesome job. Thank you very much for sharing.

Derlierprossy said...

Some writers fail to provide interesting informative material. When I read your content I happy to find it engaging and intelligent. This is impressive writing.


ddr3 ram

iori said...

Hello, I am very happy to read your blog. This is another fantastic blog post
what I have read. There are so many tools available that it becomes difficult
to know which will work. And how best to use them.


Natural supplements

Elysian said...

Thanks for both using do follow links and for posting up your rules. I also allow do follow links for many of my blog sites, and really cant get my head around the opposition to them that many blog owners.
offices in dubai

adlai said...

The big three information really helps. Since people now a days are on RPG, this will help them in what they need. Good post. I even enjoyed it reading personally.

cell phone spying
free spy software

John Anderson said...

In all honesty – Generic Toprol 100mg do quite a few of these things – just a bit differently at times maybe. I engage a heck of a lot – but they’re not always new people – although they are at times. Generic Ultracet do a lot of thanking (at least more than 10 a day) – especially for RT’s and comments – whether to new folks or to ones I already know. Doesn’t matter – a thank you to anyone that’s done something nice for you is well worth it. But then again – you already know how I feel about that right ?

amhash said...

Thanks for sharing such a useful information.Business Logo Design I was just surfing on internet and found your blog after reading this i realize that i should come here often.

yakenzu toby said...

I am very happy to read this article, thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. judi online, agen bola

mike hanson said...

Levitra (Vardenafil) is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence; inability to get or keep an
erection) in men. Vardenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. It works by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection. Vardenafil does not cure erectile dysfunction or increase sexual desire.

Fastbet said...

Thanks combination of suitable and useful information and well-written sentences that will certainly entice your sense.There are so multiple comments here that are really entertaining and conducive to me thanks for sharing a link especially for sharing this blog. Judi Bola

Mardiyah Sumarni said...

If some one needs to be updated with hottest technologies then he must be pay a quick visit this web page and be up to date everyday.. ibcbet, agen bola

waseem khatri said...

Hi friend
Nice blog very interesting............. and also enjoyable blog.
Thank you very much!!!!!! scratch off map

Davids Flys said...

what you´re saying is that in your experience, people want to "improve" anyway? It all boils down to actually playing the game with real people long enough to see, so i must defer to you on this one; at least until i can see it with my own eyes ( we played sotc once, only ). agen bola indonesia, agen bola terpercaya

Dewa SEO Java said...

Toko Baju Online | Prediksi Bola | Berita dan Prediksi Bola | Casino Sbobet | Judi Online | Agen Bola | Prediksi Bola
Judi | Judi Bola | Judi Online
Casino Sbobet | Judi Online | Agen Bola | Prediksi Bola

Dewa SEO Java said...

Agen Permainan Game Poker Texas Holdem Poker Online Indonesia | Agen Poker Online Terpercaya Bank BRI BNI Mandiri BCA | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Mini Games SBOBET IBCBET | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Number of Game IBCBET | Cara Menang Bermain Judi Games Poker Online Indonesia | Agen Permainan Game Poker Zynga Poker Online Indonesia | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Three Pictures | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Texas Hold’em Poker | Urutan Kartu Permainan Game Poker Online | Jual Beli Chip Poker Online Uang Asli Indonesia | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Toto Draw | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Fan Tan

Dewa SEO Java said...

Agen Judi Bola Tangkas Online Terpercaya Indonesia Bank Bca,Mandiri,Bni,Bri | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Dadu Sic Bo | Agen Judi Bola Tangkasnet & 88tangkas Online Terpercaya | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Pai Gow Poker | Agen Bola Tangkas Net, Tangkas Game, Tangkas Poker | Permainan Judi Live Casino Games Online Di Indonesia | Panduan Cara Bermain, Tips, Trik Cheat Menang Judi Bolatangkas Online | Judi Online Ibcbet Sbobet Casino 338a Terpercaya Indonesia | Rumus Judi Permainan Bola Tangkas Online | Agen Judi Bola Online Baseball Terpercaya | Games Bola Tangkas Online Di Handphone & Smartphone Blackberry, Android, Ios Tanpa Download

Dewa SEO Java said...

Very good i say

Agen Judi Online Racing Horse Atau Balapan Kuda Terpercaya | Permainan Judi Online Live Casino Games Dadu Sic Bo | Free Game Bola Tangkas Online Gratis | Judi Online Ibcbet Sbobet Casino 338a Bank BRI, BNI, Mandiri, BCA | Agen Judi Online Terpercaya Games Sportsbook | Agen Judi Online Live Casino Games Baccarat | Permainan Judi Online Live Casino Games Dadu Dragon Tiger | Agen Judi Online Live Casino Games Roulette Atau Rolet | Agen Sbobet Casino Online 338 Ibcbet Indonesia | Agen Sbobet Casino 338a Terbesar, Terbaik, Terpercaya Di Indonesia | Agen Judi Online Casino Games Bingo IBCBET | Agen Judi Online Live Casino Games Blackjack

Dewa SEO Java said...

Judi Online Via Bank Indonesia BRI, BNI, Mandiri, BCA | Agen Bola Tangkas Online Darat Mickey Mouse | Permainan Judi Online Live Casino Games Roulette Atau Rolet | Download Bola Tangkas Bola Tangkas Baru | Permainan Judi Online Live Casino Games Kartu Blackjack | Agen Togel Online Bank BRI, BNI, Mandiri, BCA Indonesia | Permainan Judi Online Live Casino Games Kartu Baccarat | Agen SBOBET Casino Online 338a Depo Bank BRI, BNI, Mandiri, BCA | Daftar Togel Online Terpercaya | Agen Sbobet Depo BCA Mandiri BNI BRI Indonesia | Prediksi Online Keluaran Togel Hari Ini

Dodix Poernama said...

If characters don't change over time, then they aren't interesting. Since we know that they do change, what do we call that change if not advancement? I can't think of a better term. casino 338a