Hi Chris.

What you say about tactical simulations is true of vanilla angband, ---- ie, the basic varient which is purely about the dungeon full of monsters and equipment balance and choice.

There are however now some other varients which feature quests, npcs, unique pantheons of gods and powers etc, all using the basic Angband version and engine (another reason I've been trying to push for accessibility changes in the game).

Getting back to roleplaying games in general, I disagree with you about the deffinition of an rp game being open ended and having an effect on the world devorced from story.

I'd say the basic deffinition of a role playing game and what distinguishes it from a life sim is story.

Even playing tabletop games with a gm, there is a story, and sequence of events and background the gm has in mind.

Of course, the way the players interact with those events might not be as the gm expects, and might require some improvising on the gm's part, but the basic idea is that the players are characters taking part in a constructed series of events, a construction story or situation.

Suppose the gm creates a battle betwene two sides. The characters might decide to follow faction A, faction B, or try and stop the war. The Gm however must have certain ideas about the ramifications of this, and certain pre-conceived notions of what will happen, whome the characters will meet or fight, what stats the npcs involved etc.

Even if the Gm plays an incredibly open ended game and asks the characters what to do after describing the situation, the Gm already has something in mind.

Also personally, it's this aspect, participating in a story, quite literally "playing a role" which most interests me in rpgs themselves, and it's this aspect which is so trodden on by current net rpgs and muds, with all the grinding, guild wars, pvp factionalism etc.

the problem is the larger the group, the less story control the game has, and when you've got players in their thousands, you can' weave stories around them without factors like game resets, npc quests etc, ---- and so down the road to grinding.

I'd personally much rather have an absolutely complex world and story with a single character which you are free to explore alone, participating in it's story and becoming a central figure.

To take a single example, i loved the way in Sryth, once you completed the Mirk quest, the description of the town of stormfield utterly changed, and the npcs there reacted to you differently. That quest was an indellable part of the world, and once it was done, it was done forever with that character, ---- consequences and all, with all the plot threads that intales.

If Tom was willing to make the game modular enough to accept player created content, or let other people contribute adventures, this is also something I'd absolutely love! to do, sinse I'm certain learning enough php to add the scripting for adventures would take considderably less time than trying to learn enough general programming skill to create more own rpg, ---- and creating rpgs is something I'd love to do.

then again, it's Tom's world, and Tom's rules, and if he doesn't want others dabling in it, --- fair enough.

Beware the Grue!


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