What’re Da Roolz G? – A Designer Manifesto

There’s been a couple of these doing the rounds lately. Seems like it’s time to throw my particular peasant cap hat into the ring. Pay particular attention to point one as it applies to all the other ones.

1. Your Mileage May Vary.
2. Games Should be fun.
3. System Matters.
4. Plausible Worlds.
5. I’m NOT a Storyteller.
6. Agendas are boring.
7. I make what I love.
8. Once it’s Out, I don’t ‘Own’ it.
9. I’m NOT a professional.
10. Relationships are business.
11. I can be an arsehole, but you ARE a prick.
12. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

1. These are my rules. They’re not intended to be a guide for anybody else. You can go your own way. These are just the things that I think and some of the ideas that guide me in what I do.

2. This should go without saying. Of course, the problem with saying something that everyone can agree on is that what constitutes ‘fun’ you’ll never get people to agree on. Some people find huffing glue fun, some people enjoy inflating their genitals with saline. I can’t say I understand the appeal but hey, whatever floats their boat eh? I like science fiction, fantasy, horror, high adventure, narrative mechanics, sword and sorcery, blood and tits, history, politics, the clash of magic/faith and science and a while bunch of other stuff. I’m going to do things that I find fun, because that’s the best and only guide I have.

3. Sure, you CAN play Call of Cthulhu using Toon, but it’s not a great idea. In an ideal game the system and the setting form a closed loop. The rules support and embody the setting and the setting informs and helps define the rules. Form follows function, if you like.

4. Not realistic. Plausible. A certain degree of internal consistency is good and the world should hang together for at least a passing examination without any glaring ‘wtf’ moments.

5. Whether you’re writing or GMing a game this is an important one to learn. You’re not telling a story, you’re facilitating the creation of good stories. Don’t be a frustrated writer, work that out in WRITING. Be a fulfilled game creator.

6. Not to say you can’t put your politics and the things you care about into a game but if you’re forcing it down someone’s throat the whole fucking time you’re a bore. The only people who are going to really get into this game are people who are already part of the cause. So it’s pointless. Your audience are not puppies who need their noses rubbed in shit.

7. You don’t have to love it. I’m the first audience that needs to be pleased.

8. I’m making a game. Not writing a book. People will mangle, twist reinterpret, misinterpret, use, abuse and otherwise remake and remodel anything you do. That’s cool. Who cares?

9. People who describe themselves are ‘professional’ are almost always pricks. You can say it in a good way about someone else, but generally if you call yourself a professional or call someone else unprofessional, you’re a dick.

10. Treat people right and they’ll treat you right. Might take a while, but it does come back to you. Pay on time, pay early, sling people a couple of extra bucks, pay it forward.

11. Shamelessly stolen from Andrew Maxwell. Everyone and anyone can be an arsehole from time to time. Being an arsehole is something you do. But you ARE a prick. I can be an arsehole sometimes, but I can stop. YOU, oh critic/whiner/crusader, ARE a prick.

12. Or, to put it another way, ‘Honeybadger don’t care.’

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