crothian (crothian) wrote,
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Where are the complex RPGs?

In the past 8 years we have seen and explosion on the RPG market. The OGL and the indie movement came about at close to the same time allowing so many more people to write and publish RPG material. But we haven't been getting complex games, we've been getting some neat ideas and good games. But not the complex ones I'm talking about.

What is a complex game? First of all it's a bad adjective for what I'm referring too. I picked it though since it has a less positive vibe to it. I was going to go with smart game but that is pretty elitist. It also has the connotation of other games being stupid which they are not. The type of games I am looking for are that ones that challenge people. Take math for instance. Math is a part of the RPG game world and one which people complain about. I don't think that people are really complaining about the math unless they really think addition and subtraction are hard. They are complaining about the accounting of keeping track of fifteen plus ones that come from different places and apply at different times. This is not the complexity I am referring to.

There could be games that actually take advantage of math. A few simple formulas for people to know and some explanation so they understand. Last year I cheered when reading Fear Itself it referred to absolute numbers. Gamers like to think they are smart and educated but in looking at the materiual produced it is not often reflected in that.

Another problem is every game seems to be written as if it is going to introduce people to gaming. Most games though are going to be bought by people that understand what a role playing game is. It is not needed to waste a page on explaining that to the reader. Where are the games for gamers then? Where are the games that assume the reader knows what RPGs are and then wants to build off of that? There are a lot of neat things that can be done with gaming along a more artsy (for again lack of a better word) approach.

The concepts of games are usually pretty simple. They again seem to be written with new people in mind. There is little that seems to build on the education of people and challenge their thoughts and their concepts. My best example for this would be the Matrix. Alternate computer generated realities are nothing new even when the movie came out but it brought it to the masses in a very clear and challenging way. There are plenty of concepts out there dealing with flows of time and extra dimensions that could make for a very interesting game.

What am I looking for? I have no idea. Just something that wows in a different way. Something that reads like it was written for a fourth grader. The more main stream games have to do that. But in the small press community I am suprised there hasn't been games that try to do things different. Games like Reign and Don't Rest Your Head have certainly approached what I am looking for. And goodness knows I haven't seen everything out there.

I guess the best way to say it is I am looking for something that will make me think.
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