Binary Success and Failure in RPGs, Quick Thoughts

Many popular RPG systems measure success (or failure) as a simple binary. For example, by a strict reading of D&D 5e’s rules, either your character is successfully sneaky or they’re not: there’s no middle ground. There’s no benefit for being exceptionally stealthy, and there’s no real penalty for being exceptionally not-stealthy. Thus, there’re no degrees of success or failure. Every test is pass or fail.

This streamlines resolution of tests, and has the benefit of being fast and simple. But it also misses Continue reading

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Dune by any other name: Twilight Imperium Rex

Twilight-Imperium-RexPretty cover art?  Check.

Fantasy Flight is good at making fun games, and their rehashing of the original Dune boardgame is no exception.  Though they were unable to nab the necessary IP, they’ve cleverly injected the mechanics and flavor of the original Dune into the universe created for Twilight Imperium.  But simply recreating an old game was not enough; they then streamlined and shaped it into something that you can pick up through one round of experimental play.  The end result is a highly entertaining game with excellent group dynamics, one that introduces just enough complexity to give you lots of material to work with without overwhelming you with its intricacies.

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