Shining Dodecahedron

One geek's views on role-playing and games in general.

This place is all about discussing paper-and-pencil roleplaying games. I'm Jay, and I run this joint, but that doesn't make me smarter than you. This will all work best if I say things, and you say what you think about them, lather, rinse, repeat. With luck we can all understand the hobby a little better. If you have a topic that you would like me to start a thread about, post a comment here. If you've got something to say about characters (my ongoing topic du jour), post a comment here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Bit About Toy Factor

Someone on the Forge brought up the idea of "toy factor" (or words to that effect) a while ago. The idea is that, beyond supporting any creative agenda, an RPG can have aspects that are just fun to play with.

At the time, I took note of the concept and moved on, but I've been thinking about it this week and it makes total sense to me.

After my last game session wherein we made characters with which to playtest my upcoming game, Musha Shugyo, I suggested that someone else in the group might GM something so that I could get a chance to play. One of the guys brought up the possibility of a space opera game using the Hero System. I'm a Hero junkie of old, and was thrilled at the prospect. I dusted off my rulebook and started getting reacquainted.

Then I realized: I love the Hero System because making a character is challenging, stimulating, and fun. At least for me. Part of what I like about RPGs is coming up with a cool character and then making that character come alive with the game system. It's toy factor all over.

I'm sure that lots of folks find lots of different parts of systems engaging on a toy level. It's something to think about when analyzing the "why we play" of a group.

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