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Y’all know how I love playing games in the #blorb style you might guess I’d hate something like this, from Stealing Stories for the Devil:

If a PC is good at climbing, crawling, and getting through tight spots, the player might say there’s access to the office suite via the air ducts. But then the GM steps in with a complication: “Yes, but there’s no vent access from the ground level. They connect to the roof.” The players suggest a stairwell, fire escape, or access from a nearby building, and the GM adds in the security cameras, patrols, or other complications. In this way, the players and GM work together until they’ve created a detailed scenario, and an equally detailed plan, all at the same time.

I do and I don’t. Hate it, I mean.

I do in the sense that I’m not very eager to play or run this (also… it’s by MC 😐).

But I don’t because I think it’s good that non-blorby games fully take advantage of not having to be tied to the limitations of blorb. You give up the awesomeness of blorb and in return you hope for things like pick-up, zero prep, character-tailored play.

Tailoring play to character’s abilities is usually a bad idea, but in a heist scenario the upside is that you make all “roles” relevant.

That’s something a lot of “fudgy judges” out there miss out on by playing “almost blorby” games. You miss out on why blorb is so great but you don’t get anything in in return, just a compromised game, where stakes, integrity, and buy-in have all been ruined by your finger on the scale. Something like this, which seems to take the Dirty Dungeon concept further than other pick-up games like Spirit of the Century or Donjon, gets something in return by not having any aspirations of blorby integrity in the first place.

Now, my own preference if we were to play pick-up is to instead play a GM-less game like Microscope, Fiasco, Svart av kval, vit av lust, or Untold: Adventures Await. The main reason to even have a DM in the first place is to be able to play blorbily, with there being pre-existing, off-screen canon game state that a DM needs to keep secret.

The other day, Meguey wrote:

“All RPGs are descended from wargaming by virtue of D&D” is a trash argument. Full stop.
Seriously, I have a treehouse and some toy dinosaurs who will fight you on this.

Right, and we didn’t need a DM. The idea of a DM came, as far as I know, from games like Kriegspiel and Braunstein, and the reason to have a DM is because there is stuff that is both established as true, but is unknown to some or all of the players.

And to arbitrate rules but even there a DM isn’t necessary or even particularly helpful compared to the players being involved in finding consensus of how play procedures should work. And get on out of here with that “Free Kriegspiel”.