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Starforged initial impressions

Me: “Skill challenges should die in a fire”
Me, three seconds later: “Hold on, Starforged is amazing!”

This game is so great. It’s basically the never-ending version of something like those old choose-your-own-adventure books like Citadel of Chaos.

The strength of skill challenges are the low-prep / pickup nature of them; create a textured description purely generatively. They’re the ultimate extension of the “wallpaper salience” #blorb principle.

The problem is that it’s at the expense of agency. It reduces the joy of exploring to a drab one-dimensional bingo. And the math is broken, too (that goes for 5e’s group checks also). It’s one of the reasons why Diaspora wasn’t that fun after a while.

Starforged mitigates the drawbacks (by weaving together several different “vows” (its name for skill challenges) at the same time, pulling in different directions across that starlit canvas), and leverages its strength (with a mythic / location crafter style generative world).

I love blorb so of course I miss all the tier one truths of a blorbier game (like Arden Vul which is the blorbiest and best game experience of all time). But I’m also loving Starforged. It reminds me of… well, the aforementioned Citadel of Chaos, sure, but also Caves of Qud with its mix of generative / oracular gameplay. Or something like Untold: Adventures Await (which I’d say is maybe a good intro game to try before jumping in to Starforged?). It also reminds me a li’l bit of Disco Elysium but with the safety valves I wish that game had. Although my Starforged game has already become snafubar. My imagination is problematic 🤦🏻‍♀️