2019-02-01 A very different take on monsters

@Halfjack has been writing about soft horizontal monsters. He’s been writing about Soft Horizons every now and then. The thing I really liked about this one is that instead of making monsters more like characters he’s making them more like the environment. They simply are and they impose their negative effects on the player characters like lava, like an avalanche, like a bad harvest. The question is simply: what are you going to do about it? And what he provides is suggestions for the referee in terms of risks. Setting the risk is Brad’s favourite design concept for his Soft Horizon project as far as I can tell. When talking about locating the creative burden, he says: “the critical place where we lay out a creative burden is on the ref when setting the risks.”

Anyway, I love the idea of a monster just consisting of a name, a description, some lore, and whatever else you think it needs (”fluff”) and the only aspects that interface with the actual rules (”mechanics”) of the game are a list of risks your character runs when doing something against them (”crunch”).

When I told Brad that I liked how me made monsters more like the environment instead of like characters, he answered: “Exactly – making them like characters would mean inviting the ref into the dice rolling game and that’s contrary to the design.”

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