Where do you see your interests progressing to?

I believe it to be the human condition to never be fully satisfied with where we currently stand. There’s always something to be improved, right?

While I consider it true, I don’t believe it’s the healthiest. That’s why I’ve mostly directed this energy into TTRPGs, hoping that I’m converting that angst into a more positive energy, diving into the philosophy of how I play and how I can have more fun.

Sometimes I “check in” with my own interests and evaluate whether or not I truly enjoy them, as occasionally I will find that I simply previously enjoyed it, and am at that point just riding a dying wave.

In that way, I project where my interests are seemingly going to end up in a year or so, to set a goal of where I can find myself in the TTRPG sphere (sound like HR much?). This serves two purposes: Giving me purpose in my exploration of fun, and giving me a jumping off point for where to direct said exploration.

For example, my previous goal was “to become confident running a game with zero rules and/or zero prep.” I can happily say I met that goal, and have run a game with zero rules and a game with zero prep separately, and feel that I would be able to combine both if I wanted to.

My goal, now, is to re-integrate rules. Specifically, I wish to find MY happy medium between no rules and too many rules. I want to explore what rules contribute to a game, and how I can effectively apply them. By the end of this, I don’t want a system; I want a checklist of modular rules and/or procedures that I can plug into just about any genre and run with. Importantly, this checklist would be largely GM-facing, or at least table-facing (in that the inclusion of one of the list items would affect the table dynamic, not just players or GM).

I’ll make a thread on the NSR discord for discussion, so I’d prefer if all replies to this thread were answering the title question, and your personal insights to yourself and where you’re going.

That said, where do you see your interests progressing to?



I think I want to stop spinning my wheels on one big project and start making lots of little projects that explore different things I like.

For a long time I’ve been trying to make an OSR game that also has 5E-style combat. I thought I was almost done, about a month ago, but when I got to polishing up my drafts for the classes, the whole system started to feel fundamentally flawed.

Maybe a more experienced designer could figure out how to combine those things. But I think maybe instead I’ll just make a little game about combat, and then a little game about exploring short dungeons, and then maybe I’ll finally explore solo games like I keep saying I want to do.

Maybe I’ll design a dungeon or pointcrawl map for Electric Bastionland. And maybe I’ll finally run Ghosts of Saltmarsh in 5E for some friends. Maybe even design some stuff for 5E. Why not?

I discovered the LUMEN system recently and it feels like the rules-light, combat-focused game I was trying to make in the first place, minus a few nitpicks. And apparently there’s a jam for it happening now. So, my first order of business might be making something for that.

My own interests have been fairly firmly rooted since about 2019 or so - I’m interested in exploring and designing withing the dungeon crawl style of play, but pushing it beyond the cultural and aesthetic boundaries of the old OSR scene. The idea being to help others recognize location based procedural exploration as a style of play rather then a specific game or community.

More recently I’ve been trying to wrap my head around “proceduralism” as a larger theoretical framework. My own take is that like legal proceduralism, rpg proceduralism is examining and trying to focus on the rules around play rather then the rules in play – the structures or rules that effect how the players interact with the setting rather then help arbitrate specific in setting or in fiction actions.

Also writing adventures, it’s been 9 months since I got anything worthwhile together.

Though currently I need to start a new campaign as my home game fell apart in February over some health challenges on player is facing.

I’m still pretty content devoting most of my time to Random Tables in hopes of getting a compilation of Aleatory Aids together at some point. Dev list is shrinking down a bit, so I’m always on the hunt for more commonly encountered problems to solve for other Referees mostly.

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[short answer]
Where my interests is progressing to?

Become a little studio of one and to use my creative outlets (art/illustration/3D/motion/etc) to aid in cultivating games I’d personally would play and create, but also bring new awareness to people I admir in the space.

Hmm… for me I’ve come in fresh eyed - only knowing 5e until I stumbled into OSR and the Indie TTRPG of itch. It really solidified when I joined NSR discord and participating in jams / zimo.

I think I always wanted to try new things and make weird stuff, and the TTRPG ticks boxes all the boxes from game design, story/world building to art / design and product production and distribution. A lot of it is the fondness of the DIY mentality + the really supportive circles in the space which drew me in. I’ve been in art circles were it was really competitive but always shown with a smile, as with the design community … I think I went off how I was going to answer this … (edit this in a short answer cut)


I’d love to see a write-up on your process.


I’ve blathered about it a bit before, but I’ll try to get together a blog post on it. It’s a common enough question, so It’d be nice to have something to point to in order to answer it :slight_smile:

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I reckon that I’m pretty well gelled on rules-light stuff, and my progression now will be in terms of exploring two things. First, prose techniques (pretty much all my gaming is play by post) and how writing style can shape other players’ impression of a setting, scene, character, or event. Second, out-of-my-type characters, i.e. less Face/Mask and more Fist/Brawn. I’ve been exploring the space of quietly evil characters, those who lack or have a broken moral compass but aren’t turned on by gruesome behavior. I’m going to refocus, I think, on quietly good characters, the ones who care about everyone they meet but don’t make noise about that. I’m curious whether I can narrate a conflict between well-intentioned NPCs and well-intentioned PCs.