The never-ending story
Imagine playing through an Elder Scrolls title with a high charisma score, and visualise how easy it is to talk your way around certain situations – you can save yourself a lot of legwork and aggro by being smart and quick-tongued, and it can be an incredibly satisfying way to play. Now imagine replaying the same situation with zero charisma, and all those extra points lumped into strength and stamina – sure, you’re tough as nails, but you’ll have to walk a lot further, and fight a lot more battles to reach the same result, and you might enjoy that approach.
Now imagine if you will a third scenario, where you’ve made all those choices and play your character in exactly the same way but the experience can still change, because the arbiter of events is not a pre-determined algorithm that calculates what to do next based on some (albeit astoundingly clever) boolean logic about what has occurred before. No, the arbiter of events in this case is a sentient being – a human overseer who can tailor-make the experience and make similar-sounding scenarios play completely different, every single time – and you can see why the customisable experience and subtle nuances of tabletop roleplaying games are evidently being striven for by developers in their multi-faction, pseudo-infinite approach titles.
Best of all though is that the dungeon master is usually your mate, and if anyone knows how to make an experience magical it’s a group of friends – around a board, with their Dungeon Master’s Guide, their polyhedral dice, and their pens and paper – it literally never gets old.
We hate to ask, but...
Thumbsticks has a couple of goals. We want to write interesting articles and cover games that most outlets won't, and we want to give opportunities to new writers and new voices. And right now, with the current state of online publishing? It's tough to meet those goals! We hate to ask, but if you want us to continue writing what others won't, or to keep covering weird indie games, or to be able to give opportunities to new writers – and only if you can afford it – then please consider supporting us on Patreon.
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