Monday, July 4, 2011

Rules Light, Roleplaying Stressed and Variant Systems

You may have noticed that a number of games from Infinite Imaginations, Inc. are listed as either 'Variant' systems or include the terms 'Rules Light' or 'Roleplaying Stressed' in their descriptions. So what exactly does that mean?

It's simple. To many of the game masters in III, rules aren't important and take a back seat (or sometimes even go in the trunk) to characterization and stories. This isn't to say that a game that doesn't have these descriptors is a dice rolling festival for rules lawyers, but when those phrases appear, it means that the numbers and dice don't have as much of an impact as you may be accustomed to.

Every role-playing game we run is about just that - role-playing. In general, we believe that if you want to move figures around a table, calculate every combat move with intense precision, and look through the character options seeking the best min/maxed version of your favorite combat style, you should probably look elsewhere for a game. There's nothing wrong with that style of play, it's just not the type of game we usually run. If you want characters with depth, storylines that draw you in and hold your attention and enjoy spending a few hours pretending to be someone else, then III games are probably right up your alley.

In some cases, 'rules light' may mean character sheets don't even have numbers, and dice, if they're rolled at all, might only be used for deciding the outcome of a key event with some random chance.

Of course all of our events put fun above all else, but these phrases help you answer the question, 'fun doing what?'

So in essence:

Role-playing Stressed - This game is looking for players who like to get into character and stay there for a few hours. You're supplied with a character sheet that provides you with a background and personality that we want you to try and play. Even if it's not mentioned specifically, just about every RPG and LARP run by III focuses on roleplaying.

Variant System - GM takes liberties with the system mentioned. Sometimes the system is streamlined, others include key rule changes that may impact the game. Any important rules changes will be explained to the players at the start of the game.

Rules Light - The game system is used more as a guideline for characters than hard and fast rules. There may not be a battle map or figures used, and things like skill levels on a character sheet may be used more as a rough gauge of ability rather than a finite number backed up by die rolls. The game system in these cases is often used to give the player a better feel for what their character can do rather than to give the player more dice to roll.


  1. Hey there. Saw your event(s) on the GenCon site and thought I'd check it out. Went to (my first) GenCon2008, but didn't participate...just kinda checked things out. This time I decided I want to get into a game or two and yours seemed 'up my alley.' I haven't picked up dice in 20-odd years and always preferred the RP side of things over min/max. Are your Games suited for someone like me? Semi-beginner/returning player looking for relaxed entre? I'll monitor responses here, or you can reply to email:


  2. Yes, I think we are suited for 'someone like you.'

    If you are really worried about rules, and you shouldn't be, look at the 'Experience Required' listing for the game, or look for the phrase 'Rules Light' in the blurb. Regardless, let your GM know you are out of practice when the game starts, and they (and your friendly fellow players) will be sure to help you along.

    According to the web site, we'll be in the Crowne Plaza, Victoria Station room. With multiple games running at a time, there is almost always an extra chair open. So don't worry if all the games you want are sold out, show up anyway, there is a fair chance you'll get into that game due to no-shows and extra characters.

    Also, if you just have an open slot, look for the long haired lady in the red bolero jacket, she's your cruise director for Adventure, and will help find you a seat.

    Who knows, you might even get into a game with the mysterious Poobah Helper!

  3. I've played in your Dresden games for two years now and they have been arguably the best run LARPs I've ever been in. The system is simple, yet still exists (I think LARPS without any stats at all is kind of missing the point). There's just enough combat to instill fear of death (so people don't just get ludicrously stupid) without weighing down the game.

    But it's not just the system. The judges did a great job in keeping things moving, and the writing gave people lots of things to do that didn't involve just shooting things or leaving them bored so they were tempted to just cause random trouble.

    Great, great job.
    Cassie Beyer aka Eric/Matthew Thompson