RPG Theory Glossary: F

Fantasy Heartbreaker
Ron Edwards' term for a number of fantasy games, characterized by (1) the basic, imaginative content is "fantasy" using gaming, specifically D&D, as the inspirational text; (2) independently published as a labor of love, essentially competing directly with D&D in the marketplace; (3) the rules are similar to the majority of pre-1990s RPGs.
Fantasy Heartbreakers
More Fantasy Heartbreakers
A term used in discussion of Beeg Horseshoe Theory to refer to verisimilitude/integrity. Within that theory, Fidelity is essentially an overall measure of Simulationism-ness. The Simulationism definition emphasizes internal causality (i.e. "Exploration squared"). In parallel, Fidelity refers to a consistency requirement, but not necessarily realism. This is a minimum requirement -- i.e. you can be more consistent without dysfunction, but dropping below Fidelity requirement that causes problems (i.e. clash of priorities). Fidelity can relate to individual Exploration elements rather than being a single axis.
Beeg Horseshoe Theory Revisited
The practice of not letting Out-of-Character and/or meta-game information which you know as a player affect your decisions in play, which can apply to both the GM and the player.
A Forge term for control over the protagonist characters' thematically-significant decisions by anyone who is not the character's player. It is considered an awkward term by Ron Edwards because of (1) its sense of imposed mandate and strength-in-control, and (2) its parodic Star Wars connotation. Originally called "GM-oomph" (Ron Edwards), then "GM-Force" (Mike Holmes). See also Railroading.
Illusionism: a new look and a new approach
IntCon vs GM Oomph?!
Part of DFK from Everway, by Jonathan Tweet. This is using a randomizer to determine the result of an action or conflict.
Employing a Fortune mechanic (dice, cards, etc) following the full descriptions of actions, physical placement, and communication among characters. See "Fortune in the Middle" and associated links.
Employing a Fortune mechanic (dice, cards, etc) prior to fully describing the specific actions of, physical placement of, and communication among characters. The Fortune outcome is employed in establishing these elements retroactively. This technique may be employed with the dice/etc as the ultimate authority of success or failure (e.g. Sorcerer) or with the dice/etc outcome being potentially adjusted by a metagame mechanic (e.g. Hero Wars).
Ron Edwards' review of Hero Wars
Alyria forum
A vague term for any four-way split, used in multiple contexts for RPGs. (1) On RGFA, this was used for an extension of the Threefold Model which added a mode for Social gaming. (2) A reference to the four player types suggested by Glen Blacow, aka the Blacow Player Types.
A common term used for a variety of meanings. (1) In tabletop play, it can means play with no explicit set of rules -- where resolution is improvised with or without dice. (2) Alternately, it can mean play with a simple and loosely-defined set of rules such as Fudge by Steffan O'Sullivan, or Over the Edge by Jonathan Tweet. (3) In Australia and in other LARP communities, this tends to mean a dramatic type of Live-Action role-playing event which has no predicted plot. Instead, the players take a set of predefined PCs and simultaneously interact in a single area with minimal GM intervention or NPCs. Characters in a freeform are usually motivated by pre-set goals, which can be met through investigation, negotiation with other characters, and team-work.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Tue Mar 18 15:19:07 2008