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Notice:Landmarks of Gaming Theory

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My late night epiphany, D&D (and it's ilk) work because people love gambling.   At the casino you risk money, strategically place your bets, and win or lose.   In D&D you have your HP and spells, you choose your tactics and your character could die or could win xp and gold.   D&D is kind of like craps, lots of bets (tactics) on the table.  

Some "theory"  games hate the risk, because they hate losing or uncertainty, but I say without risk it's not a game just a literary exercise.   Some "theory" games don't like the confusion, just too many choices, they prefer slots, still risk but no tactics, rather just lots of bells, whistles and lights.

Visitor Q:
As an addendum to this discussion Jon Peterson's Playing at the World by Unreason Press provides a comprehensive and pretty fascinating look at the history of wargaming and roleplay games including the foundational theories behind both.  It also looks at the fantasy literature genre and pulp adventure.  It's quite a meaty tome but well worth the read if you have the time. 

As someone who doesn't play much D&D it certainly enlightened me as to why D&D is such a successful game and in fact gave me a greater appreciation for it.


Great information! Thank you!


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