The Hickman Revolution

jedion357's picture
December 19, 2012 - 3:57am
Modern/commercial RPG adventures are very much in the vein of the revolution that Tracy and Laura Hickman started. Since RPG publishers are often market driven the idea of sequel upon sequel to sell to their customer base has become a siren call that few publishers resist.

Studying the revolution its seems that most of the internet chatter concerning the Hickman Revolution stems from this blog post, it seems everyone sites this one blog:

Personally, I find some of the propositions that the Hickmans put forward appealing, like a dungeon making architectual sense.

Other posts and blogs ont he HR:

Just to recap, the Manifesto of the Hickman Revolution is:
1. A player objective more worthwhile than just pilaging and killing.
2. An intriguing story that is intricately woven into play itself.
3. Dungeons with an architectual sense.
4. An obtainable and honorable end within one to two sessions of play.

The counterpoint to the Hickman Revolution is summed up in this:
A Quick Primer to Old School Gaming by Matt Finch

Now, old school does not automatically mean no story, plenty of old school modules had story.

The thing that is bothering me is how all this applies to Science fiction role playing games. It seems to me that the genre required a shift away from Dungeon Crawl toward story telling anyway that in some ways SF modules were already were revolutionary before the Revolution. I think this may also have been true for Boot Hill modules as well- no eternal dungeon crawls but stories with a beginning, a middle and an end (3 act structure).
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Ascent's picture
December 29, 2012 - 8:30pm
You are exactly right. But the revolution is about fantasy role-playing, not science fiction role-playing. The revolution is about changing the way people view fantasy role-playing. D&D mechanics lent itself to dungeon crawls. Kill monsters, earn XP and gold, level up. That's where the videogame RPG was born.

Salaries, group treasures for completing adventures, meager booty when killing people and none for killing creatures, and earning XP by the adventure rather than by the encounter all lends itself to role-playing rather than some form of hack and slash.
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