2018 Questions

What gives a game staying power? #RPGaDay2018

#RPGaDay2018 What gives a game staying power?

Day 3 2018

I like this question because in games I both play and run this is actually important to me. So let’s take a few minutes and talk about a couple of things that make us excited to keep playing a game week after week.


Level Advancement

I think when games have a system in place for character or level advancement these systems tend to be the ones with the most staying power. When a player can see growth in more than just the stories progression their level of enthusiasm is easier to maintain. Character advancement can even breath new life int a character with leveling options like new skills, abilities, and powers. Now I know there will be some to argue that well don’t all RPGs have advancement?

While yes most every RPG does, but there are several games out there with a very small creep when it comes to advancement in the game. Personally, I would point to percentage based systems as games that have a hard time with making players feeling like they are really improving from level to level. Often improvement in % based systems only have players ticking up their chance of success by a few points. This can result in a player looking back after a long story and feeling like they have not really improved much over the span of a campaign.   

Game Balance

Proper game balance also can have a tremendous effect on the staying power of a game. If it anytime the balance of the game tips to the favor of the players or the monsters it quickly becomes frustrating for both Players and DMs. As a DM I think that is when a game begins to run the risk of quickly falling apart. If every challenge seems insurmountable because of poor game balance your player’s investment will wane quickly.

Now the same holds true For the gamemaster if the amount of preparation time far outweighs the fun that the GM is having during the game session. His personal staying power will quickly reach a breaking point.
so every game has to be balanced for staying power with players and Storytellers in mind.  


What do you think gives a game Staying Power? Does It matter to you that much in the games you play? I look forward to hearing from each of you on this topic.


Here’s a Blast from the #RPGaDay Past:

#RPGaDay2016 Day 3 Character Moment you are most Proud of


#RPGaDay2016 Day 3 Character Moment you are most Proud of




  1. Interesting points. I will say that I have played a lot of Classic Traveller and that is a system that offers no character advancement. The idea is that you build the character you want to play in character creation and then you are playing that ideal character up front. Mind you, this is hard to do due to the random nature of character generation. You can improve the character but it takes massive amounts of training and the changes can disappear if you do not keep up the training. Despite this it is a great system.


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