methods.in.the.madness

The Window

 

Credits

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System Design . Scott Lininger

Web Design & Graphics . Scott Lininger

Illustration . Scott Lininger & Phillip Challis

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Playtesting

Heather Barnhorst, Jon Aimes-Cooley, Phillip Challis,
Laura Drexler, Wick Gordon, Donna Hume-Eason,
Loren Hume-Eason, Mark Hughes, Devon Jones, Brian Kroeger,
Kris Marquardt, Dawna Milligan, Dan Morehead, Rachel Newell,
Kris Nuttycombe, Stephanie Schulz, Chris Sears,
Griff Sickendick, Jenna Smith, Josh Smith, Danielle Steen,
Cullen Trump, Trevor Van Schooneveld, and Barry A. Warren.

Special thanks to all of those who played
in the Window RPG events at the Denver
area conventions over the past three years.

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How it Began

The Window is an old idea, set forth over ten years ago. It was put together purely for our own roleplaying group because we wanted something that worked for us. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention...

You see, after trying what seems like a million different systems during our own series of roleplaying games (perhaps you've seen this, too), we slowly realized that no matter what rules we were using, the interaction between the characters essentially ran the same. No matter what rules we were using, the combat always moved along with the same ultimate effects: it was just a question of how long it took to get there. Even the character creation worked in the same way, or at least was visualized in the same way.

As it was, our style had become more important to us than the system. We spent many times the creative energy developing the world and our characters than we did figuring up percentages, regardless of the genre we chose. It wasn't the individual stats and skills that made us love our characters, rather it was their actions and their personalities and how they fit into the overall story.

The only time we really noticed which rules were being used was when they somehow got in the way, as they inevitably did! That was the seed. We decided that it was time for a system that would stay in the background... be invisible as a pane of glass...

The first Window was a little goofy: the players were not allowed to see their character sheets or even know anything about the game mechanics. They knew all about their character's personality, background, and basic skills, but nothing involving numbers, modifiers, or percentages. Theoretically, we thought that this would encourage everyone to focus on the roleplaying and totally remove themselves from the cumbersome number crunching necessary for so many of the commercial systems we were using at the time. Even though we ultimately did away with the "invisible character sheets," the idea worked, and in the first few weeks of play the basic ideas that would eventually become the Window were hammered out.

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The Window is Copyright © 2004 by Scott Lininger. All rights reserved.
Artwork remains the property of the artists under their separate copyrights.

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