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What it is not

A "diceless" system

The Window tries to combine the freeform roleplaying paradigm with the narrative advantages that dice provide.

A physics engine

If you are the type of person who prefers a system to have rules for any contingency presentable by Newton, then the Window is not what you are looking for.

An equipment depot

You'll notice that no information has been included on the guns, armor, ammo, clothes, vehicles, knives, explosives, or camping equipment Window characters can own. If you describe your character by the stuff he carries, you're probably describing him wrong in the first place.

A combat system

Combat in the Window is relegated to the status of just another scene, without a whole chapter of complex rules to manage it. In most stories, combat is nothing more than a fast and exciting byline to a larger plot, and it can be handled using the same simple rules used for everything else. (Every hour spent rolling dice and doing arithmetic could be spent actually roleplaying!)

A beginner's system

If you have never roleplayed before, then most of what you're reading right now probably doesn't make much sense. (Let us first say that roleplaying is NOT inherently satanic and that letting your kids do it has a better chance of swelling their creativity than encouraging them to drink blood.) Though it's quite possible that a beginner could gather some friends and use the Window to run a wonderful game, it's more likely that the lack of structure will be confusing and the story will disintegrate. If you want to get into roleplaying (I certainly encourage it), you'd do better to make a trip to your local gaming store and pick up a 2nd generation system like GURPS, Champions, Palladium, AD&D, or the like, which all include brief tutorials for starting players.

A new idea

The concepts which form the foundations of the Window have been thought before, by many people, in many places. In the mid eighties there was a thrust in the UK roleplaying 'zines about the sorts of freeform roleplaying the Window espouses, but they were never really realized. Before that, there were almost certainly visionaries quietly practicing this sort of progressive storytelling in closets and smoky backrooms, using AD&D or whatever homegrown systems they hacked together from week to week. Many believe that anyone who roleplays for long enough will naturally develop these ideas on their own.

The difference is that the Window is practical and available right here and right now. It has been playtested, redesigned, and playtested again dozens of times by people from all over the world. As roleplaying continues to evolve, the Window will evolve with it.

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