This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we discuss the concept of the West Marches, a style of play for large groups of players and on-demand GMs (mostly intended for D&D and its derivatives). West Marches was developed by Ben Robbins (Microscope, Kingdom) and offers a pretty unique framework for RPGs that puts a lot of the onus of play on players rather than GMs, and weaponizes the dread Fear of Missing Out. Stu’s starting up a West Marches game for Patrons, so it’s been on his mind!
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There are tons of resources for and musings about West Marches games, but the place to start, if you’re interesting, is Robbins’ own blogs on the subject.
Note: while Stu has personally decided that the “Marches” part of the name refers to military walking, and refers to it as such in the episode, a march in this context is actually a kind of borderland. In medieval Europe, these were used as neutral zones between regions, often for military purposes. A whole lot of names and words derive from the concept (including marquis and Denmark), to the extent that once you’re aware of it, you see a lot of Europe differently.
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Intro music by George Collazo.
Tune in next week for the next episode. Until then, may the dice always roll in your favor!