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Our Products

New Dimension Games produces its work with as much care as is possible for a small business. There are a few things we should point out about our products, so that you, the customer, know what you're getting and how our games work.

        Our chief designer, Matt deMille, approaches gaming from a storyteller's point of view, rather than a tactician's point of view, and so our games offer so much more when those who play them also take this different approach on themselves. Most role-playing games are evolutions of the standard set long ago by D&D. However, D&D began as an expansion to wargames, and thus continues to be a wargame at its core, regardless of how much storytelling one adds on top of such a rule-style. The very name of the original company, 'TSR', stood for 'Tactical Studies Rules'. Quite cool for those who enjoy war above all else, but, alas, little more than war only, if you're more interested in role-playing. For as the RPG industry has grown, more players have come to approach their characters, their roles and the stories they are involved in from a dramatic viewpoint first and foremost. Indeed, they want to be their characters, and believe they are in that fantasy world. Yet the rules tend to be at odds with them, because those rules remain as 'how what is listed dictates what I can do', rather than what it should be, indeed the other way around. What ultimately occurs is that the player is given hundreds of pages of rules, truly all tactical-based, and decides which ones offer him the best opportunities to be what he wants to be. We, however, take a different approach. Our rules are very simple in design, not offering hundreds of pages of story details weighted by numbers. We assume that Players will role-play as they wish, free-form or not, and we have solid, basic rules to back up the important aspects of the tale they wish to tell. If one plays our games as a tactician, these games will indeed remain rather simple by comparison to other games (though they will move along at a brisk pace, I assure you). However, if one looks to the story first, rather than what rules are available, he will find himself much more able to be that character in that fantasy, and simply trust to the rules to keep to fair proportions.

        For example, 'pottery' is not a Skill one would have to spend Skill Points on. One could simply say that his Character has a fancy for art, a talent at pottery, and use that to add to his personality. No rules are going to be so picky as to say whether he is a master potter or not. That just slows down the game and discourages one to be imaginative, for his personal touches are always threatened to come down to cumbersome number crunching rather than enjoyable storytelling. The Skills in our game would only cover the critical issues of whether one could read magical runes, or if one knows how to treat poisons, and of course, how well one wields his sword. Far too often the rules infringe upon the generous story contributions of role-playing. We keep the rules limited to the more important issues, or, as a great pirate once said, "The only rules that really matter are these: What a man can do, and what a man can't do." What Players need, and indeed what we offer, are game rules that only answer the question of indeed what one can and cannot do, not what he should do nor how he may do it. Our rules do not try to answer all the questions one would rather answer with their personal preference or impromptu storytelling. Truly, why does one need the rules to say whether or not his fireball spell uses flint as a component? Why not just have rules for how the spell works, how much Damage it does an so forth, and leave it up to the Player to decide what the components are? Or, why does a fish hook need to be listed under equipment? Can't the rules just say 'food', and leave it up to the Player to decide if his Character fishes, eats bread, or whatever? In the end, the food rations out to the same weight, cause and effect anyway. Detail rules do not improve a game, but rather, they make it worse. For when one has a gamebook that provides so many details, he soon stops seeing any details besides those that are listed and have statistics applied to them, ultimately lowering the imaginative level of the game and its storytelling altogether.

        So, when one plays one of our games, he can know his character before learning a single rule or rolling method, and trust that the rules won't get in his way, but simply justify what he already wants. One does not need a list of hundred different styles of swords, all with different to-hit ratios, swelling the page-count while simultaneously diminishing the independent-thinking of the game's players. What one needs is rules for general categories of swords, and the imagination to say whether he has a gilded hilt or handguard, or whether it is a sword or a scimitar.

        A perfect example lies within Chess. The rules of Chess are solid. Perfect. They function. A lot of role-playing games, indeed the more detailed ones, do not function as well as they should (or could). It is the detail-rules that cause them to collapse, like a bad word processor program trying to make decisions for the user. In a Chess game, one could freely imagine and describe his Knight impaling the Pawn on a lance. No rules are necessary for that, and the game continues to function just fine. However, if 'Advanced Chess' were to be made, and there were rules for impaling pawns, soon there would be loopholes, and one would have to ask if his Knight could put down the lance and fight with a sword instead, ultimately leading to a game that does not function. For as soon as one gives a statistic or score to a detail, and puts in it in the rules, it demands that all other details of the same relative importance also be given equal consideration, and suddenly there are hundreds of numbers that not only make the game much more complex, but strain one's imagination to consider what all of them are, and by default, once that list of detail-rules is 'complete', that is indeed all there are, again leaving no room for future story development. Our role-playing games take into account and operate with this principle in mind, like a pleasant medium between Chess and D&D. The rules support the story, but do not make the story. The details are not on numbered lists, and the numbered lists are not the details. No rules can ever account for storytelling. Only one's imagination can do that.

        Our rules are streamlined so as to be as thin as possible and thus more easily referenced (nothing slows a game down like looking up picky detail-rules). In theme, our products are mostly designed to resemble the original, classic style of the '70s and early '80s. Great care is given to the spirit of each project, its history, theme and function. All our rulebooks are available in standard 8.5" x 11" format, with 'coil' binding (not 'notebook' format, but a professional spiral). We find three distinct advantages to the coil binding method: First, the concept of 'image' vs 'practicality'. We don't want to become consumed with what our products look like as opposed to how they hold up. Old-time gamers can attest to the AD&D product line; their First Edition books able to withstand a war, while a decade later the Second Edition books pretty much fell apart after merely being opened. Coil binding will, by its very nature, endure for a longer time, because it puts less physical strain on the binding itself. The second advantage is that a coil-bound book can fold over on itself, and thus not only lay perfectly flat on the game table but also take up only half as much space (we all know how crowded the game table gets, with pop cans, miniatures, etc). The third advantage is for the customer alone, that with products produced at no profit for the company, it prevents piracy—why go through the trouble of spending an hour at the mailbox store photocopying a gamebook when it will cost exactly the same amount to order it online, and get a much better copy? This benefits the customer because you won't fork over your hard-earned cash and then feel buyer's remorse by finding a pirate copy (online) a week later. With cost effective printing, piracy just does not happen (we hope).

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