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Once it’s finally debuted, will Google Wave be the best way to play pen-and-paper RPGs online? Is this the ubiquitous, dynamic, app-driven platform we’ve been waiting for?

With my fingers crossed, I’m hoping for apps that bring dice and statistics tracking to the Wave table as soon as possible. I dream of game-specific apps (D&D&W?) and Wave-native mapping tools that handle everything from one-inch-gridded dungeons to Google Maps-driven modern investigative games. By Christmas, maybe I could be playtesting a new RPG in real time with a brain trust scattered across the US, Canada, and the EU, with time zones our only foes.

Sure, there’s a lot that can be done with online RPG clients now — video chat alone has altered the way more than a few college gaming groups survive in the apocalyptic post-graduation wastelands — but something like Wave has ubiquity and competitive, independent developers to drive it towards options and solutions no games-only platform is likely to reach. Let us hope.

Until then, I’m going to be considering two things:

  1. how managing information is important not only to facilitating RPG play, but capable of structuring thinking (and suspension of disbelief) for genre-appropriate play, and
  2. an RPG designed specifically for Wave.


Update: It’s usually a good bet that if I have tossed out a quick thought about something intriguing, Matt Colville has written something fuller and better about it already.