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One of the most influential self-identified indie RPG communities is centered on Ron Edwards' and Clinton R. Nixon's site, The Forge. This community generally defines indie games as those where the creator maintains control of his or her work and eschews the traditional publishing and sales model, though there are exceptions. The Forge is strongly influenced by Ron Edwards' essay System Does Matter.

In the Forge community, indie RPGs often represent a more Narrativist school of game design, focusing on strong characters confronting difficult moral choices. These games may be strongly tied to a very specific setting; in this respect, they can be seen as the antithesis of generic role-playing game systems. This is not always true however, since many games from that community instead focus on play dynamics that can be transplated to a number of settings. For example, a game might focus on the moral question "What will you do to get what you want?" but is not tied to playing the question out in any particular fictional world. No matter the strategy, tightly focused designs are traditionally a hallmark of this community.

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    1. Indie RPGs in the Washington Metro Area