Saturday, September 8, 2012

Consuming is Creating or Why am I reading Game Books I'm not really gonna play

I have a giant pile of RPG books in my home. I'm sure I don't has as many as some, but I tend not to buy everything a game system puts out. I'll have a sourcebook here or there if it interests me, but for the most part I really just like buying the main book and seeing how they deal with introducing the world, the mechanics, all the kind of fun stuff. I do this because reading what other people are doing is perhaps the best way to actually get past any blocks that I'm having.

This has been said a million times before, and it will probably be said a million times afterwards but this is me saying this right now. If you're currently having problems with something in your game, stop and go out and play other games, read other games, cut the pages out of other games and eat them. Whatever you really need to do to help your head get through that problem, because otherwise you're going to beat your head in wondering why you can't figure something out.

Case in point for me, I've been bouncing that Being Human game in my head for a while now an how things were going to work out hasn't come together yet. There have been a few hit or miss things but nothing really helped pushed that dynamic between that drive the be human, and the desire to be the monster. I knew that I wanted a Wyrd, a breaking point that made you break the things you cared about but got stronger for it. I just didn't know how you were going to get towards that Wyrd, and a lot of other things. Just wasn't coming so I stopped worrying about it and started just reading other stuff.

I read Matt McFarland and Michelle Lyons-McFarland's curse the darkness, I read Ryan Macklin's Mythender, I reread Joe Mcdaldno's Monsterhearts, and I read Elizabeth Shoemaker-Sempat's They Became Flesh. These games all kind of helped form some ideas in regards to what I wanted to do. Now did I take the mechanics there and go "I'm going to use this!" No, I didn't. However, just some concepts and ideas that might work when modified for Being Human (because that's a better working title than Worst Enemy).

To be even more specific, I read They Became Flesh and enjoyed the idea of locking dice. Now I threw out the double mechanic because there's not a finite amount of dice in Being Human, you'll roll ... something (see, haven't figured out everything yet) something but any 1s that show up are going to be the things that get locked into your Wyrd. That doesn't mean you can't use them, but it's a physical representation of how close you are to going over that edge and pushing yourself closer to that edge of being a Monster.  Of course the thought process was a lot more like this.

"Okay, so doubles lock?"
"No, that doesn't make sense, maybe just 1s then."
"Yeah, that makes the tension exist without the finite amount of dice, every time you roll there's a chance that you will get closer to your Wyrd without guaranteeing it."
"Okay, what makes up a roll, damned if I know but I think that works better."
"Yeah, got to have that space for failure and 'Aw shit!'"

But you get my point, this comes from pulling in all this extraly awesome creative works and letting them rattle around in my skull for a while.

Just another little piece of straw on the back of the "You need to consume to create" camel.

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