Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Growing and Learning with RPGs

Hey Game Fans, I’ve got a brief editorial today that i wanted to share with you before i got back to the more regular work of breaking down adventures and options.  I wanted to talk about those moments that we all experience where we grow and learn things about ourselves from the games we play.  I have been playing RPGs and other games since i was in 2nd grade (I was terrible at it, but i was trying).  In the intervening 25+ years, i have had moments where i was playing a game or reading a book (or in modern times, watching a live play game on Twitch) and something in experienced changed the way i look at games and their role in our lives.  Let me share two of these instances with you, and maybe you can think about some of these instances that have affected the way you look at games.  

Story 1: Bluebeard’s Bride

I was reading through the various internet sources i have and i saw a kickstarter for a game called Bluebeard’s Bride show up and i started to dig into  the game and i was honestly struck by what i found.  For those of you unfamiliar, check out the Kickstarter here.  The premise is a very straightforward one for a story themed game.  The players are working together to unravel the secrets behind Bluebeard’s Mansion and to help the Bride survive the tremendous psychological terrors that are threatening to destroy her.  Only revelation and understanding can reveal the secrets and enable her (as manifested by each of the aspects of her personality, each of which are controlled by a player) to move forward and finish the story.  

There are so many interesting things going on with this game that i have problems deciding where to start talking about it.  The design team is fantastic (including Whitney Beltran, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson), and the folks at Magpie Games are making tremendous things.  This game also had a lot of interesting design ideas and outside influences.  The game is centered around the conceptual idea that this is not necessarily a thing to conquer, but it’s an experience to survive.  It’s a different style of roleplaying described as adult feminine horror, and it dovetails into that fictional genre as well.  It’s such a different way of looking at What a Role-playing game can be that i find it very intriguing and the internet agreed, raising almost 130K for the Kickstarter.  Be sure to check them out and see the other wonderful things that Magpie has put together.  (I’m a personal fan of the concept that drives Masks, and it’s on my shopping list).

Story 2:  DFA: Renegades

This is a liveplay story about the crossover period between Season 1 and Season 2 of Death From Above on Hyper RPG (Go check out their Twitch Channel and their Youtube, there are Days and Days of entertainment).  The fine people at Zombie Orpheus Entertainment are the Guest cast while the show gears up for Season 2.  The Gamemaster, (the masterful Chris Ode) does something i have not seen in 25 years as a Battletech Fan.  

In the Battletech universe, there are accepted things that just aren’t done.  You don’t shoot at enemy jumpships, you don’t fight in cities unless you have to etc.  Chris took one of those golden cattle and basically decided, “hey, wouldn’t this be cool?”  The knee jerk reaction i had involved head scratching and some cursing, but once that subsided, i had the pleasure of sitting back and watching the fun time that everyone was having.  The Things We Don’t Do barrier had been shattered for Battletech, and i enjoyed the entire season, (and am pleased by the recurrence of the Renegades in Season 2).  

So both of these stories are about the growth of what i consider RPGS to be.  My journey with this has been a long one, and it’s nowhere near the finish.  Every time i look at a new game, or a new blog article or a show, i like the fact about me that i try and figure out where this creator’s appreciation and love for the game comes from.  The old guy would have probably started setting them on fire and pointing out everything they were doing wrong because my perspective on games was astonishingly narrow at that point.  Looking back on the moments that stretched that perspective has generally made me a happier human who can contribute more to the community i am a member of.  Anyway, i hope this has jogged some memories and helped you look at things differently.  Game On, Game Fans


Zombie Orpheus Entertainment on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieOrpheusEnt

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