Friday, April 05, 2024

Undisciplined RPG Ramblings

The focus and reason for this blog has mostly been for RPG design. I like the idea of sharing my ideas, but I recognize that said ideas are mostly "half baked." As a game designer, I tinker with familiar mechanisms and house rules. That tinkering is a sort of "meta-game" for me. It's a way to play when I'm not playing. Before the Internet, this would just be ideas written on notebook paper. Now, I do get a rush at the thought that others are reading my ideas. It's cool.

I've had people reach out to tell me that they've enjoyed a few of my projects. The incredible Jason Glover of Grey Gnome Games took the time to send me an email telling me how much he enjoyed A+ Fantasy. Two folks that I know of created "fan-sites" for Hi/Lo Heroes. And a few other folks have mentioned playing Five By Five to me. That's super amazing and incredibly humbling.

As a designer, and a writer, and a thinker, I tend to meander. I've found that I say the same things over and over again. I've "rewritten" Five By Five several times. When my latest attempt to run Five By Five brought me back to its original version, I realized that my time would have been better served not going back over the same system again and again. I learned something in the process, but it took a lot of ... meandering.

I do have a new project in the works that I'm excited about, and I was also working on a "Monsters" suppliment for Five By Five. I write "was" because, I can't seem to stay motivated enough to work on it. Recently, I shared my thoughts about an RPG called, Amazing Heroes. I wrote several paragraphs about the game and it's system, but when it came to the settings material for the book, my review dwindled to its end. All that stuff about settings and backgrounds, I have a tendency to skim over it when I'm reading, and I can't seem to write about it, at least not for long. 

I remember reading somewhere Alan Bahr of Gallant Knight Games saying that he would never publish a "generic" version of the TinyD6 rules set. I'm sure this is because "generic" RPG's don't sell all that well (with a small handful of exceptions.) People want to have the settings and genre materials to ground their game and give them a place to start. Sure, you can ignore the stuff you don't want when you actually play, but that background and setting stuff, it gives you a foundation. It's important. It's the stuff that I can't, or at least haven't, been able to write.

I just got a new tablet. It has a physical keyboard, and I like it. I'm writing this post with my new tablet right now. Because it's my new toy, I want to play with it. I want to compose and create using it. But, of course, none of the work that I have done with my laptop is compatible with it. It's just another excuse to meander. I'm guessing that the Monsters suppliment for Five By Five will never get done.

The Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game had separate stats for Intellect and Willpower. The game rules included a skill for writing that was listed not as an Intellect based skill, but as a Willpower skill instead. This has resonated with me. Creativity rambles, but creating is a discipline. It's a discipline that I have never developed. Can a creative person develop the discipline required to create? I'm going to try. I'm setting a personal goal to write something here in my blog everyday. I'm going to write, something, anything, just to write ... just to hold myself accountable. To do something that I said I would do, because I said I would do it.

Every-friggin-day, I will write something here in my blog. Let's see if I can keep that going for a year. Will this exercise improve my discipline to write? It's my hope that it will. I can do it using my new tablet which will keep me motivated in the short term. It's portable and I can keep it with me when I travel. Hopefully, by the time that "shiny" has worn off, I will have started to develop some good habits.

Join my Facebook Group to discuss this post and anything related to RPG's and geekdom!

1 comment: