Thursday, April 14, 2005

"Overdone concepts."

I read Matt Snyder's blog today and got to hear there about what's going on on the Forge, which I haven't found myself keeping up on, even a little bit lately. Matt reported the following Ron rant:
I've had it with games in which the characters are specially-powered in any way whatsoever.

And yeah, I wrote games about sorcerers, magical elfs, and tall babes with horns on their heads. That's done with.

No more. People in situations, from now on.
Matt was sympathetic to this rant. I'm not. I have no use for people telling me what is and isn't "overdone," especially people who have themselves already done the things they now consider "overdone."

Smells too much like the stoner who grows up and tells his kids that they shouldn't do drugs, to me. "Yeah, I thought it was cool before, but now I know better -- now that I don't feel like doing it anymore, I can see that it's not cool at all."



Ed H said...

Hey, Matt -- sorry for the long delay in replying.

I'm satisfied with your clarification, and grateful that your response to my little snark was so gracious.

And of course I'm mega curious what you're brewing up with the "normal" game. :)

Ed H said...

That's really interesting -- what philosophical sources or inspirations are you drawing on when you think about these things?....

Ed H said...

Thanks for clarifying!

With your reference to music, especially, I find myself doubting whether "Powers!/non-Powers!" is really the important distinction.

There *is* the "I have lots of crunchy powers" ego trip factor that leads people to fantastical worlds, but I think that there are other factors operating. (I'm sure there are Forge terms for all these things but I don't really know them.)

There's also a sense of place that leads people to fantasy. For me playing a completely ordinary person in a very unusual or interesting world is an attractive possibility. A more interesting/attractive possibility than playing an uberpowerful person in a very ordinary world.

It sounds from what you're saying is that you're struck by the fact that particular parts of our own real world, like America, have their own character, beauty, and interest, and they also have characteristic stories. That it could be every bit as interesting to dive into that world and explore those stories as to dive into the world of Vikings and explore sagas, or the world of the Far Future and explore space trading, or the world of gothic 18th century Eastern Europe and explore My Life With Master...

I think that "superpowered vs ordinary" and "unusual world vs our world" are two completely different continua, worth keeping separate.