Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blast from the Past

Vincent on IAWA, March 2008:

I don't do any world creation stuff at all before character creation and I try to keep a tight lid on backstory during character creation. The philosophy's very much "we start HERE and go forward."

Me (well, rules ideas by me, written up by Steffan O'Sullivan) in 1992:

Instead of creating characters before starting the game, create them as the game progresses! [...]

The players start with most of the character sheets blank - simply write out a brief sentence or two describing the character in a general way. ("Jeb is a surly dwarf, a good fighter, who is out to make a name for himself as a mean customer - and pick up some loot on the way. He likes to talk tough, and doesn't care much for halflings")

As the character is confronted with challenging situations, the player must decide the level of the trait in question...

Ah, here's some of the original discussion...

(In my "dream system", characteristics would not necessarily be listed in terms of ability or power, on graded scales of any time. They would be whatever properties defined the character, whether useful or not, and gave him a place in the story. They would accumulate during the story, and not be spelled out beforehand (though they could be planned, they needn't be)... But I'm not sure in how much detail such a thing can be done...)
I'm not trying to say I anticipated the Forge a decade earlier (elsewhere in the thread SOS points out that some of what I'm saying sounds very Over The Edge-ish, so it's not like nobody was publishing these sorts of things already at the time), but more that it's not too surprising that certain Forge directions and designs seemed so cool to me when I discovered them.

I was reading Umberto Eco at the time, and the idea of characters being defined and created moment by moment by the text in which they existed was bopping around my head...

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