Sunday, October 13, 2013

Some Scattered Thoughts

What I've Been Doing:

I've poured a great deal of work into three smaller scale projects for the past few weeks: a Sans System Bestiary Entry with a bonus Adventure, a Modern Fantasy Investigative Scenario set at an 80s Music Festival, a Fantasy Adventure with Queer Theory themes, and (because one can never have too many irons in a fire) I've written up a very rules light Story Game System, Quick Fiction (<--working title).

I've got rough drafts done on the Bestiary Entry for the Wretched Grasp and its companion adventure "Wretched Beginnings", both are very weird fantasy. I'm quite pleased with the way this one's shaping up thus far. The adventure itself is designed to serve as an introductory session to kick off a campaign and draw together diverse Player Characters. The implied campaign following "Wretched Beginnings" is unusual and proving to be a very fertile ground for inspiration, at least for me.

Concept Art for Wretched Grasp
Moving on, Quick Fiction is essentially designed. It just needs a great deal of editing, feedback, and play-testing. (Oh, is that all?) When Quick Fic.'s done, I'm thinking of giving it away with other products. So buying an adventure from me, also gives you the means to run it. (Not that anyone buying adventures from an obscure RPG blogger is unlikely  to have a RPG or two on hand... meh.)

On the other two projects, if I can ever stop making fun of the small-time cock rock band Mouth Muscle in the Modern Fantasy Adventure, "Rewind! Fastforward! Awaken!", progress on writing the rest of it may commence. "Fleeing the Feathered Dandy" the Queer Theory Adventure (very, very unsure of the title) is going well. I like the premise, though it is harsh and probably a bit too true-to-life for many people. The crux of the plot on this one may be escape, but escapism it ain't. There'll be a list of pseudo-Greek sounding names in it. That might be something useful if homosexuality and religious lynch-mobs make you uncomfortable.

A Brief Rant and Some Questions:

When I was a child, I watched a ton of John Wayne movies. I'm quite certain that the image of his characters, self-reliant and standing tall, has affected much of who I am as a person and a game designer. (Just like my youthful infatuation with Thoreau sometimes affects my sentence structure [so, many, commas.]) Sir Havart the Unbent, for example, is kind of an estoc-wielding John Wayne character that never was, and the Southern Marches draws heavily from the US Western frontier. The tall, proud, defiant, wild-but-reasonable archetype got further entrenched in my psyche by Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein. Even when Tolkien, Weis, Hickman dominated my RPG conceptualizations, figures that could've been played by John Wayne and wouldn't have felt out of place in Galt's Gulch were important and recurring.

So that's what I've been up to, now for some homework questions:

What childhood experiences still heavily influence your RPG experiences? Do you see certain archetypical characters repeating themselves through your home-brews? Where did they come from?