[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hich is all this is.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hich is all this is.
I know that a number of you see RPGs in a certain way. Pretty much as a sort of game; and indeed you can play them as games; but I don’t. I see much in the typical RPG which can make you think of games, but at the same time I see things in them that are not of games.
That they are broad in scope, broad in play, and just too broad for game balance; indeed, balance in any form; to play any role. There is simply too much going on; and too much possible; for any RPG to be seen as a game. You can limit them, but by limiting an RPG you make them much less than what they could be in capable hands. I understand why some would so limit them, but by those limitations what could be an opportunity to explore an exotic world becomes nothing more than just a game.
I see RPGs more as examples of imaginary life. Worlds of make believe where things are possible that can not be possible in a game. Times and places where you can experience that which you cannot experience here and now in our staid and settled lives. Events where you can make a difference, and where what you do can matter. Where you can be more than what you are now, and where what you do will have a profound impact on the make believe world you adventure in.
The most important thing I see in an RPG is; interaction. Not merely with other players, but interaction with those played by your GM or who he recruits to play the supporting cast. And once you’ve discarded the game balance crap, you are freed to do things you couldn’t before.
So eight seventh level dwarf fighters are better than your PC. So having them as henchmen for your first level wizard is unbalanced. Screw that. They want to follow you, that’s their business, and stuff the persnickety busy bodies who say it’s unfair to the others in your group; they can find kick ass henchmen of their own. And that’s why I say stuff the game crap and approach it as an imaginary life.
And never limit it to any one thing. There is more to RPGs than murder and theft. There is travel, intrigue, negotiations, diplomacy, and don’t forget the shopping. Strange things have been found in a store, and strange people will come up to you and ask if you’d like to sell them that item. If your players need a plot hook, there is rarely anything better.
To make this short, open up the possibilities and stop treating your adventures as just a chance to slaughter and loot. Look beyond the bloodshed and try some meaningful conflict. There is more tension in suspense than there could ever be in mindless action.
That’s my take on the subject.
This is an experiment to see if I can use columns via CSS. It may work, it may not. If it does work, the look of the pages, wikis, and documents should change a good deal.
I do hope it does.
And it didn’t work. I don’t know how to fix it, those who do know how to fix it give me no confidence they even care, so I guess I’ll be using shortcodes instead.
But this did. Seems there was a conflict between Jetstream and the CSS plugins I was trying out. Seems like some people forgot to check their plugins for conflicts with other plugins.
I’ve gone back to the Parabola theme, and found my settings are still in the database. I am waiting for the update though. When that’s in place I’m hoping this site will look a lot better. But stay patient.
In other news; the chapter on magick in Mythus is coming up, but that’s taking its own sweet time. And my thanks to all who have helped, now to make notes of who they are.
More to come, so keep your eyes open.
I’m going through my file of Journeys Journal #1 when I noticed something Gary had to say on railroads on Ærth. As it turns out, as far as he knew at the time, he was right. Trouble is, he could’ve known better.
The Colonel’s mistake was forgetting that the earlier steam powered rail didn’t use steel, they used iron. Or, for that fact, the Athenians of Pericles’ time used rail to haul out silver ore from their mines. The cars were first pulled by slaves, then later by mules. The rails themselves were first made of wood, then of wood with iron strips, then iron rails.
Now he was right that Ærth doesn’t have the technology for making the high quality steel rail we can make today, but early railroads didn’t need to back then. The cars and engines were light, so they didn’t really need steel. Indeed, steel didn’t replace iron in train rails until sometime in the 20th century (as I recall).
Another matter Gary forgot is that magick on Ærth is really not all that available. When you’re got something such as only 5 million people or so able to cast; and not all of them are trained to use magick relevant to working with iron, you do need people who can do it using mundane tools.
When you get right down to it, Ærth is really not all that magickal. At least not in the sense Gary apparently thought it was.
Then, to make matters worse, it turns out that our Europe around the 16th and 17th centuries had railroads in the Germanies. Wooden railroads, but still railroads.
Adding to the fun, the Germans and their neighbors also had monorails. No, not as we think of them. These 16th century monorails had a single rail, most often wood, that guided specially equipped wagons so they wouldn’t go wondering off the road (drunk drivers and errant draft animals seemed to have played a role).
You get right down to it, Gygax was rather conservative where fantasy was concerned. At least where traditional fantasy was concerned. However, he did let Françia on Ærth have one, and that left matters open for me.
And where did they get steam engines?
From Hero of Alexandria of course. Though he wasn’t exactly our Hero, and it wasn’t exactly our Alexandria.
Now we got an improved steam engine from James Watt of Britain. In Ærth’s case I decided to make it a nameless French engineer, who essentially did what our Watt did to make steam engines better.
Add to that a use for steam engines, an urge to use them for many different things, and people finding out that steam powered railroads have their uses, and after twenty-three years; 992‑1015; you get a few hundred miles of rail.
And now remember that a lot of the advances we saw in metallurgy were due to the need for stronger rails and stronger boilers. I rather doubt that Ærth would really be all that much different. You really can’t call Mythus a traditional fantasy, but a Tom Thumb fantasy works for me.
(Look up early rail on the web for material on the early British locomotive ”Tom Thumb”.)