I’ve been going over the definitions online of the word “encounter” and it has struck me just how hostile the writers of most online definitions see things. I suspect that what we’re seeing is the result of how some people see encounters based on playing something like Dungeons and Dragons. When I was your age in the case of some of you, an encounter was just a meeting, expected or unexpected,between two parties. The encounter could be violent, it could be peaceful. It could be hostile, it could be friendly. It could involve fighting, or just talking. Hell, even a violent, hostile encounter could just involve talking, albeit conversation more in the form of yelling than calm gabbing.
So that’s how I’m going to handle encounters in Dangerous Journeys, but first I need to work out the mechanics. Just thought I’d give you fair warning. 🙂
There are those among us who insist that what we are involved in has to be a game, and as a game it has to be in some manner balanced I don’t that, not in either case.
What I see is that we are engaged in what is better known as a guide. A set of advice and instructions written to help us through a fictional reality. A make-believe world where we can be most anyone or anything we wish to be and interact with that which comes out of our imaginations.
But, unlike a game there are no goals, no victory conditions. The only thing you’re called upon is to participate, to take part. To engage with the world presented by the guide, and with the others playing in that world. In addition, you don’t need to win anything. You don’t even need to succeed in achieving your goal. The only thing you really need to do is to make a good honest attempt at succeeding, and to always remember that your failure in your immediate goal could lead to success in a greater one.
What this comes down to is, you don’t need balance. Assuming that play balance were even possible. We’re talking about a simulation of life, and life is about the most unbalanced activity that has ever been. You don’t need balance to participate in a role playing guide, all you really need is the desire.
So your foe is better than you in most all measures, that don’t mean shit. Find allies if you have to best him, or make him an ally if you really don’t. You’re dealing in life, not some damn morality play.
So take part, participate, play a role. And don’t let anybody tell you you can’t just because somebody’ll get upset. So your guide has something for you to do. Who said you have to do it? And for all you guides out there, bend dammit. It aint your story, it’s their adventure. And if you have to have total control you need a good talking to.
This is participatory entertainment, so participate dammit.