There is one flaw in the typical RPG, this idea that it has to be a variant on a wargame. That is, that it can be no good if it doesn’t obsesss on violent conflict. Yet they are supposed to be about adventure, and most of the adventues I’ve run across are mosly concerned with foreign lands and peoples. And about interacting with them in ways that rather rarely include cutlery, massive wounds, or even massive property damage.
I remember when I first played an RPG—D&D if you must know—and how the battles were near constant. But keep in my mind I was in my early 20s at the time, and kids that age are impulsive testosterone drunk nits who love to act out. Add to that the fact you’re not in anything resembling reality and you don’t have anything like the experience you need to identify with the situations you’re in.
Let me put it this way, it aint real, it can’t be real, and you can’t really be hurt. Well I once had a vein pop in a leg, the calf to be precise, and I really couldn’t walk thanks to pain. Even minor injuries will disable you. But do you get that sort of thing in an RPG? Nope, because back in the day we were too mighty and tough to ever be so impacted by an injury, at least as far as we knew. And we were just too young to know we were not immortal.
And we were playing a game, and you just don’t get hurt in a game. They can’t be real, so reality can be ignored.
Such potential you miss when you choose to ignore matters that annoy you.
So I’m going to include things you’d much rather I didn’t because it can add so much to your play. Among these will be character types, Vocations in Dangerous Journeys terms, that aren’t designed to cause massive injury or extensive property damage. At least not without facing consequences for the deed. And when I have it put together I will present the Merchant. The Merchant being the type of person who goes off on adventures to new lands and new people so he can find stuff he can buy cheap and sell back home dear.
Now I know the buying and selling won’t really excite you, but what happens on your way there and your way back can. In fact, what happens to your character during the buying and selling could make your heart pound depending on how we handle that. I mean, when a giant has you pinned beneath a foot as the two of you bargain really should make you sweat a bit. 🙂
So please be patient, because I have some research and some writing to do before the post is ready. And in the meantime give some thought to how you could make a discussion exciting.