Sonntag, Februar 17, 2013

On creating your own material for role-playing games

I am happy with a simple set of rules for which it is easy to create new material. I do not mean new character classes that do the superduper stuff, or recreate fictional character cliches such as the ranger class.

I like to write text and thus create new artifacts, spells, places, riddles, landscapes, and cities, and their inhabitants. That's why I write magic items. They appear before my inner eye, and I write about them. Or sometimes I sit down to write, and when I begin the description of a place, some people, or an item forms in the text.

Reading published source books on magic items and such things rather bores me. When I read a set of rules all those spell descriptions, monster stats, and magic item tables rarely receive a glance from me. Especially with all those retro-clones, and their originals. I owned lots of equipment source books for all kinds of systems. They are as fascinating as catalogs for musical equipment, I know. You can rummage about and think of how this guitar, and that amp might fit and feel, but in the end its wasting time on fantasies. Worse still, rpg equipment books are doubly a waste of time, because they're catalogs for a virtual world. So, it's fantasizing about non-existing stuff for a rather non-existing character in such a game world. It can suck you in, I know.

My point is, I don't like reading that stuff from published books. I enjoy writing it, and reading it from time to time. Funny, eh?

I've come to appreciate the Basic Fantasy RPG because it is free. I own a printed copy from Lulu, but nonetheless its available for free. There is no need for me to buy equipment source books. And there is no need for me to read the spell section, monster section, or magic item section in the BFRPG. I can skip it, and use the rules section. Or I could edit the BFRPG odt-document and throw that stuff out. The tiny OGL 0e heartbreaker that I mentioned quite frequently in the last few articles follows a similar approach. I wrote it from scratch, left that boring spell stuff out, and put some ideas on how to tweak the system in.

Anyway, I can understand it if people do not like reading about my magic items. And it would be beside the point to argue that these items are quite unique, and ought to be published professionally with nice illustrations. ;-)

I enjoy writing text. That's all. Or wait!
No, it isn't.
But anyway, go write some text, now.

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