I’m feeling better . . .
I am in the middle of playtesting a new game. For those who used to support my Patreon, it is based on the Quantum and GOD setting, but now called the Lost Earth. I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, simply because of the cost of bringing it out along with its setting, and the system is derived from its setting, so I don’t think I’d be happy releasing it separately.
I said the same thing about League of Misfits, so who knows.
Anyway, the playtest is not only helping me with the system, but also helping me with myself.
My formative RPG experience was D&D—AD&D, 2E, and 3/3.5. Until the early 2000s, I almost exclusively played D&D—a bit of Top Secret, some Gamma World, Some WEG Star Wars and a bit of Champions was the sum total of my RPG experience.
All of the games I have designed or modified have focused on expanding player narrative control, providing players greater input and sharing control of the narrative and the story developed out of the game’s mechanics. This is antithetical to how my RPG brain got formed. And often, my immediate reactions are in conflict with what I am trying achieve.
Back to the Lost Earth and the system developing for that. More than a few times, players have been inventive with their “Abilities”—the mechanical representation of the supernatural talents the characters are developing. In almost every instance, my reaction is “that’s not how you explained that” or “that’s too much of a stretch.” I have—I believe—caught myself every time and just went with it.
There are ways in which restrictions can help foster creativity—how do I work within this? However, in a lot of fiction, especially comics, powers do whatever the story needs them to do. For this game, the conceit is that the characters are growing into their powers, becoming heroes that can break the control of a tyranny and find out what happened to the lost civilizations from which their current world evolved. It makes sense that how they use their powers can change, can grow—that’s what their characters are supposed to be doing.
Anyway, just saying that sometimes it’s hard to grow, but generally that growth is good. If you want to change, you can change. I’m feeling good about the game I facilitated, so I’m feeling good about myself.