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Spirt of the Old School
I was skimming through my copy of Spirit of the Century this morning, and found this quote that I think really sums up my adventure writing mentality lately:

Whatever the players are interested in is more important and better than anything you came up with. If your ideas are so good that player input ruins them, you should be writing novels instead of playing roleplaying games.

Now what follows may be a kind of controversial statement, but I happen to think that the Old School scene and the Indy Game scene have a lot of things in common. The above quote strikes me as exactly the same argument as why sandbox style settings are better than plot-point style settings. It's about players having the ability to impact the world, and have the world impact their characters in return.

This may just be me, but I think the goals of both movements are similar: to have a more engaging and imaginative experience for everyone. Their methods are like opposite sides of the same coin. The indy games analyze how engaging moments occur and creates unusual new systems to encourage them. The old school takes a more zen approach, assuming engaging moments will occur if we let go of the complicated rules and let them come naturally.

The outcome is the same: an exciting shared story. Where the indy gamer sets out to create such, the old school gamer allows it emerge naturally through play. Only the new school has lost sight of this, focusing instead on fairness, balance, and consistency.
November 17th, 2009 - 01:52 pm | Comments (1) | PERMALINK

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