Monday, August 24, 2009


I listened to some interviews from GenCon on some podcasts today: Judd Karlman on Theory From the Closet and John Wick on Bear Swarm! They left me doubting what I should do. Do mechanics focused on what you perceive really tell the kind of story the Fifth World should tell, or have I once again so over-thought and over-analyzed the situation that I've gotten tangled up in a bunch of fancy novel ideas, and lost track of what the game needs to do? Maybe I should just look to an existing ruleset like FATE, and focus my efforts on bringing the setting to life in an evocative way—like James Gurney's Dinotopia, or Will Huygen and Rien Poortvliet's Gnomes.

Or do you think this looks more like over-thinking and over-analysis? Maybe I just doubt myself chronically. Maybe I just like to sabotage myself (I think I've seen a bit too much evidence for that one lately, actually). I don't know. I just have a big wad of doubts and confusion tonight. Any ideas?


Giulianna Maria Lamanna said...

In the wise words of David Wain, "Sssshhh...Ssssshhhhhut up. Shut up." You are doubting yourself for no reason and you do sabotage yourself. So stop it! You've got a good thing going! You've got it figured out. Now just write it.

Bill White said...

Jason! Listen to Giuli!

My opinion: Fuck setting! You can't rely on players and GMs to honor the intent of any setting you write, that's just too hard. Instead, make the mechanics instantiate setting, so that the rules of the game are the rules of the world. Then players will make sure that character behavior reinforces the intended social dynamics of the "setting." Where did we have the conversation about making the mechanics mirror a gift economy? *Do that*; that's awesome.

Jason Godesky said...

Ha! Once again, wisdom comes from on high, where by "on high," I mean "Bill." Way to put things in perspective. Yes, you've got it right exactly. Thanks for reminding me.