Tuesday, November 21, 2006

moving pictures

Here is a vblog of my innermost thoughts on elthos in moving pictures. I do hope you enjoy this, rough-draftish as it may be. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Elthos RPG Progress Report

Elthos Development
Good news.

I have crafted the database and the class structures and designed a helpful utility that is saving me a rather enormous amount of programming and development time. So I do expect that I shall soon have a great little product to show which will work with the Elthos ODS rules hand-in-hand as a web application. It will be a no frills operation to start with, but will provide the basic set of useful functions, from rolling and storing characters to working out the attack vs. defense matrix for the players per encounter. So that’s handy stuff. Personally, I could not be more delighted with the project’s progress. I am far ahead of where I had hoped I’d be as of tonight. Of course, there’s still a long way ahead to get what I’m truly aiming for, but I’m happy to report steady progress is being made, and will tend to accelerate for me thanks to the Gen-Tool I created to give me a better shot at making my targets. Faster code, better code. Much faster. Much better. Special Thanks, David Kahn, for some really solid computer programming concepts along the way.


Friday, November 10, 2006

LRPGSW Meeting Notes - Nov 8, 2006

Title: LRPGSW Meeting Notes Nov 8, 2006


We then wandered into my current favorite topic, Shamanism and Gamesmastering. I kind of went around the mulberry bush on the topic, explaining what I mean by it and how it would apply to Role Playing Games. Is the Gamesmaster really a form of Shaman, taking the Players on a group journey through their 'OtherWorld' as their kind of Spirit Guide, I ask? If so then we speculated that the GM might make out for the OtherWorld him or herself to find the divine inner-stories with which to return and bring with them into the game; a kind of shaman's quest for GMing source material, perhaps? We also touched briefly on the psychoanalytic possibilities, and I explained a bit about how and why I created the Elthos Cosmological System – to aid in story telling by providing a comprehensive series of Symbolic-Shamanistic correspondences. So it is important for the Gamesmaster to understand the substance and meaning of their World, and the stories they wish to reveal from within it should be meaningful intrinsically, regardless of how the Players behave. Yet we agreed that Perfect Gamesmastering is an art whose time has not yet come. I proffered the idea of the Enlightened Gamesmaster, which I believe is alluded to but not quite achieved in 'The Glass Bead Game' by Herman Hesse, and believe is as possible as a Zen Monk is possible. It's simply something that has not yet been done. Yet Role Playing Games are really so new and the art has not yet had time to catch up with the comprehensive multi-faceted effort involved with running a Great RPG.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

"Fire in the Head: Perilous Journies"

Quoted from Tom Cowan's book, "Fire in the Head"
The Grail represents a private, personal journey for enlightenment and power. It is fundamentally a shaman's quest, not the path for Catholic saints. Relying on visionary experience and miraculous/magical adventures with otherworldly beings of ambiguous morality, the seeker enters a world too loosely structured for the rigid dichotomies that were fast characterizing Christian thinking. The Grail world contains shape shifting powers, were friendly foes become foe-like friends. It is true the world of the unconscious, where the conscious mind's binary categories fail to explain reality. Black and white, good and bad, ally and enemy, sacred and profane, are not easily distinguished. The Grail is a cup, not a box. There are no separate corners for saints and sinners. On the contrary, the Grail, like its pagan antecedent, the Cauldron of Mystery, contains a heady, hallucinatory brew of seekers, fools, risk-takers, failures, and fighters. Its healing power satisfies each person in terms of what he or she needs most for self-discovery. If we dare to look into the round, spherical vessel of the Grail, we become, like its contents, stirred, mixed, and intermingled, losing our sense of separateness. For ultimately, that is the lesson of self-discovery; we are not separate, but part of the whole.

Thought provoking, even. While I differ with Tom on some metaphysical conclusions that he draws, from a Gamesmaster's point of view this all makes for fascinating source material. I see entire campaign worlds in this one paragraph. For this reason I recommend "Fire in the Head" for Gamesmasters. The ideas percolating through the work are fascinating indeed, believe about them what you may.