Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Creative Enterprise

I think that at the bottom of RPGing generally is a desire to express one's creativity. That expression can take on a myriad of forms, including improvisational theater, artwork, story writing, rules creation, to name the ones that come to mind off the top of my head. I think it's one of the greatest art forms ever created. A game that incorporates so many other aspects of art. So our endeavour at LRPGSW has been to try to assess how to take our RPGs to the level of literary quality. What would be means by which this could be achieved. We are not saying that RPGs must be like literature, by the way, or follow any rules of literature - but only that whatever we produce will aspire to be at the same level of quality as great literature. That's the aim. As for how, we leave that to the members of the LRPGSW to figure out and hopefully achieve themselves.

To get to this mythic place I've proposed a number of means that I believe at the very least help to point in the right direction. Firstly reading great literature would be helpful. This includes those literary masterpieces that relate to the genre that the Gamesmaster and Players are interested in. For standard Fantasy RPGs that would include, most likely, "Lord of the Rings", "Conan the barbarian", "The Princes of Amber", "The Narnia Chronicles", and the like. If one wants to get fancy about it, you might include the source materials for the masters who created these works, which would of course include all works of Anglo-Saxon mythology, Arthurian Romances of the medieval age, and even the classic myths of the Greeks and other ancients. All of this makes for great source material, of course, but more importantly it infuses the Gamesmaster and Players with the mental space from which the concept of Adventure originated. That's got to be a good thing.

Other aspects that lend themselves toward a literary quality for world weaving might be to watch great films as well. Adventure films such as The Seven Samurai come to mind. Short, sweet, encapsulated stories that resemble in many ways incredibly well played RPG sessions. So one might gain inspiration in many pools.

There's also the possibility of focusing on the quality of one's world in the same way that a craftsman would focus on the quality of the work of art he is creating. With a commitment to quality one can achieve great things. But it takes work, perseverance, and an eye toward continuous improvement over time.

Well, these are some thoughts. Oh yes, another one might be taking one's world in different directions than simply role playing them. Perhaps the world's adventures might make a good book, or film, or play? Or work of art? Also to be considered.

The basic gist of it is that one can make their RPG experience a journey fully and completely through all the realms of art, and be a successful RPGer and artist, both.

Coming soon... art-video experiment #2: "Samauri Dreaming"

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