Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Monsters or Man?

I had an idea for a kung-fu campaign a while back. It was going to be DnD but there would be no monsters. The Monster Manual was the Fighting Guide. Each monster was actually a family, or a gang, or a dojo. The goblin dojo is numerous and weak, while the dragons are the toughest warriors in the land. All attacks are the names of their special attacks. When fighting the ten-fisted beholders, watch out for their disintegration palm, or the paralysis knee drop. The Great Red Wyrm has a fearsome spin kick that is so fast it burns the flesh from bone. Shit like that.

I think of that idea often. 

My journey through Zak S.'s blog is complete too. There's a few things I passed up (mainly the art history lessons because that is not my wheelhouse) but I learned a lot. There are three things I learned and they are all related.

1.) Learning to think differently. About everything, but mainly the game and my position in it. I thought about what I like about the game and how I want to play the game. My view of the game was very basic, vanilla. It was the player's handbook, the monster manual, and the DMG. And while I don't like everything about OSR, I do like the mindset, the ingenuity. My favorite moments in any game have been moments where death was at the door and the party pulls it through (most of the way).

2.) Learning to embrace the weird. Zak is a weird guy. The things he's created are weird. And I love it. I think consistently about the gold machine in Maze of the Blue Medusa (which I know was written by both Patrick Stuart and Zak S.). The idea that you can do that really blew my mind. Of course you can do that. You can do anything. It's just playing pretend. Zak showed me that side of my imagination.

3.) Random Tables. Never made them. Never used them. My entire D&D career as DM has been improvised based on the player's choices. I would dream up interesting openings to campaigns and then let the players run wild. They wouldn't all work, but the ones that did were unforgettable. Random Tables are my tool now to have the randomness of improvisation but still have it all adhere to my world.

Speaking of my world, I'm still trying to figure it out. I don't feel like I have it right yet. I know I'll have it when I feel it, and I feel so close. Going through these blogs and learning the way other people do their worlds is helping me discover (and steal) ideas about what the world inside my head is. 

So far I've really only figured out a few things, well figured out one thing and have other things I want in it. 

There's an Endless Forest and a place called the Only City, also known as Aberdeen. The forest is full of demons and mutants and strange villages. This is where my party is right now. This is where my energy has been. 

Other things I've talked about are dungeons in people's minds. I still think there's something there, but I'm not sure what or where it fits. But this post is not about this.

This post is about the fact that I finished Zak S., learned some things, and I'm moving on to Patrick Stuart and his blog "False Machine". Already thinking about a lot. Mainly his post about the Kenku

It relates to my campaign idea mentioned before about how there are no monsters. And it's got me thinking about how many monsters are in my campaign world. I know there are Elves. They're cursed. I know there are Dwarves, they came from the center of the Earth. I know there are dragons, demons, devils. But what else? 

I think I'm going to go through the Monster Manual and redo it all, figuring out which monsters are actual monsters, and which ones are just man that has been pushed too far. 

No comments:

Post a Comment