Saturday, March 14, 2020

Inspiration, Utility, Prurient Magic

An RPG experience isn't just at the table. I think for sure that actual play is the most important outcome for an RPG - that's what they are made for. But another important goal for an RPG is inspiration.

When I first jumped into gaming I was mostly doing it alone. The game books I owned, few though they were, were sources of endless inspiration. I read bits of them and flipped through to see the images, read the stats, etc. I got ideas. I made shit up.

When I create game books I want to inspire. I am actually less concerned with how much actual play occurs than I am with how much I inspire people to play and be creative. If you picked up some issue of Black Pudding and it gave you an idea that made you feel inspired then that is 100% fulfillment of my goal. If you then use the book at the table, that's icing on the cake.

As I move forward with my creative life I plan to embrace this attitude more fully. I plan to be a little more relaxed with how I create and just let things be what they are. I plan to make more books and I plan to make them with even more of an eye toward inspiring people. Sure, I still want them to be useful in terms of play, but the table utility is not and cannot be the number one priority or else I'll lose my god damned mind.

Let's call it 60/40 aesthetic/utility.

Speaking of inspiration... I found this little doodle. Obviously from some pocket notebook I was carrying around, probably around 2008 or so. I think this was an idea for a magic system with 7 magics. Given that the 7th magic is sexual, who knows what illicit ideas I was cooking up back then.

Come to think of it, this scheme has 3 different emotion/feelie based magics. I believe the Lovely school of magic was all about good vibes, healing, etc. Emotric was about emotions, mental states, etc. And Prurient was the horndog school.

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