Archive for May 3rd, 2004

May 3, 2004: 10:36 pm: Game WISH

WISH 91: Appropriating From Fiction

How often do you appropriate bits from books, movies, comics, and other sources as a player or GM? Do you like to steal names or flavor or go more whole-hog? Is there a difference between stealing for background and stealing for in-game plot?

I may borrow specifically if the game is meant to be more humorous, while in more serious games I only use themes, attitudes and the like. I suppose this is because I see using such bits as somehow being disruptive to the flow or atmosphere of the game (assuming it’s a bit that isn’t from the same fictional universe), and that tends to be less of an issue in a game that’s supposed to be funny.

In any case, it’s something I do very rarely as a player in either sort of game. I find fiction to be a source of inspiration, but somehow it seems like a copout to simply steal things from another source and incorporate them into something that’s supposed to be my creation.

As a GM, I suppose it would come down to how well the fictional person or item fit in with the rest of the game, but I’d still be inclined not to do it (or to allow a player to do it). The exceptions would be those games where I’m purposely running in a borrowed setting (or a mashup of two or more settings).

: 9:04 pm: Game WISH

I’ve once again managed to fall behind on these, so I’m going to start working away at the backlog.

WISH 90: System Updates

What do you think about system updates (Paranoia XP, Amber 2.0, DnD 3.0/3.5) and conversions (d20 Silver Age Sentinels, GURPS Traveller)? What about world/setting updates that result in system reboots (the end of the Age of Darkness)? Do you buy them, run them, or use them for resources? Why or why not?

The answer, as with so many things, is that it depends. Normally I dislike buying the new version of a game, because it feels like I’m simply paying for the game twice. I only bought D&D 3.0 (and then 3.5) because I was going to be in a new campaign that used the newer rules, and I think what’s currently going on with White Wolf’s World of Darkness line is nonsense.

Having said that, I’m probably going to buy the new version of Amber DRPG when it’s eventually released by Guardians of Order, and may even buy the d20 version.

I suppose what it comes down to is how much I like the game, how much I think the new version will add to the game, and how much I mind giving a particular company my money.

: 8:52 pm: Miscellaneous

There’s now a Livejournal feed of Flaming Monkey, for those who prefer to read their weblogs via LiveJournal. My thanks to Jennifer for helping me get it set up!