steelgulpaYesterday tUGS released a new document – a bestiary written by Ross.

What’s interesting to me about it isn’t the rules themselves (although they’re solid, no complaints there) but the way they exist as a component. With them a scenario writer (or more ambitiously a campaign writer) can create a richer game experience, should they so choose.

Instead of defining the specifics we’re building a toolkit from which future things can be made. We’ll probably provide some suggestions and guidelines but I feel there’s a lot to be said for putting user-friendly components in the hands of players and letting them play around with them.

In the past we’ve had to be a bit more autocratic – for example creating new factions. Not being clear there conveys a sense of amateurism and sloppiness, I feel. Instead of feeling open-ended it just seems unfinished. I don’t mind us being thorough and dictating under these circumstances, of course, but that’s only because everyone on staff is at least as talented as I am, if not far better than me. If I was working with the general community I’d be more in favour of a democratic way of doing it, I think. In this instance though we’re all experts and have played more GoMo than virtually everyone on the planet.

But as E. F. Schumacher puts it:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

[source]

Now that we have the expertise I feel it’s up to us to try to create a set of simple tools for players. This piece by Ross is an excellent first piece of that project.

Artwork by Clayton Tait (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike license).

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