Game of Thrones > Le Morte D'Arthur

On the GOOGLE+ community Literary Role Playing Game Society, our Friend, Vb Wyrde from Ethos RPG made an interesting comment the other day in regards to Game of Thrones, I responded and have decided that I want to keep this response for future reference as I feel that this is a good summary of my current thoughts in regards to game design. Click here for direct quote.

The Gamemaster can write the past, but the players write the present. The future belongs to the dice and cause & effect. The Gamemaster can influence the present, just like the player can influence the past with good ideas but when a DM tries to write all of it then they aren't playing the game.

The story is a bi-product of play. Our brains just do that. We put stuff in order. We make order from chaos. With that said, I think that one of the game's strengths in regard to the medium is that one can lose, one can lose big! And while a computer would shut the game down, the movie would grind to a halt, the table-top RPG keeps going, and will probably be more interesting because of the loss.

Game of Thrones is a magnificent muse for a homebrewed setting. An excellent example of Feudalism at work, the mythology of the land, the cities, and the ruling houses . . . specifically the mythology of the noble houses. This isn't anything that I've ever thought of doing before!

Hell, I would say that how they present Knights is a game changer too. In the past, all of my knights were based on Lancelot, a knight who failed, betraying his king, his family, and himself.

Watching it, and marveling at the world they built. We can do that. Making our NPCs more effective, especially in terms of back ground movement.

I think that many of us base our games on the legends of King Arthur, but this was a cautionary tale. Arthur and everyone in it failed. The politics implied aren't all that well defined. I think that Game of Thrones provides a much stronger picture of life in a feudal society.

The Gay Agenda vs. AD&D

When I was a teen the world was a different place. My generation was one where we excepted the freedom of blacks, my grandfather hadn't yet, but he learned. Now the folks who are homosexual are dealing with acceptance, and just as my grandfather before me, I saw a dumb idea that was taught to me for what it was.

I don't typically express my own politics, but this really isn't a political issue. This has to do with basic human rights. Hate is hate, and hate is wrong. If a dude wants to marry another dude I don't really see what business this is of mine. It's not hurting me one way or the other. If that family wants to adopt kids, cool! Better then the alternative. I know the system and the system is not a kind place to be trapped in. I guess that this is political isn't it? But, I still think that gay people make better parents than idiots who rally against it.

As far as my game is concerned, I'm not going to limit it by not exploring the subject. It is just too interesting not to incorporate it. As DM my job is to make your character's lives as difficult as possible, regardless of faith, race, or creed. I'm an equal opportunity trouble maker. As a player I've played female characters, as well as gay ones. It is Role-playing! Why would I want to play myself?

I've seen examples of DMs treating players really badly. They do this because they are dumb asses, and I don't play with dumb asses. I do, however, steal their players.

At my table we explore politics. Not our politics, mind you, just politics in general. All table top RPG games are political games. We each have the right to use stereotypes, enforce bizarre laws, target minorities with slavery and violence, not to mention actively engaging in genocide as this is a sound strategy. As Dungeon Masters we cause problems, and if the players don't go looking for trouble, well then, we'll make sure to bring that trouble to you. Through exploring topics which are difficult to swallow, we become better people. It need not be in your face, nor should the DM be on a soap box. We don't judge our players, we judge the game. Politics move the game along, and bad political decisions become speeding hot rods. With that said, there is a difference between being a dumb ass and playing the game. In the game, if the players are interested in creating social change, they can. That is the point.

If you want to repress women, create racial slurs, and execute pillow biters, do it, but allow your players to cause social change. If somebody complains that you're being a pig, just agree and challenge them to do something about it. We can't fix idiots in the real world, but we can in ours.

This honestly shouldn't even be a problem, and I doubt that it really is. The person who made this an issue is no better than any other hate mongering pig and deserves to be treated as such.


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