Thursday, 17 February 2011

why roll your own?

This month's RPG Blog Carnival is courtesy of Evil Machinations and deals with worldbuilding's whys and wherefores. The work involved in creating a world appears daunting, especially to inexperienced game masters or someone unfamiliar with a new system.  So why go and create a world of your own?
  1. You can start differently.  You don't have to explore the Old Corbitt Place, meet Bargle the Infamous or play Skull-Skull.  Metagaming is something game masters work around if they use the quickstart every player downloaded or the module that came with their boxed set. 
  2. You are the final authority.  One of the tenets of most tabletop RPGs. To create your own world is the ultimate expression of that. Encouraging input from other players is admirable, yet for some this is a part of the game they love for it's own sake.  
  3. You can ask interesting questons.  By creating your own setting you can go beyond obvious tropes.  Some of the most inspiring gaming has come from settings that challenge tropes, remix or extrapolate on them to unexpected conclusions.
  4. You learn more about your game.  Not just the system elements but also the playstyle, some games may suit sandbox play better, others favour a more structured approach.  Also learning about the system aids you in asking interesting questions.
  5. No metaplot baggage. You don't need to incorporate shifting metaplots.  The Time of Troubles need not be and Gehenna can wait.  With a ready, steady diet of splatbook, re-imagined classics or updated setting, incorporating the new shiny even if it just hurdled Megalodon is tempting.
  6. Here Be... Dragons?  The wonder of exploring terra incognito is at it's greatest when dealing with a new world.  New settings aren't commonplace so if the paths to the Caves of Chaos look like ruts, there's always the option to go... offroad.

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