Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I need to say this

There's this constant drumbeat in the hobby about "Story". The Forgites clamour for "Story now!", Andy Kitowski named his post-Forge message board Story Games, some good folks over at theRPGsite have a lengthy thread going called Game; Story. (The latter and threads like it are what prompted this post.) And you know what? I don't get it.

Seriously. Lord knows I've tried. I tried to keep up with the Forge for a while, I read all the big honkin essays. I've downloaded and/or pruchased a slew of story-oriented games. I've even played a few of them. And the more I try to figure out what the hell is going on the more confused I become.

What I'm about to lay on you is going to sound anti-intellectual but it isn't. It's just simple-minded. Story, to me, is one of those things you recall with your gaming buddies weeks or months or years after the game. "Hey, wasn't it cool that time we took out the Elf Hater and his cronies in that tavern?" "We?!? Your little xvart hid behind the bar the whole fight!"

The story didn't happen until after the events themselves occurred. Stories are always already retellings of events past. Those of you out there trying to build stories as you go are speaking incomprehensible moon language to me. I feel like you're trying to skip your PCs lives and get right to the highlight reel.

Does anybody else see what I'm saying?