Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reverence as Vice

I think I'm going to scrap my plans to run a FUDGE game set in the Village of the Prisoner. As much as I like the idea, I don't think I can make it work and here's why: I take the source material too seriously. The idea of getting it wrong fills me with dread. I think this same problem hindered me when I attempted to run Nobilis as well. (Though that game had other problems as well. The game group was a wreck. And Nobilis isn't the easiest game for me to wrap my head around.) This reverence for the source material is a terrible habit for someone trying to work creatively. Fortunately, I only suffer from this malady occasionally. Most of the time I'm fine. For example I love S. John Ross for writing Encounter Critical but in no way do I feel I owe it to him to cleave unto his original vision for EC. As far as I'm concerned it's my toy now and if I want to pull the limbs off and melt the head with my magnifying lens that's exactly what I'm going to do. Ditto most other games. I'm utterly breaking the World of Greyhawk in my current campaign partly as a way of weaning myself off of the need to hold Gary Gygax's campaign as the Platonic ideal of fantasy gaming. It isn't that at all. It's a great example of one way to do it. With Nobilis and the Prisoner and a few other things I don't feel that same sense of ownership or empowerment or whatever. I think my 80's Marvel game grew difficult for me because of this same issue.