Wednesday, October 06, 2010

In Which The Warlock Swings Both Ways...

So, in my (admittedly small and feeble) attempts to keep gaming fresh and inspired in the Dayton area, I believe I've finally stumbled across something that might just be a diamond in the massive slag pits of my brain.

And, believe it or came to me in a dream!

While I was editing WEGS: Dice Rule!, one of El Willy's biggest points of discussion was that of adventuring structure. El Willy spends nearly a full chapter discussing the three primary forms of WEGSplay--"Wave" play (the standard, three encounter 'convention' game), "Chapter" play (an extension of Wave play, including three chapters of three waves each), and "Campaign" play (a combination of several chapters into an extended ongoing storyline).

El Willy's discussion is really a fantastic breakdown and review of standard plotting technique. WEGS runs hot and heavy on the "standard fantasy tropes", but does so intentionally, so that the GM/Kreator is free to place his tongue firmly in-cheek and provide fresh, WEGSified views on old classics. That's an advantage for WEGS (and games like it), but what if you want to push a little further?

Plot is typically outlined in a pyramidal format--the traditional dramatic structure of:
Freytag Dramatic Structure Pyramid
--rising action
--falling action
Typically, in a gaming adventure, the climax revolves around some "boss fight" against a BBEG, with the falling action and denouement becoming a stereotypical process of "save the princess, loot the bodies."

That's all well and good. But it's time to give it the chop!
"Down--still unceasingly, still inevitably down!

Rather, I've come up with a unique way of telling stories--one that really hasn't come before, especially in terms of adventure writing! Centered primarily around the build-up of tension leading up to a central, pivotal moment, the Pendulum method alternates between times or places, allowing (and even encouraging) players to blend in-character and out-of-character knowledge as they approach their final destinies. As the pendulum descends, who will rise?

I'm only in the early development stages of this idea--I have about 8 pages written, and am currently working on sample adventures that fit the Pendulum formula. Is it a replacement for the standard plot outline? No, absolutely not, but it's a fresh new direction in terms of plot generation and adventure writing that could really change things up, especially in the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres!

On a more serious note, though, I'm going to get up on my soapbox for a moment. Much like gamer nation, America as a whole has a tendency to fear change. It took us almost 100 years longer to abolish slavery than any other Western nation. Even then, racial and gender-based discrimination were the norm for over 125 years, until LBJ pushed forward the Civil Rights Act in 1968.

International Coming Out Day

Now, we face a new fight. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community fights unceasingly for the rights that millions of others enjoy without thought or consequence: the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to be free of harassment or persecution for personal beliefs. Each year, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors National Coming Out Day to provide strength for all people, as we fight for equal rights in the community.

If you're among the GLBT community, have strength--we will continue the fight.
If you're a friend of a GLBT person, show us your support--we appreciate it more than you know.
If you stand against us, give a second thought--we only ask for the same rights as others already receive.

No comments:

Post a Comment