Friday, January 8, 2010

War Stories

"War talk by men who've been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull"
--Mark Twain

So the blogosphere happens to be talking about railroading and narrative control and all that sort of stuff today, and this is something that had been rolling around inside my head for a while anyway.

I tend to find that when gamers get together and talk about the great games they played in, it tends to sound similar to the war stories my uncles talk about (they fought in the Battle of the Bulge). It's personal, it's quite often more about what when wrong than what went right, and it's often got a bit of comedy and tragedy mixed together.

I rarely hear gamers sit around and discuss the grand tapestry that their GM painted for them, the wonderful roller coaster ride where the characters were just along for the ride, even if they had a ton of fun riding that midnight train to Georgia story the GM had concocted.

So I think the whole Dragonlance/Narrativist thing is way off base for what the majority of gamers want. They don't really care about the grand story of the module or of the GM's devising. Nor do they care about the grand shared tapestry if they're playing a Forge type story-focused game. They really care about those moments that will make a good 'war story' to tell around the comic book rack or over a few beers.

Or maybe I've been hanging around with the wrong people, and I'm way off base?

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