Tuesday 27 September 2016

If you're going to steal, steal from the worst

OK, maybe not the worst.

One of the things that I really like about gaming is the omnivorous way it takes inspiration from whatever sources it finds and just mashes them up all willy-nilly. My D&D campaign, for instance, swipes from all sorts of stuff, from comic books to history (quite a lot of history), music, movies, whatever.

This thing plays quite an important role in the campaign. 
And while I've often stolen from things I love, a lot of the time I'm stealing from things that are only OK, because even things that are only OK often contain a good idea or two.

Now, maybe you don't have time to read or watch things that are only kind of OK, but I tend to watch inconsequential TV shows while doing other things, and I read quickly, so even in periods of low energy I tend to absorb a fair amount. I used to document these in my Swipe File posts, but I trailed off a bit. Still ...

... so my current inconsequential adventure show is The Librarians, which is very entertaining but not exactly the state of the art in television in terms of either characterisation or ... what do you call filmmaking on TV? But every episode provides at least one good minor-plot gimmick for people running modern fantasy adventure games. And they all go into the mental swipe file.

In fact, one of the negative traits of films or comics or whatever is that they tend to be grab-bags of different influence loosely associated with each other. It's no work to pull out an individual clue or character because they're often less robustly embedded in a particular thematic or narrative framework.

I think I'm going to try to restart the swipe file.

Also, I am probably going to hit this month's Age of Sigmar target. Might run over by a day or two, but no big deal.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's better to steal from the worst. You can take that idea and feel free to mangle and change it, and know you'll do it better.

    Steal from the best, and people might recognize the better version.