#RPGaDay2020 3: Thread

RPG-a-Day 2020

I really enjoy it when scenario’s have a rough thread to connect them. Like a good season of Buffy—there’s a set of monster-of-the-week sessions that nonetheless add up to an overall story arc. It’s a type of storytelling I try to strive for, though frequently fail at (I enjoy trying to create, but overall I’m not a very creative person).

Having a monster-of-the-week set of adventures that add up over time makes RPGs low-barrier for me. Too often have I seen campaigns start with the idea of grand epic stories that will span years of storytelling, only to see them peter out as person A can’t make it this week, and person B is going through some things right now, and then the DM just isn’t feeling it next time. That’s just natural. I too at times just don’t feel like it if it’s been a rough week. So having a more loose structure from which larger things may emerge as a backdrop has become my favorite style of storytelling, from both a storyteller as well as a player perspective.

On top of this, my favorite pieces of media right now tend to feature large, epic storylines only in the background. They just form the setting for a much more human and personal story that sits center stage. Novels such as the Witcher series or The Dresden Files, TV shows like Firefly, or videogames like The Last Of Us all make use of this style of storytelling, and each is the more evocative for it. It allows for the allusion of a large, living, breathing world without the responsibility of having to flesh it all out perfectly, while making the actual action relatable. Few of us directly engage with combating late-stage capitalism, but I would imagine many of us at one time or another have dealt with financial pressures.

This is exactly why I enjoy indie RPGs that let us explore human, personal themes, and why I will always recommend RPGs as a means to practice empathy.

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