Monday, July 31, 2006

In the Mood 3

Here we are at the final stage. The connections of mood and the players of the role-playing games. The first is obvious, the moods created by the setting, and the moods created by the characters will impact upon the players, and I think for this discussion the players should include the one running the game, the GM (Game Master). The other thing is also fairly obvious, but I think often falls to the wayside, of discussion at least. Like many things it goes on, but not everyone stops to think about it. As someone designing a game, maybe more so than playing, you have to think of it, at least if you want a good product.

Genre is the first definer of mood, but if often has ranges. Let's take a look at the one nearest to my heart, horror. Seems pretty clearly defined, and would be, I guess, if not for something called "camp", often referred to when speaking of other things as "kitsch". The GM must decide how he wants to the game to be, because ultimately unless the game really has the camp firmly entrenched the game can be played either way. The reverse is true also. So a dark game can be made more funny, and a funny game can be made more dark. There are ways for a GM to go about making things either way, but that's another topic or two all together.

Now, players are supposed to follow the GMs lead on the mood that the game is going to take, but that pretty much depends on them doing so. It is something that maybe should be stated at the outset, the desired mood. That of course would be after the players decide, either by discussing it, or by letting the GM decide it like the other things he/she is responsible for. Having visited and participated in a discussion forum about a horror game it becomes more than apparent that some players just aren't into the traditional, dark, scary, moody, horror game, or even flat out deny that such a thing can truly exist. So, some groups have more than their fair share of work cut out for them.

Being a game about moods, role-playing games require the players to open themselves up. One need not feel the mood oneself, though sometimes it is helpful, and adds immensely to the game just as an actor trying to be their character will do better trying on its moods. Feel the setting, feel the character, mix in your own feelings and see why these can be the best games going.

Mood: relaxed.
Music: Dance of Death by Iron Maiden and Run For Cover by Quiet Riot.

Iron Maiden: Dance of Death
Buy these at Amazon.ca
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Quiet Riot: Metal Health

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