Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Games in play vs. games in publication

When I write up something to share, it often has a familiar shape, something that looks like an article or a booklet for playing a game. My Swords of Mars game, for instance, pretty quickly diverged from the rules I posted, and my upcoming Estarion, City of Knives campaign started with the write-up I have posted here, then as I put together my play notes, I replaced almost everything with tables stolen or adapted from Judges' Guild's Ready Ref Sheets, Zak S.'s Vornheim, the Chaosium edition of Abrams and Everson's Cities, and a variety of cool blog posts.

That is to say, other than a brief bit of historical text, Estarion in real play is going to be very different than Estarion the booklet. Estarion in real play is as much a hodge-podge of gaming materials as it is a hodge-podge of literary and historical cribs.

Which is, I think, good and healthy. And, you know, unpublishable because of copyright law.

However, I don't think that the players are going to be any wiser as we play. They might even read through the original booklet and recognize things as versions of what we played even through they emerged somewhat organically out of the chaos of the table, which makes this whole RPG hobby a fascinating process.