Gentlemen, all your DMs belong to us

Edit: Bucyrus cleaned this article a bit. Writing under the influence of pain numbing medicine isn't the best solution.

It’s no mystery that tools and accessories we use to get the job done somewhat determine the way we work, influence our thinking and such, at least to some extent. The easiest way to check it is to write a 1000 words long text in modern word processor such as MS Word and in some Zen Editor like Write Monkey.

Ouuuuuuum, mani, padme, hum... Fuck! People are still dicks...
Ouuuuuuum, mani, padme, hum… Fuck! People are still dicks…

Recently, instead of playing a regular session we discussed the way rpg systems influence ourselves. It must be observed that Role Playing Games are a little tricky, at least from the point of view of the Storyteller. See, they belong to that realm of things defining YOURSELF rather than being just an addition to what you are.

For example, if you’re a taxi driver, you’re not defined by that. You go home and you’re a parent, a husband, Joe – the friendly neighbor, or that guy who reads the Holy Bible each Sunday in our church.

But there are jobs that you simply can’t put aside. You can’t stop being a fighter the moment you leave your dojo – in fact, you never leave it. A fighter is what you are all the time. You can’t stop thinking about light and shadows and scenery when you’re a professional photographer. Certainly there’s some acting in your daily life when you’re a very good actor.

Same case with being a veteran Storyteller. It’s what you are.

When you participate in some situation, it might later come back as an event in your scenario. Interesting choice of words during a random, overheard discussion? Mental note: that will be said by my next Big Bad Evil Guy. Charming person? Say “hello” to new NPC and so on, and so forth.

And here’s where “accessory” part steps in.

See, there are many games and each stands for a certain model of reality. Some force us to perceive the world through numbers, some prefer long descriptions, other are fine with short, but descriptive “tags”.

It’d be actually interesting to learn in what way and to what extent they determine our perception and by proxy – the reality we live in.

Bucyrus realizes that he constantly (and only semi-consciously) observes the world from the perspective of potential horror scenario. How about the drunken driver was really possessed? What if the hospital is haunted and by what? What if the silence coming from behind the wall means that the neighbor finally strangled his wife to death (or the opposite, she looked like quite a strong lady all things considered)?

The perception isn’t static. It can be changed, it can be influenced. Why not because of role playing games?

Gentlemen, all your DMs belong to us

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