Sunday, May 20, 2012

Is there anybody out there?

Many of you know that we are working on Legend Quest Modern. This is actually a series of four books, and we will not be releasing them until at least three are ready for publication. The four are: Legend Quest Modern - a rule book for playing the Legend Quest game in a modern era with machine guns, cars and grenades; The Forgotten Hunt - now a campaign book to go along with LQ Modern in which dinosaurs are alive and well in the modern era (TFH was released back in the ‘90s as a rule book and campaign unto itself); Convergence - An Alien Armageddon - a campaign world where aliens are coming to Earth and wars are erupting; and Dark Hour - an LQ Modern campaign world where magic works. One rule book - Three campaign worlds, each with their own additional rules. In working so diligently on C-AA, all sorts of alien questions have been arising. We want to establish our take on UFOs before the book comes out, so here it is: (that was a trick) - We would rather establish doubt in the minds of believers and non-believers than actually state (as though it were a fact) whether there really are UFOs or not. Look, some of the research and explanations are very compelling. They would lead a sane, thinking person to believe in UFOs. Then again, the debunkers out there have incredibly compelling arguments too, and so far they have been able to generally explain or even recreate the UFO phenomena, though admittedly, the “faith” in the agreement typically comes from the previous beliefs of the listener. Does it matter? Well, Jethro Tull (the group, not the inventor) said: “I may make you feel, but I can’t make you think.” It would be fun to make them think though. Now, a game about aliens attacking Earth would be pretty boring if there were no aliens and no UFOs. But the issue of whether or not UFOs were real or not in real life can still be questioned. Here’s what we mean: Take a real life event or reported UFO encounter. Use as much of the real life information about it in the mission as you can. In the end explain what happened and how it happened in what would be a completely believable pattern of events, even if they conflict with the people’s reports of events. I always thought Tom Clancy did a great job of this - taking events that we think we know about or understand and then playing on our distrust of the government to “reveal” the truth behind what “really” happened. (Lots of “quotes” in that sentence.) So why should a GM waste his/her time even thinking about this junk? First - role-playing real or semi-real life events is fun. It makes it a little spookier. Second - it provokes discussion at the table. Pen and paper games are social events - players interact. Even if they interact (that means talk not text) about unrelated stuff, it still serves to bond the players together and make them want to come back the next time. If you didn’t realize that we see the main goal or a role-playing game as keeping the players coming back, then you just haven’t been reading this blog!

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