The primary word for today was small. And yes, while I think a small rule set is wonderful, I didn’t want to talk about that. Engage was another one of the words and engagement is a topic that is near and dear to me. Better was yet another word and it’s true that it’s always good to make the experience better. However, the word that inspired me that me the most was…inspire.
As a child (and as an adult) I was inspired by fiction and fantastic tales from real life. I wanted to be somebody in those settings. Role-playing games gave me the opportunity to fulfill that inspiration in a way that I had not anticipated. To this day I get inspired by a premise or an idea very easily. it’s easy for my imagination to run wild with the right inspiration. Sometimes reading about a setting or the premise for a role-playing game immediately gets me thinking about characters that would be fun to create and play in that scenario. I start thinking about running games in a world like that which is being described. I start thinking about what sessions might be like.
Reading the system of a particular game, reading about the mechanics. Taking a look at them in terms of how they work mathematically, I start to get inspired by what those mechanics might represent or might feel like in play. I see something novel or unusual and I want to try it out. Sometimes I encounter a problem or idea and I start to think about mechanics or procedures which might work well to solve it. Sometimes I get inspired to create games or at least tinker with the old ones.
When play has not even started yet I begin to be inspired by the other players and the characters that they bring to the table, the ideas that they bring or what the game master starts to pitch. Very often I get inspired in the session 0 as we start to talk about what we would like to see or what we would like to do. The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
When play starts, and the various elements at the table are interacting I often get very inspired. It doesn’t matter what side of the metaphorical screen I am on, the other players, the mechanics in play, and the emerging fiction inspire me. Very often I am inspired by the characters themselves. It’s easy for them to take on a life of their own and become somewhat independent of the people at the table. There truly is a magic that happens during play itself that inspires us to talk about it afterwards. That has become an important part of the culture of making reflections videos after the games.
It’s been my experience that RPG sessions inspire more RPG sessions. New games inspire more new games. discussions with friends about the games and the techniques and the experiences inspire more discussions. A chain reaction of RPG inspiration, even while it ebbs and flows, is something that I have become accustomed to. I hope that you have found this to be true as well.