Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This. The CAs' whole purpose is to help you see, not the diversity of your own play, but the diversity of possible play, including, most importantly, play that makes you go "ugh,so not a fan." Or, "but ... how is that even fun?" Or, "sure, but that's not roleplaying."
Thanks to Vincent for reminding me why Creative Agenda is really not a big goddamn deal. In hindsight, the wild, poisonous, contentious, sometimes productive debates about CA/GNS, sweeping the 'nets every once in a while, are basically an argument about whether or not there are different ways to role play, and to enjoy role playing.
It's super important that one take the time to play lots and lots of different games, figure out what we like (a broad or narrow range, whatevs), and then play those games.
I have played a lot of boring games, a few games I hated, and an increasing number of games I love. CA is one way* of talking about how they differ; it happens to be very difficult to explain in the abstract, not so hard to grok once you've played games that support very different Agendas.

So, I intensely dislike Exalted-the-game, even if I'm a bit of a fanboy for Exalted-the-setting. I absolutely adore Apocalypse World and Kagematsu and Polaris; I'm pretty sold on My Life With Master and Dogs in the Vineyard. Sorcerer is neat, Swords & Wizardry is a lot of fun, and A Penny For My Thoughts is a good time.
I'm the most interested in games that draw a lot of their structure and concepts from the way that narratives work (the precise medium being imitated is irrelevant). Games that are all about problem-solving, detailed questions, planning, etc. (dungeon crawls, f'rex!) are fun too. Overall, I most-highly value games that are focused, that have a highly intentional design ethos, and that push me into an emotional space that I'd have a hard time recreating on my own. Seriously, I've cried during sessions of Polaris and MLWM, and AW has gotten me misty-eyed a number of times. I love that kind of stuff.
Basically, it all comes back to actual play. Play games, find out what you like, what you love, and what you hate, and keep up with the good stuff! Life is too short to play games that aren't any fun.

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