Your RPG Journey

Tod's picture

Stealing this thread from Twitter since it's interesting and maybe even insightful to see where others have come from, and how they got to where they are today. Please post your own journey.

My journey went:

emergent narrative

system doesn't matter
applying RPG theory to other mediums
oh system CAN matter

experiments in narrativism
hybrids & minimalist systems

experientialist narrativism

The "big pivot" for me came in the 90s while working RPG theory into LARPS, theater, computer games, and online spaces. The use of different mediums forced me to abstractify and simplify my systems, and the need for simplicity & affect drove my decisions in a decisively narrativist direction. Although I'd been "narrativist' for years, it was during this period I began to literally mechanize narrative elements within my systems (as opposed to merely "dancing narratively on top of the system" as I had been doing previously).

DeReel's picture

So it all starts in kindergarten, around 4 years old. I love stories, I take my gang to daydreams. Smuggler days, continuous months of superpowers. Train, plane, "we're setting up a restaurant" sessions.
My cousins ​​my guides are older than me. They're great and they play D&D, Celtic Legends, Dragon's Dream. So my brother invents a system for me, maps, points, we roll D6. I love that!
Then, my father worked for Gallimard, and around 83-84, we had already read and reread all the gamebooks and the Black Eye. I experiment with anesthesia and work on my lucid, recurrent dreams, with take-off and - if possible - landing.
In the neighborhood, urbex for kids, war of the buttons, killer freeform in the schoolyard. We are vampires. My mentor teaches me geography, piano, Tolkien and War of the Ring: I totally love it, I read everything, 7 times.
At this point, I'm a gamer in the broadest sense: I read Piranha, J&S and the like; I haunt Jeux Descartes, clubs, conventions; I play Mega 2, Rolemaster, Call of Cthulluh, Paranoia, D&D, Rift, Toon, INS, Maléfices, Hurlement, lots of Shadowrun and lots and lots of Champions. I melt, glue, paint figurines, naive style. Satanic panic, my parents are worried.
First flat, spinning faster. I live in a kind of squat whose key is called "good hand of glory", there are candles, psychotropics. We play Vampire in packs essentially, Mage, Nephilim, the whole trip. I communicate in Syndar alphabet with my classroom neighbors, I read the Bible, the Sefers and Alan Moore. At the time, there were no emos, only crows. Always Urbex, under the Gallo-Roman amphitheater, around Loyasse. Logically, we join the Camarilla at the Temple du Jeu. Make no mistake, it's a period of excellent mental health, like you know: the interview with Marylin Manson in Bowling for Columbine; great social openness and intense cultural traffic, until 1995.
Then I go abroad and start a family. I look from afar at TheForge around 2003, nothing more. Cut to 2017: a friend shows me Lady Blackbird. I do my homework and arrive at Storygames. I was educated there and I read for 3 years, amateur historian, enthusiastic apprentice reader. Daddy's RPG, with friends and family, rare and irregular, seems more and more problematic to me.
When Storygame closes I look for a house and find TheGauntlet. Good atmosphere, good quality: I put down my suitcases and play online. Ghost/Echo and Pocket Danger Patrol. Confined, I publish my first game on itch.
My quest for a French community ends at the door of Discord. ItsNotAnRPG but it's love at first sight. Hippies and punks were partying under the hill and I didn't know. We are family, in my arms. My game, Paws, is welcomed with a magnificent Milevale reskin by Claude Féry, which validates me by tons. Open to the Discord maelstrom, I devour Thomas Munier, Belfeuil, la Celllule, and the others.
Soon unPetitJdR is jamming, and there, everything I've read, all the systems I've tinkered with for 3 years, everything comes out, like tears of discharge. I had from the beginning considered that I would work like a sculptor who recovers bits of scrap metal and ceramic shards here and there, labels them, dreams of statues which could include them. At the end of this process, I am able to lay one game from outerspace per week for 2 months. Long live holidays!
The main thing is in practice, like the devil in the details. Working side by side with creator·ixes who have a desire for emancipation for themselves and for the players of their games.

Thanuir's picture

Miekka ja magia was the first, followed by homebrewed stuff and classical trad games from the library. Mostly character generation plus a session or two of play, but no point to it. On semi-succesful campaign, too. D&D 3 and homebrewed stuff was the most successful, or the least failed, at least. 2000 to 2007 or thereabouts.

I found the Forge, and the wider rpg discussion. Burning wheel had the rhetoric to play with a purpose, but I had to move to study to get it to work. Lots of okay semi-traditional play plus mediocre traditional gaming. Experiments with Amber diceless and so on, too.

Transition to OSR started parallel. This is my rpg home: both running and playing in the wargamey style comes naturally and is fun.

Now I am also curius to return to the narrativist character advocacy stuff and see how it works after more learning.