Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lords of Creation - Intro

While many modern games will open up with a piece of game fiction, back in 1984 intros like that were rare.  It was more typical to open up with a "What Is Roleplaying" introduction, which is what Lords of Creation gives us here.  This would have been a perfect place for a blurb telling us what the game is about, but we don't really get that.  The closest we get to that is:

LORDS OF CREATION is a role-playing game of science fantasy, fantasy, science fiction and high adventure that explores the farthest reaches of the imagination.  Game adventures take place throughout time, space and other dimensions.  The game is designed for both experience role-playing gamers and beginners. All that's needed to play are these rules, the dice included in the game, and your imagination!

And that's as close as the intro gets to describing the concepts behind the game.  It then goes into a fairly typical "What Is Roleplaying" spiel, though the game definitely has a point-of-view about what a role-playing game is:

A role-playing game is very special: it doesn't need a board or playing pieces.  Instead, the people play the game in their imaginations.  The game rules provide a structure around which imagination weaves an adventure in the same way a group of people might write a novel or make a movie together.  As a role-playing game is played, the people involved in the game make up details of the plot and experience adventure through their characters and the foes they meet.

While that may seem like a typical RPG intro, I think it's notable because the focus here is clearly on collaborative story creation.  This wasn't a completely new way to think about RPGs at the time, but it is something that people tend to associate with games from the late 80s (like Vampire).  The push towards story-focused games - rather than "challenge focused" games - was already going on even back in 1984.  The game doesn't really provide a lot of mechanical support for these kinds of story-focused games, but the intent is there, and the rest of the introduction expands on this somewhat.  The intro suggests that the GM is there to create "an outline for the adventure", including the setting and foes and "other personalities" while the players "work together to fulfill the goals of each adventure".  You can see how this is an outgrowth from "exploring ruins, killing monsters and taking their stuff", and an attempt to take that idea and make it more abstract.


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