Thursday, June 3, 2010

Like the game, read the book

I have been slowly working through the insperational reading list from the 1st ed AD&D DM's guide. You know the one. Appendix N, pg 224 insperational and educational reading. Many times during play I visulized the action as something similar to movie or TV show. But the games' creators were more influenced by books than anthing else. After rediscovering the list in the DM's guide. I decided to try a few of the books from that list. It might help me better understand the game I thought. It did, really did. The original alignment system made so much more sense. I could understand just how Vancian magic came to be. They (the game designers) were trying to play in the world of the stories they read. As a story gamer that appealed to me.
During a lull in my reading a friend suggested I try some game based fiction. I had avoided it in the past based on the beleif that all game fiction sucks. I was wrong. I thought only grade B hacks with a MarySue complex wrote game fiction. And only Munckin cheese-doodle powergamers read and like it. I have this really bad habit of thinking that the more popular something is the more it sucks. And not only did my friend give a series from one of the most popular fantasy writers (R. A. Salvatore) but it was starring his most popular character (Drizzt). I grit my teeth and said ok. After only a few paraghaphs in the first book I knew I had been wrong all along. The insight I had gained from the books that inspired the game was about the rules. The books that the game inpired gave me insight on the characters. How they feel about the world they live in. How they react to magic. Or how they think about the gods of the realm.
All of this has help me in understanding in playing the game. And constructing the worlds in which to play. So if you like the game, read the book.

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