Tuesday, 23 September 2014


So today I'm going to talk a bit about creativity.

The reason I'm doing this is last night when I made my first post I had so many ideas with what I could post today as a blog and yet when I woke up this morning all the ideas I had were either gone or seemed uninteresting.

I know that the roleplay experience can be a creative one but at times I have felt that roleplay has actually stifled my creativity, either because despite trying other things there's only one way to solve issues in character (usually involving violence) or that when putting puzzles and social intrigues into a game the party wanted a game that could be solved one way (involving violence).

I have three of examples of this. The first is a Dark Heresy game I was running. The party had been tasked by their Inquisitor to go into an underhive and find a missing Inquisitor, the problem being that the Inquisitor was a master of disguise and no-one was actually sure what he looked like. The party initially tried to resolve everything using violence. After killing off most of their leads Jonah finally took control of the party and did what was required to get the adventure back on track, getting a local to set up a meeting with a gang boss, finding out about the problems in the underhive, deputizing an entire gang and generally getting things done.

 My second example is a D&D 3.5 game I was running. I was trying to be descriptive a possible and know as much about the settlements they were visiting as possible (I'll put at the end of this blog an example of details I put into working on this). When the party reached the first settlement they went to and were prevented by guards from entering until they'd bound their weapons and agreed to follow the local laws. The guards suggested that they should get an adventuring writ that would allow them more autonomy and to enter cities without peace binding their weapons. One of the party members asked where they could get one and the guards told them the magistrates office to which the response i got was "Are we there then"....... No interest in the roleplay that was currently going on. no questions about what this settlement was like once they were in or what the people were like "Are we there then". I died a little on the inside and eventually started running a dungeon crawl for that party as they only seemed interested in kick in the door roleplay.

Final example. I was playing in a D&D 3.5 campaign and created an assimar bard, I made him without any weapons and no combat skills to be told about the GM that I couldn't run him like that and that I'd have to re-assign some of his skills and take weapons. when I had finished this no longer resembled the character I wanted to play so went out of my way to get him killed.

So there we go, anyone else have these kinds of problems? It of course isn't always like this otherwise I wouldn't roleplay but with all my ideas been gone from last night this is what came to my head.

Hopefully see you soon for another (more upbeat than this) post.

Until then.

The Roleplay Dwarf.

The example (I had done one of these for every settlement I thought they'd visit):

Valls small town, (constable is the lvl 5 warrior) plus duke
population 1300, community wealth 52,000

1 lvl 2 adept, 6 lvl 1 adept
1 lvl 2 aristrocrat, 6 lvl 1 aristrocrats
1 lvl 3 barbarian, 2 lvl 1 barbarians
1 lvl 6 bard, 2 lvl 3 bards, 4 lvl 1 bards
1 lvl 5 cleric, 2 lvl 3 clerics, 4 lvl 1 clerics
1 lvl 13 commoner, 2 lvl 7 commoners, 4 lvl 4 commoners, 8 lvl 2 commoners, 1125 lvl 1 commoner
1 lvl 3 druid, 2 lvl 1 druid
1 lvl 6 expert, 2 lvl 3 experts, 37 lvl 1 experts
1 lvl 1 fighter
1 lvl 2 monk, 2 lvl 1 monks
1 lvl 2 paladin, 2 lvl 1 paladin
1 lvl 1 ranger
1 lvl 2 rogue, 2 lvl 1 rogues
1 lvl 3 sorcerers, 2 lvl 1 sorcerers
1 lvl 5 warrior, 2 lvl 3 warriors, 62 lvl 1 warriors
1 lvl 4 wizard, 2 lvl 2 wizards, 4 lvl 1 wizards
Of these there are 13 full time guards with 4 on each gate, 65 militia 20 on active service in any given month, 8 patrol during the day and 12 during the night)

1 comment:

  1. Those are some very specific circumstances that didn't pay off for you. But I know for a fact after roleplaying alongside you that you put an awful lot of creative energy into characters that you play and have had some pretty powerful roleplay scenes come out of it. So I can't view your opinion of being stifled creatively without a touch of skepticism.

    It's a shame you had to leave Sunday. The conversation James, Jess and I carried on over into creativity in RPG's and a lot of related subjects.

    James stated he was not a very good GM and that he felt others in our group were far more talented and creative. To which I responded that sure, a modicum of raw talent is helpful, but that GMing like any other skill is one you can exercise and improve.

    And this is where I think it ties into your post:
    One of the points I put across to James was that what I believe to be the most important part of roleplaying is the shared creativity around the table.
    The GM is responsible for setting the scene with some detail to give the players creative markers for how they can interact with the world and the other players.
    But the players also have a responsibility to interact with each other and the GM in such a way that they are also leaving what can be described as creative hooks that can be picked up by each other.
    (I was far more long winded in my discussion with James, but I'm trying to keep this as short a comment as possible).

    I guess my personal response to this post would be:
    You feel stifled, in a way you're partially correct.
    I think in those mentioned circumstances you weren't the only one who was. Setting up each others creative hooks leads to more hooks for you to take up and greatly increases the reward an entire group experiences around the table together.
    But like a lot of things in a gaming group this comes down to communication and that is probably the hardest part of all. Some groups/players take to it well and their games evolve to a new plateau, others don't like to play that way and are comfortable where they are or move on to other games/groups.