Category: Informative pages

06/13/10

Permalink 01:26:50 pm, Categories: Informative pages, 666 words   English (US)

Some more informative pages : our vision

I'm still working on this, but here's some important stuff, according to me :

Our vision

We believe that role playing games are first and foremost a creative activity. We believe that role players, dungeon masters and players alike are very creative. This is why Avalanche is an unfinished product. We believe can you finish this story better than ourselves; that including you in the creative process can only improve Avalanche. This is not a story where you are the hero. This is a story where you are the author. We believe that you should create the very own fabric of the culture you are part of, that you shouldn’t and wouldn’t be a simple beholder of the upcoming adventures to come. We need you to finish this book.

We believe that the creative process has more value than the final product itself. This is why you will encounter different maps representing the same reality in Avalanche; even some drafts. In the course of this creative process, which must be as free for the creators as possible, multiple, even concurrent, versions of the same truth might arise. This is good. Because there is no truth, not even some author’s truth. As authors of Avalanche, your truth is as good as ours.

Aparté. An existentialist approach: our head fake

Avalanche, as you will see, comes from a long march. It has evolved and changed over time, but it never lost touch with its designer’s value. I won’t hide it, as the author of Avalanche I do have a strong background in philosophy; and it reflects in Avalanche. My personal position is that of an existentialist, with a stronger preference for Rorty than Heidegger or Sartre. What would be my personal interpretation of what this philosophy teaches? Mainly, two important concepts. One is the “essence”, the thing that described you; or at least, the way the others might described you. Is it from an economical, sociological, psychological, biological point of view? It doesn’t really matter. There are different points of view of one self’s essence. On the other hand, there is the existence, the things you do.
I would say that from an existentialist point of view, what defines you is what you do, for which you have freedom. Note that the existence is anchored in a strong cultural and historical asset and is projected through time. Time does matter, as it is limited. This existence that defines you must be understood through time; your choices are not infinite, you cannot do everything.

Back to role playing games. What is called “metatime”, the real time elapsed into the imaginary world is maybe one of the aspect less exploited in the history of this hobby. Does time matters in a typical campaign? I would say no; at least in the product common in the shelves. But would be like a product that would try to take this element into account? This is what Avalanche is attempting.

Remember that this is our head fake. You might or might not discover it. You might or might not want to play it. It’s up to you. But if your players are asking themselves “what are we doing with the time with have left?” Or “what is our place into the world?” you are playing it. If a character comes to say, for example, with “I am a knight, I see myself and the world sees me as a knight, but given the possibilities at hand, I doubt that my actions would reflect this knighthood”, you are playing it.

What is Avalanche about you might ask me? Sure, it is about a civil war, it is about hard dilemmas about the humans’ survival, it is about the abuse of nature, but this would not be my answer. Avalanche is about finding one’s place into the world. It is about questioning one’s value. Avalanche is first and foremost about one journey of self’s discovery.

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05/23/10

Permalink 02:06:43 pm, Categories: Informative pages, 599 words   English (US)

Preface

It is common practice to "open" a rpg book with some kind of literature, describing the world from a main character's voice. Well, this may turn out to be useful and informative to the reader. So, here we go (note that this text still needs editing) :

Preface

Ethernya. This is a dark land. As far as history can tell us, as only fragments of the old time remain, all the realms were united under the authority of the Empire. A despotic power, ruled by Aldor, the one and only true god, the deity of good, truth and justice. His truth and his own interpretation of justice, of course. Not much is known about the downfall of the Empire, except maybe that it was due to Aldor’s madness. I remember being born in those times, on the cold ashes of the Empire. I remember the short peace that follows, my ascension as the god of hope, fairness and reconciliation; unwilling to take any power into my own hands. And then came the black orcs, demons expelled from the Outer World, the blood moon that oversees us, home of the undead, the wretched and the wicked. The orcs first slaughtered the dwarves, then the humans; enslaving them all, spreading like a black disease. Is there still hope in such a dark place?

Ethernya. This is a land out of time. As the humans made their last stand, united with their allies, against the upcoming demons, most of the human and black orcs’ heroes were banished in the course of the battle, to the Outer World. The exact reason is unknown to me, but I was part of the exiled. Following this, Gulmther, the black orcs’ god of chaos, began a quest to bring back his allies. But dealing with such matters is pure folly; he should have known better. Creating a breach in time and space, all the great heroes seem to move from one space to the other, from one time to the other. Gulmther’s madness might well lead us to the destruction of our world. Or, maybe to our own madness.

Ethernya. This is a land of unwritten past history. As I revisit various moments of the history of the world, the hands of Gulmther is upon me and Ethernya. Things have changed; there are not the same anymore. Black orcs appears and plot a new course for the history. To bring back the exiled, the god of chaos needs to alter the events of the past to his favour. History is not granted and it is still to be written; new chapters echoing in the future.

Ethernya. This is a land of one self discovery. I can’t explain it, but each travel in time, each new version of a chapter of the history of Ethernya comes with its burden. Glimpses of my conscience seem to emerge from time to time, but memories of my own identity, as the reincarnation of the hope bearer, has somehow dissolved. Who am I exactly? This question arises each time and the answer is never granted. Actions should define who I am and only through them can I claim the legacy of my name. But those are hard choices. Every time. Choosing reconciliation over violence, fairness over justice and hope over indifference is never easy. But I can’t fail.

Travelers, if you meet me over your voyage, let’s hope that we shall cross words instead of steel. But remember, I have chosen stakes for which I am willing to die.

Supposedly written by Theobald.
Location and time unknown.

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