Another one of my Entropy
scenarios dropped today in English, and it's one of the select ones on which I'm particularly interested in hearing what you think. This is part of a series of sorts, in which discuss how to write drama game scenarios and what kinds of content speak to us. Here are the prior episodes:Farcical RoleplayingMovie AdaptationIntentionally Breaking GenrePhilosophy and Politics
(NB: The following discusses a roleplaying game scenario that dips into depressingly realistic themes, such as familial abuse and misogyny.)
The most recent scenario, Modeline
(this right here - dark stuff), is original work, so it's a departure from the adaptation discussion we've been having; last year I wrote quite a few scenarios for the game in Finnish, and while we've translated here and there, there's this bunch of "serious drama" scenarios that has, for various reasons, remained untranslated. I think it's mostly that Petteri doesn't think that the international audience would go for this sort of non-genre stuff - sports drama, romances, etc.
Anyway, Modeline is part of a little trilogy of sorts that I wrote on the "female condition". You can read it to see what's what, but I'll throw in a few observations:*
When it comes to categorizing dramatic topics for story games, this is the sort of stuff that I think of as "hardcore drama gaming": no genre hooks, pop appeal or up-front promise of entertainment; you need to enjoy the core activity for itself to find any point in engaging the hardcore game. It's a stylistic strain that runs through this genre of gaming (consider Grey Ranks
for independent examples), but even in story games it's a minority preference, and many don't want to play this sort of thing too often. I find it quite interesting how common this is in the freeform scene, on the other hand.*
While writing this, I tried very carefully to bring the topical substance without
committing to strong thematic positions. Simone de Beauvoir is obviously heavily present, but I didn't want to write a sermon so much as a question. Rereading the text while translating it, I'm pretty confident about that part of it.
Anyway, let me know what you think of it - would you play this sort of thing and so on. The feedback I've gotten from the Finnish peers has emphasized the skeevy potential of the scenario, which I've found interesting, as "going into dark places" as Petteri described it wasn't particularly what I had in mind myself.