Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Evolving Game Systems and Chinese Historical Game

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" - John Maynard Keynes
As a Science nut, I am for evolving and better game systems and tools. I don't like it when a game system sweeps a critical flaw under the rug or repackages it as "retro". As someone who used to run Epic Games with a party of munchkins who scoured the WOTC forums and discussion boards for optimum builds where my hands are tied by plausibility and context I'm a strong proponent for a system that is harder and harder to Break.

Part of the reason I use realism and pragmatism is because fantasy and magic is like arguing Logic and metaphysics and post-modern relativism they are so arbitrary you can easily argue any position because of how poor are the premises. In fantasy or magic, the constraints are the imagination but if you've experienced the arguments taken to their absurd lengths then objective/scientific discipline is one's only safeguard against having one's hard work butchered beyond recognition and turned into ruined pieces.

Holding Ideas like Game Systems as Sacred Cows isn't intellectually healthy. I guess thats why i feel good and vindicated having a homebrew to tinker with and channel all my complaints into something structured and clear. As a mental exercise: laying out all my assumptions where others can easily replace it for their own.

Chinese Historical Game: Spring and Autumn Period and The Warring States.
It will be easier for me to learn mandarin if I make it an RPG exercise. One kind of GM i've never met or heard of is one that can run Ancient China. I always wondered if I'll ever meet or hear about the game run by one, but it seems it will never happen (in english at least).

Separating Wuxia or Cinematic Realism from Chinese Historical setting is very hard. The appreciation of Gritty, Haphazard, Floundering heroes and circumstances seems to very limited despite there are many historical precedences for it: Founding of the Han Dynasty, Confucius, and others whose names I can't remember because they are in chinese.

Grasping Chinese history becomes much easier when I begin my understanding with fundamental economics and the science surrounding civilizations. Being a skeptic helps separate historical embellishments and bring the past within easier reach.

the Hundred Schools is particularly interesting era that is mostly lost to us when the First Emperor of Qin buried and burned all the scholars. It seems as warring states: if power could have been balanced in a way that they never unified, such conflict would have given them greater dynamism and adaptability. China at that time had a lot of free thinkers and scholars who pursued economic philosophy - particularly when they understood principles of self-interests as something as neither good or bad as early as the 300 BCEs. I find that fascinating.

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