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I also submitted this to the OE blog, let's see if it will make the cut?
Hello guys, it's WB here. I want to tell you about something called a Writing Crutch. If you google it, it talks about how writers use safe-words in their writing. But that isn't the only crutch I see in RP's. Every role play has some form of crutch, that allows for a writer to lean on when giving an explanation. Some examples can include...
- Technology: In some Sci-fi role plays there are healing devices, so a horrid wound could be healed.
- Mounts and Vehicles: Everyone has been in a car, we all know how easy it is to travel far and wide in one.
- Money: It seems like most characters have the luxury of buying their hearts desire. There is little challenge with obtaining currency.
- Resources: Similar to currency, it seems like the kingdoms or space-crafts, even wasteland towns have enough resources to sustain itself to infinity and beyond.
- Human Characters: Most games, are based on us, Homo Sapiens, even in fantasy games there are few other races used. Same with Sci-Fi for Aliens.
- Magic: The most used crutch, it is in almost every game. Fantasy is the focus, but I have seen it in Sci-Fi as well. Where someone can just shoot a fireball, electrocute an enemy, read minds, or heal wounds. They mostly do this without limits. Even magic staffs and wands are a simple fall back when the tough questions are asked, and the difficulty arises.
What does this have to do with you? Or with me?
The reason I am talking about this is so I can bring it to your attention, that we all have crutches, for each genre we write. If your character is wounded, instant healing. If you are facing an army of skeletons, fireball. If you need a getaway, find a nice car and Vroom Vroom, off you go. I want you to challenge this, I have. When I devoted time to working on my most recent RP Game, The Scale, I decided that the focus won't be on humans, nor elves, or dwarves. I took one of the many evil races, and gave them a voice. Had you ever thought of a Lizardfolk saving the day? Stopping a war, or rescuing the princess? Most likely not, but I decided to try something new, so I took away the human crutch. Next, with advice from Nim, an OW veteran who I am glad to RP with, I decided to remove another crutch, the greatest one, Magic.
By removing the aspect of magic, I gave members the chance to dig deeper, and to challenge themselves, to replace it somehow. Maybe better swordsman skills, or improves archery. Maybe natural herbs that increase healing rates, or rocks that explode, extremely flammable oils, or even praying to the Lizard gods for good fortunes. All of these are prevalent in The Scale because I took away a crutch. By doing that, it allowed me to make an niche in OW that has barely ever been tapped.
So in conclusion, what I am saying is that you should try ditching a crutch. I did, and trust me, it allowed me to run better, and go farther, than I ever expected. Nothing holding me, or The Scale back. So I say to you, who needs writing crutches? Yes they can be good, but sometimes you should do without. Besides, RP is all about creative ideas, and what is better than challenging people to make ideas without one of the crutches.
Thank you for reading, I hope you all try removing some crutches, and WB out...