Don’t Do This To Yourself

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0817

I received this very nice email from Roleplaying Tips Reader Mike D. last week in response to the daily city details Musing:

“Hey Johnn!

I swear, I heard my voice while reading that list. I’ve used those exact same descriptions in my cities (though I did pick up a couple of new terms, spruikers, for one).

No doubt, I’m not the only one. It got me to reflecting upon how much our worlds may well look and feel the same because we probably all have read the same books and watched the same movies. That’s not a bad thing; in fact, it leaves me feeling a bit validated.

I found the rest of your email to be a great expansion upon the first part. Good stuff, especially since I will be able to make use of it in my next session. Timely!

Thanks for another dose of inspiration!”

Thanks for the note, Mike D.!

I believe our players want the familiar. They want to experience it through roleplaying and interacting with what they see on-screen and read in pages.

As GMs, we put too much pressure on ourselves to be original. We have to come up with that killer new idea or our adventure sucks. We have to serve up unique gameplay or our session sucks.

But truth is, aside from the old adage that nothing is new, we want to experience and re-experience the things we like most in our favourite genres, characters, and settings.

So give those opportunities to your players.

And stop worrying about being original.

As an interactive format, RPGs generate new ideas just from playing them anyway! So beg, borrow, and steal ideas from every source. It’s ok.