Something Wicked This Way Comes

One of my favorite Ray Bradbury novels. If you have not read it, give it a quick read. As with many of his stories, it is an easy read. I read it about the time I started playing The Game. It had an influence not only on how I perceive the world (I have a perennial distrust of lightning rods, sorta like harbingers of bad things to come - not that anyone has a lightning rod anymore) but also on how I run or conceive my game world. 

it is a movie as well apparently

In essence, the story is an exploration of good an evil and how both reside in everyone. Overcoming the evil in oneself is sorta the goal. That aside, the good/evil dichotomy did not rest well with the good/evil dichotomy in The Game. I dispensed with alignments altogether. This would have been one of the first alterations to The Game I made as a youth. Many followed - as did with most everyone else who played back in those days. 

So I just came back around to alignment this morning as I was writing up a short adventure for the patreon account. An evil monster confronts me. I sent the brief over to Stephen and he sent back a correction, "change the reason, it does it because its just evil." And there it was. The monster does 'x' because it is evil. It is just plain evil and finds satisfaction in the pain and suffering of the innocent. That's all it is. There is no other reason than that.

rendering of azi dahaka
 

So that got me thinking. As in "Something Wicked This Way Comes" the evil and good of ONE person are split into two characters in the book.This seems to be an English literally manner of tackling the subject. Stories clearly posit the good and the evil. This is unlike, say, Russian literature in which characters have both aspects and is explored through the a SINGLE character. (This is little more than an observation that may or may not have any validity in reality.)

In any respect, I am taking a different look at alignment. I am still hesitant to add it back to my game, but I rather torn in how to apply the metagaming aspect of good and evil. As I contend, The Game is little more than our own myth making and exploration of internalized myths and through this making sense of the world. In this exploration of the world, the lines between good and evil become blurred and positional. It is a post-postmodern approach to understanding a world. 

I feel for those of you growing up in today's world. Everything great lies before you, but there is a lot of work and sacrifice to make it so. There was a certain clarity growing up in the 70s and 80s not around today. Hence, younger players are sliding away from simple good and evil and more to mixtures and positional nuances. Ultimately I think the whole will slide back to simple dichotomies because it always seems to. 

To the point. Evil creatures are evil because, well they are evil and make for good stories.


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