… “the pedagogy of folk tales,” or at least, of playing them. Johann’s game in design, Im Reich der Nibelungen (“in the realm of the Nibelungs”) draws on Germanic folk literature, including twisted forests, lost children, laws of magic, and monsters you can talk to. Its procedures begin with a smoothish hack of older forms of D&D, but firmly grounded in the travails of young, impoverished knights. It has a lot more to do with glory and marriage.
This consult also showcases one of the features of Scorching here, which is that I only consult about design, not publishing. I’m not going to talk about marketing, packaging, economizing, et cetera. So – as I have learned the hard way – when someone brings me a game that’s pretty much finished, I say, “find someone else.” In this case, when I perceived that the topics and procedures of play seemed pretty well-set, I asked about the latest, final, edge-at-done, barely possible thing that I was still willing to consult about.
And that paid off tremendously. There is a concept between design as such and publishing as such which is generally quite terribly lost and even ruined throughout most of role-playing’s history: a given game’s pedagogy. What you do in order to learn it. It presupposes that you do not in fact know, that you are willing to know, and that the thing to know is not (shock) obvious. There is no “I know kung fu!” This is a distinct activity.
I hope you’ll enjoy watching Johann and me discover this as our topic during this first session. More shall follow!