Letter to Myself 05.15.2024

Halfpoint of May. Half of chaos and nonsense. What a cold and bleary month, doggedly persisting in its character instead of trying something new. Character of a gremlin or, no, a bigger beast, something which looms and says, NO LONGER WILL YOU TOLERATE WHAT YOU DID ALL WINTER NO LONGER WILL YOU TOLERATE YOURSELF, and brings a fist down on the church to prove business. Structurally, I like May. Realistically, in the thick of it, I’m over it. So much handling of emergencies I don’t get to sit in the rain and weed the garden. Can’t delight in things when there’s yet another drain on the batteries.

I try, nonetheless. My greatest defiance is in loving the world.

Rings is going well. As long as you keep adding words to a project, eventually it takes a shape and fills out and starts tottering around. Now we have the difficulty of telling people what it’s about.

“Well, it’s rooted in conspiracy theories and benign cannibalism. And perhaps magic is a parasite.”
“Nope. But it’s a hopeful game! A cheerful game! With lots of ethical conundrums. And it’s very hard to die. You can’t die. Even if you want to.”

But the reality of a TTRPG is that no story ends, no severed thread is ever wanting for a knot. Stories are the dirt of a TTRPG setting, little half ones with forgotten or wrong bits that argue with each other and fight, sometimes seismically. The accumulation of what we think we know and what is and what no longer matters unless you pick it up is what makes it all work. There can be no central truth, authority, ethical code, moral. There are always going to be contradictory realities in a game – there have to be – and what I consider success is if players can easily add to them.

On one hand, it’s very nice and I recommend trying it out. You don’t have to resolve SHIT as the writer – just leave the bits hanging out for someone else to pick up. On the other, I have to write a few hundred stories about magical rings. Pick your poison.