Friday, May 3, 2019

What's Canon Got to Do With It?

Slap a better world.
Inspirobot always gives the best advice.

I've talked at length about CANON before on other blogs, but I feel I need to reiterate this concept for our Iron Seer era.  You know, CANON in all-caps, because it dictates the settings of our games.  It's something we all share, and can agree on...and that helps us share these worlds in ways that wouldn't be possible without a CANON.

For us, canon forms the basis upon which our stories are told, but doesn't necessarily form the basis of our stories.  That is, our campaigns and stories form a new canon for our club.  The most satisfying way this is accomplished is by diverging totally (where possible) from the main story and setting.

For instance, Star Wars games probably won't (but might!) involve folks named Skywalker.  Lord of the Rings games probably won't involve anyone doing anything they didn't do in the books.  We get a lot more leeway with other games but those are the big two.  Yet even D&D settings have their canon, and the trick is finding a spot within the setting where we can carve out our own stories.

Most of the stuff that comes up on RAW RPG will be derivatives of these illustrious works.  This isn't because we lack creativity to make our own settings, but because these are the games we share and play on the regular.  The games we play are the very pulse of Iron Seer, and I personally have seen that we enjoy ongoing, connective narratives for our games.  It makes it all just a little bit "bigger" when it has ramifications for the NEXT game, or another campaign entirely.

Even where names from the canon show up in our games, it will probably be in a 'downtime' area of the main story, and we work very hard to make sure it fits directly in with the main story.  This is easy in a lot of settings, especially where the setting is continental or galactic in scale.  Fleshing out those areas of the canon where we can slip our campaigns into is something we enjoy, and as a group project can be quite interesting as different concepts and ideas slip into the narrative.

In other words, just because there's a meta-narrative doesn't mean you'll be shin-deep in meta-slop in Iron Seer games.

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