Wednesday, 16 January 2013

When Is An Orc Not An Orc?

In my last post I outlined that rather than focusing too much on writing up my house rules of late, I had been working on fleshing out a setting. Not just a setting though. To be worth its salt or, weight in words a good setting has to be evocative and new, yet grounded in the familiar.

It's a tall order.

It's important though. I'd even go as far as saying that the setting is more important than the rules, as it's the setting that allows you to bring your character to life. It's your stage on which to roleplay. So this was not a task to be taken lightly.

Okay, maybe that's a bit heavy a tone but, hey, it's important.

So, I had been mulling over a couple of ideas but nothing seemed to have that certain sparkle that I felt the task at hand really called for. That was until by chance a couple of unrelated ideas clicked together to create something, which so far is really working for me. Like all works in progress, it's subject to change but, I'd like to take the opportunity to sight my sources that have led me this far, which would be the Peryton RPG and, Supernatural (the TV series).

In particular it's the chapter concerning races in the Peryton RPG that peaked my interest and their approach. They DON'T tell you what an Elf looks like, in fact they clearly state that they aren't going to tell you that an Elf is willowy and thin, if the Elves in your setting are more childlike in appearance (or much to that effect). The net result is however that my Orc, may not be your Orc. It's still an Orc though, just a different take on the mythos.. Which brings me to my second inspiration, Supernatural.

Supernatural is a great show but, the one thing that always kind of bugged me about the whole set-up for the show was their tendency to screw with the mythos surrounding the bad guy of the week and, how the names of the various angels and demons in the later seasons never really tied up with any of the actual lore surrounding them.

Is that such a bad thing though?

Sure, it still bugs the hell out of me but, reading the Peryton RPG has helped me realise that all the writers were doing was making the familiar fresh again. Which is exactly what I'm setting out to do.

I still fully intend to draft in the Orcs. They'll just be different. Very different. Related to Werewolves and Hellhounds, all woven into being by dark elves for their own twisted reasons. Not that even the dark Elves will be run of the mill. Werewolves will still be very much allergic to silver, but for a very different reason.

A blend of the familiar with the new. Just what I was shooting for.

Now I just need to sit down and write it all up!

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