Like myself, many of you have been able to watch the new documentary about the Beatles: Get Back. Put together by Peter Jackson (LoTR), it’s an intimate view of the creative process of art. A view of the most groundbreaking bands of our lifetimes. I was born in 1969, so the Beatles were already relegated to history when I became conscious of musical styles, but I am fascinated by the creative process and generally in awe of any artist that can create reality out of imagination. Both of my brothers are talented musicians (some of you may know that Vroomfogle is my younger brother), but I chose not to follow any musical path, even in high school, much to my regret.
As a youth, I had my eyes set on art school and I was considered a raw talent in line drawing and perspective art but that did not survive the realities of “teenager’ism”. My brother, OTOH, was taught the novae styles of “upside down” drawing” that activated right brain activity. In hindsight this development path seems obvious–but right/left brain activation bias does create inhibitions later in life. My recent experiences with art class rendered my with mild headaches after a lifetime of finance and linear thinking.
So, what does this have to do with Rolemaster or Shadow World? Glad you asked. I’ll be blogging about some recent posts on the RMForums on SW, but I wanted to draw it back to a broader perspective.
I think everyone is wondering what the future of Shadow World might look like. I don’t have any answers to that, but I there are clearly some paths:
- SW freezes and becomes a legacy work.
- SW generates no new IP, but publishes guidelines for other game systems.
- SW has a fixed “canon” but allow third parties to generate “canon” material for new publication.
- SW allows for new publications that violate “canon’.
- SW allows for “ret-con” of TKA material, and allows for some aspects of the previous options.
Circling around, if you are familiar with the creative process, work product is a evolutionary process. SW has had many flavors, Terry’s product has varied between whimsical, grimdark and and anime BUT it has changed. More importantly, and will be addressed in my next blog, Terry’s work was not faithful to Rolemaster and perhaps needs to be “tightened up” or establish a new basis: “Shadow World RPG”. Based on what we know, Terrys’ story of Shadow World was not restrained by the RM rules–he told the story he wanted, which was not different than Pete Fenlon’s campaign in ME. The story was more important than the rules.
But beside that, Terry’s writing style changed over many years: like the Beatles, his artistic references also changed. In fact, he went back to almost every previous work and expanded/revised it. Some may argue that was an easy economic decision, but I think his writing style and goals may have changed as well.
At this point this heads towards some recent RMForums threats about Essence, Channeling, “Evil” lists and the “Unlife”. I’ll get to that later.
My belief. Terry/Peter created an amazing sand box over that last 40+ years! There is so much material you can play for years…yet, it needs a ret-con to continue. For those of you that have read most of the RMBlog for the last 6-7 years, you may have a sense for my direction–I want to revise some weak parts of Terry’s world.
What are your thoughts?