Monday, October 20, 2014

Very superstitious...(Character and world building)

Speaking with my husband earlier today, I remembered one of the very first things he told me about role-playing games.  "Never touch another player's dice unless they give you permission," he had stated very seriously.  I remember smiling a little bit, but I took it to heart, figuring it was tied to gamer etiquette.  It is, in a way - many gamers feel that having someone else touch their dice might change the dice's luck.

There are loads of other superstitions related to anything randomly determined, which makes sense in a way.  People in general will look for patterns and for anything that might cause randomness to work in their favor.  My mother played Bingo for a long time, and I went with her to the Bingo parlor and saw that some of these ladies would nearly come to blows if someone was sitting in "their" seat.  I saw a woman around the age of my grandmother who had about a dozen stuffed animals that she would line up in a particular order in front of her cards.

Not everyone is superstitious, at least not consciously.  I'm not one to avoid stepping on cracks, and one of the cats at home is black.  I will, however, set all of my dice on their highest possible roll before a gaming session.  There's a lot of randomness in the world, and it can make people feel better to have some kind of ritual to give the impression of control.

What's random in the world you're building?  What might be something that the people in your world will want to claim some kind of control over, even if there isn't anything they can do?  There's always things like the weather that people will always want to believe they can control.

How about your characters?  Are they overtly superstitious, or do they scoff at anything along that line?  Even if they don't claim any kind of beliefs, there may be some things that are considered part of a culture's etiquette that are really just a superstition that's been codified into a cultural norm.

In terms of writing, well...Hi, my name is Stephanie, and it's been six days since I last wrote.  (Everybody together:  "Hi, Stephanie.")  I can give a bunch of excuses, but it won't help me write more.  I need to get back into the swing of things, and I'm hoping to have a couple of "normal" weeks to get me back into the writing rhythm.