Retcon 5

From: Mark Sabalauskas (marks@tiac.net)
Date: Wed 21 Jan 1998 - 19:33:57 EET


> All excellent advice, though I don't quite understand the bit about
> "retconning" -- when did this ever become necessary? (After all, no
> matter how you slice the cake, KoS leaves us with a familiar-looking
> Yelmalio cult extant throughout the last two or three generations of
 
        Thanks for the compliment on the advice.
 
        As for retconning, I suppose I could explore the ways
the change pulls at the seamless web of history and
interaction that connects the characters of a campaign, but
past digest experience suggests that the disscusion would
probably move rapidly to a very un-Yelmalian state where more
heat than light would be shed. (if Nick, or anyone else is
*really interested* in hashing this out, we could do it in
e-mail). I'll certainly acknowledge that Nick's masterful
posting 'round about the holidays put to rest some concerns I
had.
 
        Perhaps a less ambiguous example of retcon would be
the character conversion rules in RQ3. To quote:

 
        "An adventurer-priest under the old rules remains a
        priest only if he qualifies under the new rules...
        otherwise, he retains his magic and becomes an initate
        - a favored initiate. His spells become one-use until
        he can qualify for priesthood under the new rules."
 
        Anyway, although I suppose it's possible that there
are some really talented gamemasters out there who always
think of every possible angle, for some of us retconning is
something we're going to have to do anyway. I remember one
time when I was a pc in a party that was charging off on a
tangent that really confused the gamemaster. We had had a
tough encounter with broos, which he had thrown in to raise
the tension level, but which wasn't central to the story he
was trying to tell. But suddenly the party was far more
interested in where these broos got their equipment than in
following up on the "plot". Why did we care? Well, one of
the broos was wearing chainmail. So what? Well, he was SIZ
27! Finding out who made SIZ 27 chainmail for monsters seemed
pretty important to us. Retroactively, said armor became
tough chaotic hide, and we got back on track.
 
        I suppose a more "simulation" oriented gamemaster
would have "gone with the flow" of the party's actions, but
even then, times will come up when, say, an important NPC
blurts out a fact that they couldn't possibly know, or the
players catch the gamemaster in some other contradiction.

Anyway, to sum up, newly published material might necessitate
a retcon (or might need to be ignored) but if one is
retconning anyway, this isn't the worst thing in the world.

 
- -------------------------------------------------------------
 
        As for the elder races, I'd note that the Western
notion that they're krjalki, lumping them together with chaos
horrors, seems much more explicable the more we've learned
about them.
 
        In my Loskalm, though, a romantic minority have sprung
up since the ban, they think of elves as being not unlike
creatures out of, say, Tolkien. This sort of thing can
happen when one's knowledge is based only on stories and poems,
sagas and ballads. Disillusionment can be fun to roleplay.

 
                       Mark

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