Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Talkies: Some Questions and Answers

Earlier I presented the general plan of what I hope to accomplish with this weekly feature.  I hope that you are as interested in this project as I am.  But I've been giving it a lot of thought, and I've realized that in some ways, a lot of people in the OSR might be scratching their heads.

Many people in the OSR espouse a "less-is-better" approach to running and playing their games.  The general thinking is that the game is more collaborative and hence more fun if the DM concentrates only on what is needed for game play.  That the campaign will develop better if it is derived from the give-and-take between player and DM and between planned events and what the dice say.  If those things are widely considered true, why go through the hassle of creating, from scratch, a new language when it won't really impact game-play all that much?  For me, I have a few different reasons:

1. I'll enjoy it.
2. I believe that it will add to game play if the results are used in the right way.
3. By presenting a tool that DM's can make use of, maybe their worlds will be just a little fuller, a little more real in their own minds.

Another thing that many old-schoolers seem to appreciate (at least in their D&D) is a humanocentric campaign where demi-humans, if they exist at all, are relegated to the periphery.  This is in keeping with most pulp swords-and-sorcery literature upon which our hobby was founded.  Why spend the time developing an elf or dwarf tongue?  Why not just a foreign human language?  In this case, the answer is a little more personal.  Fantasy, to me, was first the Hobbit and then the Lord of the Rings.  Pulpy S&S only came later, much later.  I like them (elves and dwarves) in my worlds, and I'd like to have their languages as well.

I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't mention the one other reason for pursuing this.  Eventually, when it is far enough along, when the language (or languages) have grown to a size that it is actually useful, I will compile everything into a document, which I will then sell.  Mercenary perhaps, and I make no apologies for it, but the opportunity to make a little spending cash doing something that I really enjoy is too good to pass up.


  1. Sounds like a fun project. Best of luck with it. :D

  2. Thank you. I think that it will be fun. Hopefully, it will be useful for gamers as well.