Saturday, May 28, 2011

Plagiarism in RPGs – Hilarious or Unimaginative?

I won’t lie.  My games are full of fairly blatant references, at least the homebrew ones are.  The Pokemon game I have going is crazy for them.  The party was recently set upon by a trio of assassins that looked kind of like this:

I like making up stories and interesting people for the characters to meet and interact with.  I’m quite proud of Lorelai’s son, Gareth, who is wandering around with a chip on his shoulder and a total lack of appreciation for the power of the Elite Four, because he’s grown up around them.  I really like what I’ve done with Blaine.  He’s not at all what the party are expecting, but I won’t spoil that for them here.  Quite frequently though, when I need a character quickly, or need a large array of characters to be created, I will just draw upon what I already know.  Hence, Stark and Chad from Bleach are in the world.  So are Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers (the party narrowly avoided encountering them a while ago).  I needed a plotline for their time in Fuschia, so suddenly one of the noble houses was titled the Iron Throne and a quest to go wreck an iron mine was created – fairly directly ripped from Baldur’s Gate.

Is this poor DMing though?  It’s certainly plagiarism, though I doubt it can really be taken to court.  It can add a little humour to the situation, and I do tend to run games which get a bit silly at times.  However, it means that my world is a little less... mine.  A little less... original.  And it wrecks the 4th wall something terrible, as the players automatically know a bit more information about what’s going on than they really should, and it destroys a little of the atmosphere of a self-contained game world.

On the other hand, I just had the idea of a horrific boss combination: Deadpool and Psycho Mantis rip-offs.  Nasty mind-screwing times.

No comments:

Post a Comment