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Author Topic: [The Saint's Golem & the Devil's Dragon] Ronnies feedback  (Read 1913 times)
Ron Edwards
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Posts: 16490

« on: December 31, 2005, 01:47:02 PM »

The Saint's Golem and the Devil's Dragon by Tobias op den Brouw goes squarely into the Great Non-RPG category. See also the [The Saint's Golem vs. the Devil's Dragon] Comments on November Ronnies entry thread. My suggestion is to abandon the RPG concept entirely, replace the GM with a board or something similar (spinner, etc), and think of it as a family-style boxed diversion such as you might find from Avalon Hill.

Minor Ronnies note ... the "mud" term doesn't fly for me, despite the cool illustration. One solution would be to ramp up the Golem/Judaic element, but I'll see if I can explain why I'd prefer not.

The real power and excellence of this game idea, it seems to me, lies in the concept of "The People of the Book." For those who aren't familiar with this term, it refers to the history, culture, ethnicities, and modifications based on Judaic tradition (the Torah, e.g.), Christianity as a derivation thereof (Old and New Testaments, plus other stuff), and Islam as a derivation thereof (the Koran, plus other stuff). The term tends to focus on the similarities based on shared history, and also on the differing applications and translations at different times.

So it strikes me that the real strength of the game would lie in a setting in which all three are in a ferment of interaction, say in Spain during the Moorish occupation, or something like that. It's not historical accuracy that I'm after, but rather a shared appreciation that none of the three are monolithic, and indeed, many times during history, mixed and matched among one another in specific places. So the Golem as a creature might be involved in play, but I don't see it working as well as the central or only form of opposing the Dragon.

Tobias, what do you think?


Posts: 446

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2006, 05:00:16 AM »

Thanks for that, Ron, and here's what I think:

1. yeah, 'mud' (and golem) is weak and could be explored more deeply, but I agree it's not central to this game, as written. One manifestation of opposition, indeed, not the focal point.

2. Yes, the 'People of the Book' concept is core to this game, and appropriate settings could be Jerusalem at many times, the Balkan at some times (maybe some modern times as well), Moorish Spain - and maybe post 9/11 New York? (You tell me).

3. As to 'where to take it'- yes, I think stripping out the golemmy references and taking just the dragon/book concept further would good. removing the some/most rpg aspect from it - yes, that too, as it would give actual play more to my liking (less role-play, and more from-the-heart-telling of own values). A diversion game would be a good option, but I think a LARP/theater play game/scenario is still also possible.

So thanks again, Ron, and could some other folks chime in on whether they have gotten/are getting the same reading?

Tobias op den Brouw

- DitV misses dead gods in Augurann
- My GroupDesign .pdf.
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