When I was a lot younger, I watched a documentary, the thesis of which stuck with me for a long time after. It was about a young woman, a teenager, who had inherited a vast sum of money when her wealthy parents had died. The documentary was focused on her life, the circumstances of her parents demise, but none of those details stuck with me. What stuck with me was something the young woman was quoted as saying:
“I wish there was no money. All my money does is cause problems. If there was no money, there would be no problems.”
When I first heard this, I rebelled against it. What entitlement! To have been handed the world on a platter and to want to give it back. Or at least say that you do.
But as I grew, I got more leftist and more radical. And ironically, I found myself agreeing with this rich girl more and more. After all, don’t I believe that life’s problems flow from the existence of money?
When I sat down to read “The Wild Hunt” by Samantha Marie Ketcham Seguinte, I was thinking about doing a twitter read-through of it, as I typically do with shorter games or even longer ones I want to highlight. But something about it defied the type of writing I usually do for my read-throughs. Typically, I try to break a game into it’s component parts, circling certain segments and trying to create some narrative on how they build into each-other. But for “The Wild Hunt”, such an approach seemed inappropriate. It’s not as if there’s nothing to highlight, far from it. But each piece links together very intricately. It seemed like to focus on any tree would be to miss the proverbial forest.
That said, I am in murky waters here, as I’m really going to extrapolate my own meaning from the game, rather than trying to discover the mechanics that underpin it in order to create what I think was the designers’ goal. So be aware, in trying to understand the forest that is “The Wild Hunt”, I’m looking through my own set of eyes.
I’m not a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. Or the apocalypse either, for that matter. In my mind, it’s usually portrayed as wish-fulfillment of the worst sort. Everything has gone to hell, things are awful, but hey, you made it through unscathed. And look at all the zombies, raiders, or insert-other-here, just begging for a violent comeuppance. There are the occasional vague gestures towards to how “terrible” things are, and how bad you should feel for enjoying this consequence-free land of violence and pain, but it always rings a bit hollow to me. At least Day of the Dead was honest about it.
For it’s part, Mutants in the Night harkens back to the sentiment and message of Night of the Living Dead more than Mad Max. Your protagonist might be trapped by zombies, but at the end of the day, it’s racist cops that eventually put you in the ground.
Hello there! Let’s talk about Other Worlds. Other Worlds is a writing series I’m going to try doing more of on this blog. My aim will be to offer critique and analysis of indie tabletop RPGs that I don’t see getting a lot of attention. Now, there’s new TTRPGs every day, so analyzing them all would be literally impossible. So instead, I’m going to try to go in-depth on games that have ideas or mechanics that are personally interesting to me.
This is NOT intended to be a review series, and the goal with these essays isn’t to convince you to buy / not buy a given product. Instead, I’ll be trying to focus on what games do well and what interesting ideas they bring to the table. I’ll be focused on what’s in the text of the games, not what I think “should” have been written in or expanded on.
Anyways, that’s what’s up. Hope you enjoy!