Tomas HV Mørkrid
A “role-playing poem” is a very short game, where the idea is to investigate a mood or scene or something else of limited scope. The reason I created this genre is that ordinary role-playing games tend to shun certain moods or scenes. This is done by good reason, usually. A lot of ordinary moods and scenes of a human life is not suited for a ordinary role-playing game. Still I believe that many of these moods may be interesting to sniff at, and have created “role-playing poems” to facilitate that.
The game “Stoke-Birmingham 0-0” is an excellent example of how the poetic idea of these games may be promoted. My very first play session with this game created 15 minutes of pure magic; a sore and anxious mood with surprising depth. The players all experienced that their head got heavier and their backs more bent during the game. The lack of energy in the characters dominated the players and their interaction. It made for a strong experience.
“Role-playing poems” are very simple to create. A set-up for 15 minutes of play is all you need. The very first time I wrote such a poem, I immediately wrote two more. One day after posting the idea on the web, three more designers had made their first “poems”. The simplicity of it makes it ideal for both novice and experienced gamesmith. Try it out! For the novice it is a great experience to actually finish a full game design, and to see players enjoy it! For the old fox it is a great oportunity to experience with all and everything you know about games design.
And yes; I am a published poet too, so the idea did not come out of thin air.
Yours sincerely, Tomas HV Mørkrid