In last week’s post, I made an off-hand reference to Players and Weavers and thus inadvertently let slip one of the term’s Magnesium Games will be using across all of its RPG products. Weaver is our take on Game Master, Storyteller, Dungeonmaster, Narrator, and the many other alternatives.
Why not Game Master?
For the simple reason that it makes the GM sound like they are in complete control of the game. Everyone who has played in a game before will know how unlikely that is to actually happen. More importantly, it’s not something that you want. We want an interactive experience, not a master-slave relationshop.
Why not Storyteller?
This harks back to the same lack of interactivity. An RPG is not a story that is being told, it’s a story that is being crafted by a group of individuals. Everyone who is playing is telling a story, it’s not been told by a single individual.
So, Why Weaver?
For me, the idea of weaving best captures the role of the person who’s running the whole universe as their character. Their job is to take the stories that the Players make up and to weave them in to the fabric of their universe and their plot ideas. Weaver seems more interactive, after all there is little that a Weaver can do without the individual Threads that make their Tapestry. Whilst the Weaver may be able to exert influence on and, at times, even control individual Threads, they can never control them completely and thus the Tapestry is created by both the Weaver and the various Threads.
Tapestries and Threads
Having taken the name Weaver and run with it, I expanded the metaphor to look at some of the other regular parts of our hobby. As you’ve already seen this has lead to two other terms I intend to use in Magnesium Games’ products.
A Tapestry is your campaign, chronicle, adventure, or story. It consists of many different Threads of different sorts. The players you weave with, the system you play in, the setting you use as a backdrop, the mood and atmosphere you all set, and the themes you explore. It’s up to you and your troupe to decide which threads to use and how to weave them together. The only certainty is that the players will mess with your original intentions…
The Design Process
Got a better idea? A better set of terms that more accurately describe the narrative experience? One of the many, many things Magnesium Games wants to accomplish with a relatively open design process is lots of feedback and criticism of the ideas we have so that we can make a better game. If you love the terms, let us know in the comments. Or, if you think the whole idea of a Weaver creating a Tapestry from disparate Threads is corny, cuckoo, or just plain crap, then drop a comment below.