Purity of vision, or success?

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

13 thoughts on “Purity of vision, or success?

  1. Honestly, I vote for success. If I know the players trust me, then sometimes I will do things that won't be popular, but for the most part I am trying to run a game for my player's enjoyment. I have seen DM's try to run their campaigns like their own person video games, with everyone expected to follow the DM's script, and it never works. So, in summation, success.

  2. I don't agree with the question. In reality, the things that end up being the most popular (in the long run) are those that are expressions of one person's unique vision, while anything aiming at mass popularity above all else will necessarily be mediocre.

    And in any case, no-one really knows how to predict success, so you might as well please yourself.

  3. You never really know until you try. Personally, I love a challenge. If it doesn't seem my vision will be popular or successful, I would have to try and see what happens.

    Now, if I really knew it would not succeed? Say, for example, I was putting together a game based on Springtime for Hitler. I may think it would fail, but you never really know what could strike the fancy of others.

    You could put together a game based on Al Qaeda and someone would play it. Short of you marketing a game called Pedophiles & Playthings, you can hardly go wrong.

    So, I would have to say vision over success.

    Ciao!
    GW

  4. I'm probably forced to admit to 'purity of vision.' I tried running the game I thought would be really good, but didn't get the player interest I had hoped for… when I suggested an 'old school' campaign with the older rules and simple archetypes, the other players said they wanted to play 3.5e with all the bells and whistles… when said I wanted a 'sandbox campaign' with possible high mortality, the other players said they wanted a plot, a story with rails and low mortality… when I suggested a more open campaign with simple goals, like running Gygax's Giants adventures, they said they were bored by 'dungeon crawls' and 'hack and slash' so I became a player and now I pursue ideas now for their own sake.
    I used to think I was a good DM because players kept coming back. But styles and player tastes have changed; I don't think I'm a good DM anymore.

  5. Like a few have said already, the context of the decision is important. Without an idea of what the ramifications could be, and what the purpose of starting the project in the first place was it's difficult to be true in giving an answer.

    Generally speaking, though, I always try to aim more towards my vision than anything else. If there are ways I can promote popularity without diluting what I feel strongly about then I am able to concede points, yes, but if I start a project because I want result X, Y or Z, I don't divert myself (whenever possible) from following the path directly to those results.

    If you want me to ramble on more about it, you know how to do it and the proverbial inbox is always open.

  6. Um…I guess I'm some sort of weird purist. I think it's an honest question outside of context, and for me the answer is "purity of vision."

    Not that purity of vision is always a great thing…if my vision is crap, and I stay true to it, then (probably) it will be judge for what it is: crap.

    But at least it's HONEST. And an honest expression of one's vision, a TRUE EXPRESSION is the best thing one can hope to put out.

    If I put out an untrue vision, hoping for success, it may succeed or it may fail…but *I* will probably NOT be satisfied, regardless. Because it is a dishonest expression of myself and my creativity. If I am true to myself, it may succeed, it may fail, it may be recognized as brilliance or not (it may BE brilliant or it may NOT), but I can be satisfied that it is a true expression.

    That being said, collaborating with others, letting go of attachment to "how something should look" does NOT necessarily mean betraying one's true vision. Often artists seem to equate compromise and collaboration with "selling out," which is NOT always the case.

    My recent book/project was a true expression of my creative vision and I was immensely pleased with how it turned out. Whether it had sold or not, I was completely satisfied with the product I created.

    Word Verification: Vance

    A creative author who had a unique and exceptional vision.

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