Friday, 20 February 2015

The meta-part kit and character corporealisation

If you've followed the discussion on kitbashing at the House, now moving on to Lego, and the one at Tenkar's Tavern on using miniatures in roleplaying, you might be interested in the set of posts going up at Iron Mammoth's Studio showing a miniature being made up from scratch.

On the subject I have a question, and a thought about character creation, or generation.

The question. Multi-part plastic kits are a very useful thing, but per the discussion at the House, and the unbearable lightness of grimdark post, they can still leave something to be desired. Is there a midpoint between this kind of kit and actual sculpting, something that gives the creator a freer field? I'm thinking more tactile than straight-up 3D printing.

And the thought. One of the points being made at Tenkar's about minis in roleplaying related to the way they can bring the participants out of the infinite scope of the theatre of the mind and down into limited forms and spaces. So how about this: instead of character arrival being largely paper-based, all of the players could be given a blob of plasticene or similar and asked to sculpt their character, roughly, in a couple of minutes.

It could suit rules-light games where rolling stats doesn't take long, or where the players have more kinaesthetic approaches. Equipment can be modelled and injuries marked on the go. When the end comes the representation is just rolled up, rolled out and remade.

It's an ideal approach if the characters in the world actually are made from clay, or born or spawned from the earth, or entering the world through something like the squishy cocoon, one entry in the Ends community project for intercosmic transfer mechanisms.

Again, it's one of those things that must have been done more than once, and in a range of forms. If you've ever tried it, or something like it, I'd be interested to know how it went.