To me a book is a message from the gods to mankind;
or, if not, should never be published at all.
My son and I were talking about today’s prompt —message — last night. He thought it was a tough one, stating that the only thing that came to mind was the D&D spell. That opens the door to any number of communication spells, actually, but then he added, as a passing thought, that maybe it had something to do with a game’s message. I asked for an example of what he thought Dungeons & Dragons message was and he didn’t really have an answer. I didn’t either. I thought it was sort of dead in the water and decided I’d best focus on those message spells in some fashion or another… But you know what, I think Connor was on to something…
As a game designer the overall objective is to create a game that is entertaining, first and foremost. But shouldn’t there be more to it? A game should not just be something to pass the time. It should mean something, otherwise, why create anything new? There are already hundreds upon hundreds of games out there, all entertaining in their own way…
So, with that in mind, what is the message of our flagship title — Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game? I mean, beyond the same boxes that all other RPGs tick. Of course, it is meant to be a fun, collaborative storytelling vehicle shared between friends. Same is true of D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Invisible Sun, etc… they all have the same objective in that sense.
But what’s the message? Why are we putting this thing out into the world? If the answer is to make a buck, and that’s a legitimate reason, then I immediately lose interest. There should be a deeper reason — a mission statement — that justifies the time and commitment in creating the project.
For Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, we hope to shine a spotlight on the genre itself, to elevate the story form, respecting its pulp roots while bringing it squarely into the twenty-first century. In doing so, we look to explore the themes of good and evil and all points between, We want to expand the understanding of reality, investigating other realms and possibilities, all while expressing magick in a very tactile sense.
The message is that magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. We are all here for a reason, and we have both free will and a destiny to be fulfilled, should we decide to pursue it. These are the themes that the Occult Detective Roleplaying Game explores, all within the guise of a detective story. The mystery is you. The outcome is self-discovery.