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A different take on Animism

posted Mar 06, 2013 16:27:05 by chryckan
While I’ve always felt I’ve had a fairly solid understanding of the game mechanics behind animism I'm a bit unsure how to employ it in a game. Thinking about it I suddenly struck on the following analogy.

Animism is Pokemon!

You run around the world populated by weird monsters called pokemons (spirits) with different abilities and personalities. These Pokemons can be trapped in pokeballs (fetishes) from which you can at a later date release them from and make them fight/work for you. If you’re a good enough pokemon trainer (shaman) you can catch your own pokemons in your own pokeballs and the better pokemon trainer you are the more powerful pokemons you can catch. Really great pokemon trainers (high level shamans) don’t even need to use pokeballs to talk to or convince pokemons to fight for them.

Here the analogy sort of runs out because I’ve basically exhausted my knowledge of Pokemon so I have no idea what the spirit world and such would be comparable to in the pokemon universe.

But I’m sure there is one because I’m ON TO YOU, Pete and Lawrence! :P :D
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6 replies
PeteNash said Mar 06, 2013 17:04:29
Aaaaargrrhghh! You've eternally smeared RQ6 Animism with the dread curse of Pokemon. So... very... cringe-worthy! :)

Actually that is quite a good simplified analogy, which would probably help players with little exposure to animistic concepts/traditions to grasp the basic system.
PeteNash said Mar 06, 2013 17:14:16
Double post...
[Last edited Mar 06, 2013 17:18:21]
DanTrue said Mar 06, 2013 17:27:21
... have no idea what the spirit world and such would be comparable to in the pokemon universe.

Tall grass... or Zubats cave.

I actually used that analogy when presenting one of my players to MRQ2 ... He hated me for it

- Dan
bluefenix42 said Mar 06, 2013 17:41:23
The Spirit World is the tall grass from the Pokemon games. You really don't want to risk going in their unless you're skilled or have Spirits (Pokemon) of your own.

I've actually used the Pokemon analogy myself to explain the very basics of Animism to my players. I resisted the urge to post it here mainly because it would have come across as over-simplified in the context of some of the very detailed threads we've had about Animism around here. Still, the analogy works very very well...

Like the fact that a rebellious Pokemon can ignore your commands refuse to return to its Pokeball matches up to the fact that losing control of a Spirit means it can take action against the Animist, and makes it harder to return it to the fetish. Spirits (Pokemon) can also be permanently released back into the Spirit World (wild) by breaking the Fetish (Pokeball).

If you look at the details and history of the Pokemon setting, it actually draws heavily on ideas of real-world beliefs in which their are spirits or creatures that inhabit or represent every aspect of the world. On the other hand, the capture, battle, and trade aspects are more related to Japanese traditions of bug-catching, collecting, and making stag beetles fight each other, so.... yeah.
BruceMason said Mar 06, 2013 17:59:29
Do I sense a new RQ6 supplement coming on? PokeQuest. Gotta kill 'em all.
lawrence.whitaker said Mar 06, 2013 19:56:19
What's a 'pokemon'?

No - don't answer that...

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