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Article - 'A Guide to Morality' by Mateui

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Aug 9, 2003

Blurb

Learn the importance of morality in your RPG game and how to create it.

Body

A Guide to Morality
By Mateui

“Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn. What is the lesson that we should learn?

If you’ve ever watched Saturday morning cartoons, you can easily pick this phrase out from a particular show. Yes, it’s from Animaniacs, but that is not the point. The point is that everything we watch on TV, or play on computer, should have a moral. What the heck is a moral? (You had to ask, didn’t you? ^_^!)

Moral: The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.

Alright. It’s been defined, so let us get down to work!


Moral Statement:
When deciding on the general ideas of your RPG game, such as the characters, maps, and other things, you have to think of one important thought, your moral. It would be a good idea to start a journal, or binder, where you can write down all your ideas. Make a section under the title: “Story”, and make a heading, “Moral Statement.” Underneath, you can write a paragraph on what your game will strive to teach the player.

Need an example? Here you go, I randomly made one up myself:

An Endless Story will strive to teach others that when threatened emotionally, the human spirit can endure through physical and spiritual trials, no matter how serous the threats.”

See? That was pretty good, and it sounds professional too. But where can you find ideas? What should your game’s moral be? All these questions and more will be answered in the next heading, so head on over there!


Getting Ideas:
Making up an original moral is very hard to do. This is because all those fairy tales you heard while you were still little all had them. For example, the moral of “The Little Red Riding Hood” was to show people, in general, small children, that not listening to your parents can have great consequences. Remember more fables for more examples, and try to figure out the moral.

So what can your game’s moral be? Well, think of what is wrong in today’s society. Is there anything you would like to teach the citizens that would resolve or lessen the problem? What do you feel is very important, yet many others do not see this? What qualities of life would you like to strengthen through the use of your game?

Once you figured out what you would like to teach, you have to learn how to implement it correctly. What are you waiting for? Read on!


Teaching a Lesson:
How did you learn the morals from all those various fables and fairytales? Hmm.. Come on, you can’t depend on me to always provide the answer. I know that you are smart also (Well, some of you, at least.) Have you figured it out? No?

Oh well, I can’t expect everyone to know everything. (Oh, if only the world was like that.. Wait! That would mean that I wouldn’t be able to teach anymore! Thanks to the dumb people, I can still have a job! I salute you! I hope that didn’t sound too harsh, do you have to accept who you are ^_^!) Where was I? Oh yes, the answer.

Basically, in all those tales, the main character(s) all did something wrong and they learned their lesson from their mistakes. That is the most universal truth, you learn from mistakes. Think of it this way, what can you learn from a game where the Hero is perfect and makes no mistakes? Nothing! In fact, these type of games get extremely boring! Everyone hates perfect people! (Well, all perfect people except me!)

Ok. Your hero has to make a fatal mistake. But what kind? Let us go back to “The Little Red Riding Hood.” What was her mistake? Yup, she strayed off the path, even though her mother told her not to. Disobedience was her fall, and she almost died because of her mistake.

Show you character falling. (Not literally, I meant that in a symbolic sense) Show him/her making a huge mistake that they will never forget. Just don’t tell, show also. This way, you’ll reinforce your message, or moral.


Conclusion:
“Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn. What is the lesson that we should learn?
That “House Hippos” are not real. What the heck? This machine is broken! The real lesson, or moral, of this article is “that morals are important in your game!”

That worked!

I’ll see everyone next class! Wait a second! HOMEWORK!

Yes. This is how this will work. I will assign a few questions here, and the first person to answer correctly will get a reward. (Not really, but you can show everybody that you are smart ^_^!)


(Answer in full sentences)
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1) What questions can you ask yourself to get ideas to create morals?

2) Why are imperfect Heroes better than the perfect kind?

3) Why, in your opinion, are morals so important in any story medium, including fairy tales and RPGs? (50+ Words)
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GOOD LUCK!

In the meantime, have a fun time RPGing!

**BELL RINGS**

“Class is dismissed!

- Mateui