Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Comment - Campaign Setting Part 2

Part 2

A Strad is wasted playing bluegrass but you can squeek out some great foot-stomping tunes  on a 15euro fiddle. Your argument is subjective in that you define 'high quality music'. Is it complex music that I do not care for or simple music that I do.

A good DM knows the type of music his players want to dance to and what instrument is the best for that result. A strad just doesn't have that squeek, a CD doesn't have that lovely rasp and low grinding sound of vinyl... A good DM also knows it when he can't work with a player whose 'high quality music' differs too much from his own.

"Best Setting" is a personal definition and the DM's interpretation and presentation of such a setting is also a personal, a subjective, interpretation. For example I find Claudio Arrau to have been one the world's best classical pianists but I can't stand it when he plays Stravinsky (and since the two of them knew each other I believe Stravinsky approved of Arrau's interpretation of Stravinsky's music). Here is what the world called a 'high quality pianist' - a 'good DM' - playing 'high quality music' - 'the best setting'. But Arrau, as a good DM, knew that some of his players liked the Stravinsky setting, while others preferred the Chopin setting, or the Mozart setting, and yet he also knew that the players that liked the Ragtime or Honkey-Tonk settings needed to find another good DM to listen to.

There is no set of music that is 'golden', no notes on the page that are guaranteed to make 'high quality music', no instrument that will produce a sound that is universally liked, no setting that everyone will agree on or elements of that setting.

Most importantly 'The notes on the page do not play themselves'. The music each of us subjectively decides is 'best' is dependent on the artist who plays that music 'who we subjectively decide whether they are good'. The music is made by the DM whether it is their own composition or written by someone else.

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