As a fan if poetry, I can warn anyone reading this that I’ll probably re-visit this topic. Frankly, I think poetry is a necessary element in RPGs. It’s completely realistic that poetry could exist, regardless of the setting, and adds significant depth to a game.
I make these arguments thinking of a couple of different poets, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to note the two points that are, in my opinion, most significant. I’ll address poetry place in the game, and how it’s presence positively influences that game.
Poetry has a long and storied history all over the world. I can’t think of a single country that doesn’t have some kind of poetic tradition. Really. When it comes to passing on information, telling stories, or just entertaining, poetry has a prominent place. While some people think poetry to be a somewhat passe art form, I disagree. I think it is wholly relevant, and it has great utility in a variety of places, such as RPGs.
Second, having poetry in a game can give it depth. Poems can be structured in such a way so that specific cultures can be reflected. Poetry can be riddles offered to the group as clues. Poetry can be all kinds of things, and lends a different sort of narrative device to the kind of experience RPGs offer.
Clearly, I’m all for it. I can’t really come up with a reason why something like this should be avoided. If anything, poetry should be embraced, and utilized for gaming. It adds flavor and depth, and can really highlight a unique experience at the gaming table. Don’t take my word for it though. Try it out and see how it goes.
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