(sorry for the long post but this Hell Site wont let me put a read more in for Some Reason)
just finished the adventure zone finale and….jeez. cried myself a stomach ache
rly glad i got into it last summer and got to watch it wrap up a calendar year later, nice coming in a circle thing?
but like, wow, im very glad it ended the way it did and it gave me all of those nice douglas adams and terry pratchett vibes and im glad this story exists in the world
stories about the specific kind of found family that is like
“the world is an absurd, unpredictable, and often inhospitable place but somewhere in it you will find Your People, and you will make a small and good and earnest and bright thing with those people, and that thing may be an actual tangible thing or maybe the thing is bringing those bonds into the world and those good vibes into existence. but, regardless, that thing will be Yours and you will be better for it and because that thing exists you will be able to stitch up all the wounds this bizarre and often terrible world has given you. the search for and the maintaining of Your True and Good Thing is what makes waking up to survive and push through another day worth it”
will always be my kryptonite
it has the same kind of vibe that i think some of the best night vale episodes had and i wish i had transcribed joseph fink’s answer to the q i asked at an interview panel once bc its that same thing. about people surviving the shitty times and making the good times regardless of whether the bad times are cancer or if they’re unknowable monsters.
what makes me call a story “kind” or “soft” has little to do with whether like the characters are nice (what a loaded word that i have lots of asterisks about) but like, if the story depicts that sort of thing and gives people material with which to tell themselves “yeah you know ill be okay”. works and stories are kind if they can do a kindness of fortification and catharsis and comfort to those who read them
i think tabletop rpgs can be really good at telling that kind of story and that’s why ive been drawn to them for over five years
on one hand they are by definition a collaboratively crafted story. you and your fellow players build something together and share in it and can sometimes work through stuff (i.e. my first dnd character for working through feelings of inadequacy/being not enough/ being too dumpy)
but its also the case that like, because a lot of rpgs follow the structure of “these people coming together and being pulled into a shared narrative” they can be REALLY good for telling a story about a hurt and hurting group of people with their own baggage looking to find healing and hope and a happy ending and often finding that ending or at least support on their journey to that ending in each other
i think the best shadowrun, d&d / pathfinder/ dungeon world/ any-other-murderhobo-game, and also monsterhearts are good at this kind of narrative
(monsterhearts is especially good for helping characters grow together and begin to put a name to their feelings and their identities)
i liked taz because it was a piece of rpg media that took this concept to heart. taz ends with people coming together and rebuilding and getting their just rewards and it really hits close to home. it gets this softness and hopefulness in a way i was afraid as a fifteen year old rpg narriatives never would and that honestly caused me to be was told i was stupid/dumb/didn’t get it because i wanted that kind of narriative.
im so glad to have met so many people thatre super important to me through taz because it let me find other people who got that softness
its super cool that starfinder began on the same day taz ended esp because as soon as starfinder was announced i began working on a starfinder inspired oc project w/ a dear dear person i met through taz