Monday, November 23, 2009

An Expanding Road Leads To More Places

Over here is the standard summary, preview, and cover for Berserk, this time, Volume 10.
Berserk 10 brings many elements that can be used in a role playing game.
Expansion of the setting. Griffith, having fallen from grace recently, has been at the bottom of a fallen tower and is in the process of being rescued. During the party's descent into the pit, they learn the origin of the land's name, Mid Land, in that it's in the middle of the former great kingdom.
As the party makes their escape, they come across more enemies from foreign quarters.
As the party beats these odds, the King demands an elite unit, one so terrible, that during the hundred years war it was never used in the homeland but always send to the front and the frontiers of the war because they were too cruel, be called out.
But what does this mean expanding road?
By continuing to introduce new elements that are already in the story, Kentaro is reinforcing certin myths of the setting. For exampel, a great unique entity that apparently came from no where has a lot of similarities to say, Griffith, who was initially a no one who rose from obscruity.
For example, bringing in these assassins from a foreign land, leads the reader to know that the setting is larger than it appears. This ties into future volumes when we see much more of those elements.
By having the king speak of how dire and evil these Black Dog Knights are, we know that future volumes are going to showcase another epic battle. A side benefit though of the way the Black Dog Knights are introduced, is it doesn't strain the reader's "yeah right" bat sense too much. Many comics and other graphic forms of entertainment try to white wash certain elements so that they can bring new ones in without having to rework the entire mythology that has come before. In this case, because the Black Dog Knights were never with the main army, it's natural that the readers, whose point of view has more or less followed Griffith and his Band of the Hawk, wouldn't know about them. It kills two birds with one stone.
Having a road that continues to expand in front of the players is as natural a progression as say, having the players initially fight against a cultists and eventually face the big Orcus himself.