Friday, September 9, 2011

Japanese Mask Maker

Some folks love to use props in their tabletop roleplaying games and one particularly fun avenue toward that end is in the use of masks.  I knew a Game Master once who was a propmaster for a local theatre company and often would craft half-masks to represent the main NPCs that would be portrayed in the game.  Of course, he would also use various voices in conjunction with the masks, sometimes rather elaborate masks and vocalizations were in evidence, but more often than not a simple mask and slight adjustment to the cadence of his speech was more than enough to immerse the players at the table more deeply in his setting.

I bring this up because toward the end of August I ran across an article on a mask maker with some top-notch skills.  His name is Jake Davies and his keenest area of interest in the art of masks is "17th-century 'Iwami-kagura' ceremonial dance rituals."  Follow the link to read more on this expert in the arts.  See if it inspires you to fashion some masks of your own or pick some up after the next Halloween, when they go on sale for very low prices, to add some depth to your next one-shot game or even a whole campaign.
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