2003 October 6

Postmodern roleplaying

For the role-players out there:

Neel Krishnaswami: I use reification -- making a metagame convention a character-level fact -- a lot in the games I run. For example, in my End of the Line game the PCs all knew that since they were primal archetypes story was an unavoidable fact of life. An even better example was in my friend Shinpei's D&D game. We ran across the demon Asmodeus, Prince of the Game. Asmodeus would teach any character the D&D rules, and give advice on min-maxing, in exchange for his or her soul.

Asmodeus did this because teaching humans to treat each other as collections of statistics encouraged them to dehumanize one another. This was an effective set-piece *because* it both legitimized and subverted the role of minmaxing in D&D.

(In response to Jim Henley in Rock Scissors Blog.)


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