Friday, September 11, 2020

Did I just accidentally start making an RPG?

 Have you ever been trying to make a narrative exercise and realized that you came up with a character generator instead? Actually, I bet that happens a lot since creating a character is one of the basic concepts of playing with story telling.

Anyway, without meaning to, that’s what I ended up doing while trying to come up with something that could be easily played with video conferencing.

A couple design notes:

While I know that wainscot is a real word, the only way I have ever seen it used is in the Encyclopedia of Fantasy ( and so I associated the word with secrets and the fantastic.

And I chose to go with tactile for the first question because I wanted the players to have some sense of description for their goblin but I also wanted to avoid visual. I thought going with touch would be more visceral and stretch the imagination more.

Incidentally, this is a first draft. I have already started to revise the game poem to set up possible conflict resolution mechanics in a larger game.

Wainscot Goblin - a game poem

You will need:
A pencil
The following list of questions
A hidden nature
A quiet truth

You are a wainscot goblin, one of those mysterious supernatural creatures that dwell just behind the walls. However, wainscot goblins are not just very peculiar, they are also very particular as well. The point of this little poem is kto figure out your exact nature.

Kindly answer the following questions:

  1.  If a human were to ever touch your skin, which, of course, would never happen, what would they say it felt like?
  2. Politely describe three details of the house that you dwell in?
  3. Just as politely, describe three details of your own cozy nook inside the walls?
  4. What craving or need makes you live so close to humans, to live inside their walls?
  5. What would drive you from your nook, the house where you dwell, into the cold outside?
  6. What is your grave vulnerability, the thing that any human kill you with, if they only knew?
  7. What is your secret craft, the hidden art form that you are devoted to?
  8. If you ever needed to, how would you kill?
  9. What is the single truest thing you can say of yourself?

Now, stand up and say your wainscot goblin name.

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