Author and designer Kieron Gillen talks trauma, metafiction, and thematic depth in DIE TTRPG


Kieron Gillen, the brain behind Image Comics Audio recordingAnd the wicked and divine, And many Marvel comics, he faced a dilemma during his development Die: RPG. When writing his comic of the same name, he wasn’t sure if the project would be a game or a story first, resulting in “at least twice as much work”. This business eventually turned a profit, resulting in a comic and tabletop system unlike anything else, and fantasy fans took notice. The Kickstarter for Die: RPGwhich will remain in effect until June 10, It has raised over $450,000 on its $37,000 goal as of this writing.

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Designed and written by Gillen in collaboration with table designer Grant Howitt, and death The TTRPG requires players to take on roles that are closer to home than most fantasy campaigns. Players take on the characters of fantasy RPG players who live in the real world, who are then pushed into the fantasy fantasy world of their campaign. Described affectionately as “Gothic JumanjiAlice in Wonderland via Epiron,” and Nerd Esky. death It takes players into a whole new world of role playing. Game Rant spoke to Gillen and Howitt about designing a game around this complex idea.

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Role-playing as self-discovery

deathThe basic premise may seem repetitive, role playing as a player. But much like the comic Gillen, the death The postmodern hook of the TTRPG acts as a mirror for the relationships between reality and fantasy that may otherwise be unseen or taken for granted.

“So with DIE, in comics and games, the key thing is that their fantasies show their true nature (for better or worse). They don’t change who they are. They reveal a part of themselves that they want to explore. It’s not just their fantasy selves – the game is always Dig into the real world backgrounds of the characters to transform into the world of fantasy.”

Exploring different aspects of the self is at the core of every role-playing experience. At its core, RPGs aren’t about becoming a different person, but more about uncovering parts of the player that are asleep, repressed, or undiscovered. death He explicitly examines this character-making process by making it part of the game’s mechanics. The result is a refreshingly new and intimate regimen. The “personal” characters adopted by the players – fictional players living in a real environment – simultaneously serve as vehicles for self-reflection and an intermediate step between fantasy and reality.

The fictional characters of DIE and Real Catharsis

Making a game around playing games is not just a new idea, it is also a potential recipe for fun sessions around the table. Navigating through charts, careful character-building planning, and discovering dice-rolling bonuses is an inherent allure, but the ambiguous nature of the tabletop mechanics can sometimes dry up. Framing a campaign around the intersection of escape empowerment and real trauma must yield a degree of emotional depth underlying each encounter. According to Gillen, the realistic weight of those encounters leads to campaigns that are memorable, shocking, and hilarious.

“I have no idea what it means to be a dwarf, but I’ve met a lot of depressed people who are unhappy with their lives and are eager to escape. It’s really easy to accurately play the last roles, right? And the catharsis the character gets on her journey to DIE is very real. Can To bounce between being really funny and having a tear on his face in an instant.”

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death It’s not a crunchy tabletop experience centered on combat, but it also doesn’t lack depth or a workout for the faint of heart. The game’s focus on finding reality in fiction may force players to confront uncomfortable aspects of playing games, or even their own identities. Role-playing players often lead to character manifestations, but death It is configured to elicit these reactions by design.

Basic Rituals in Die

Gillen detailed subtle “rituals” designed to make topics of interest such as mind-body problems, addressing cognitive dissonance, and coping with trauma more “fun”. deathThe class masters – who occupy the role of dungeon master – must address their players carefully to make sure things don’t get too real. When a professional asks players to describe a state of infidelity, for example, the questions should be worded in a way that draws a clear distinction between the player’s true self and personality.

These protocols allow players to confront real problems with a degree of detachment. By rooting their player characters into reality, there’s more room to incorporate demons and personal baggage into gameplay, with rituals that protect the party from psychological missteps. At the same time, the game’s gorgeous setting is filled with emotion-powered knights, magical con artists, mind-controlling diplomats, divine actuaries, and picaresque mutants, arming players with a variety of means to counteract trauma.

Kickstarter campaign for Die: RPG Live until Friday 10 June 2022.

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source: Kickstarter

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