Blog Comments

  1. SilverKey's Avatar
    Some great points about using narrative during gameplay! The HPL quote is what initially caught my attention. I'm a licensed mental health therapist and teach graduate students psychopathology and human development (among other things). As we move into discussions of trauma and anxiety, an important dichotomy is the distinction between fear and anxiety. HPL was attuned to fear and his use of the literary technique of confirmatory endings is perfectly suited to his emphasis of fear - of death, of the unknown, of failure, whatever. Each protagonist faces their fear in the end, whether monster or madness (or both). But running an RPG is a different task. The narrative methods you describe are more attuned to anxiety - worry or concern about an unknown (or at least not immediate) threat. Anxiety is that nagging sense something is wrong, it may be specific (I'm worried I will fail the test and disappoint my teacher) or nebulous (something is wrong, but I don't know what exactly or why). It's hard to generate fear in players, but anxiety is more accessible. Leaving details to the imagination feeds anxiety in players because coping requires more specific knowledge of the threat. Thanks again for sharing your ideas on this!

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