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Interesting TRPG pt2.

Quotes from a discussion I had with someone about Little Fears' rules. This is just a short discussion of the themes implied by the rules of the game - and why I find it so interesting, from the point of view of someone who has two ongoing novels discussing "cubs" who are abuse victims.

I write these novels for the same reason I find Little Fears' handling of these themes so fantastic; and I am not the first one to praise this examination of these dark notions.

(Obviously this crap is just lifted from my chat logs - unedited, so don't expect supreme eloquence. Or even coherence.)

Me: "As for the effects of Fear "... For every additional point lost, your character loses another of his Abilities, so continued exposure to horrifying conditions can mentally, physically, and emotionally paralyze your character."
Monsters can also attack your "spirit." This doesn't just mean the spiritual sense of spirit.

 It's hearkening back to the detached, apathetic, emotionally-distant (or outright uncaring) attitudes an abused child will take on. They literally lose the will to connect with others, their empathy shuts down as they smother their own emotions until (at the ultimate level) they become nigh-catatonic."

My friend: "...god damn, this game is depressing."

Me: "It's capable of being light and fluffy, if you want it to be, but it's a game exploring the psychopathology of children in horror situations at its heart - and was initially lauded for how it drew parallels with (and allows you to role play directly) abuse.
A child abused and horrified repeatedly will do ALL of that. In the short term, the Fear will shut him down in those ways. In the long term, he will detach from the world, draw in on himself. His spirit is impacted.

It's important to note this: look, why does this Spirit mechanic exist in the first place? Could not one argue, if it's just a simple "magic that saps the Spirit!" thing, that it should also be in Dungeons and Dragons? It IS but without any of the detail and, well, clear comparison to the psychology of an abused child.
Because that's kinda the point. It doesn't say it outright, but this game has this psychological darkening at its CORE. That's depressing but also fucking impressive.

It forces players to sympathize and empathize with children that have endured this. It may not be pleasant for those who did actually experience it as a child (but I wouldn't ask a boy who saw his mother shot dead to read Tai's Story either), but for the rest of us it's a morbidly interesting thing... and one we can hope helps others to understand and connect with abuse victims."
Viewed: 21 times
Added: 7 years, 7 months ago
7 years, 7 months ago
Sounds interesting. Maybe you can point me to where I can find some of the pre-Nightmare edition literature? (before they toned it down)

Could really help on the writing front too
7 years, 7 months ago
Having had a chance to look at both versions now, thanks to KevinSnowpaw, I have to say it's not just a matter of things being toned down for the "Nightmare Edition." It's really just outright superior - while I admire their balls for discussing such ideas as children being raped or eaten alive, etc, it seems almost... desperate.

Especially the laughable "almost a public service announcement" at the beginning talking about missing kids, kidnappers, rapists, etc... As if it was riding on the missing child hype of the late 90s, early 2000s. "Nightmare Edition" toned these things down, with a subtle focus on the mentality of the abused (or even just unhappy or unstable) child rather than screeching on and own about categorically over-emphasized dangers like kidnappers.

As I've said, the brilliance is in the ability to use this system to role-play stories of fantasy as well as stories of a brutal realism, but this is just silly.

Also, the original rulebook essentially claims that pedophiles are mind-controlled by the most disgusting of the Kings of "Hell" (Closetland). See, maybe to some people it's "edgy" and "open-minded" to even talk about child-rapists, etc - to even dare to INCLUDE such themes. But that's bullshit: end of the day, Little Fears original edition just bawled out validation of ignorance. This is why so many dumbshit housewives watch L&O:SVU; they like to have their ignorant fears and stereotyping of evil pedos re-validated every Thursday night.

Worth looking at, but NE was an improvement in just about every way. You've lost nothing  - you can still include the "Kings" and stuff if you like in a game. But the system is vastly improved and the rulebook doesn't make you roll your eyes (or giggle) every ten seconds. If you like, I'll find a way to send it to ya.
7 years, 6 months ago
appreciate it. thx
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