RPGaDay 2022 #11

If you could live in a game setting, where would it be?

RPGaDay prompt #10, from The Autocratik Blog

Ooh, that’s a tough question! So many different games imply settings and there are so many different types of settings per game. Most of the settings I’m familiar with are also there to facilitate some manner of conflict; after all, many games are based on the premise of overcoming some kind of conflict. While most also provide some manner of hand-waving to abstract or eliminate the pressures of capitalism, it’s still a present force in a lot of game worlds as well.

Some game settings are easy to cross out right away. World of Darkness (including Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage)? No, thank you! I prefer not to be the plaything of supernatural creatures. Call of Cthulhu? Nope! No cyclopean horrors for me, thank you very much. Burning Wheel provides a setting that’s medievalesque in nature but more bleak and oppressive than the actual Middle Ages (despite representation in popular media, life in the medieval period was by and large not that bad at all). Paranoia? Our non-machine rules are insane enough as it is!

Worlds like Pathfinder’s Golarion are appealing to some degree. Golarion seems to have as a premise that almost anybody can become an adventurer and adventurers are powerful free agents in what otherwise tends to be a medievalesque setting. Moreover, the regions in Golarion are also tuned to be so different that you could find almost any type of culture and habitat you’d want in there. On top of that, there’s plenty of magic around to heal illnesses and stave off death. However, it’s still fundamentally capitalist in nature. Sure, after just an adventure or two, the average hero will have more money than most villages but there’s still a whole capitalist system of oppression that will surely someday come grind everything down. Let alone that Golarion has at least a dozen world-ending disasters that need constant battling from heroes on any given day.

So, while I have to admit a naive part of me would want to go to a Pathfinder or D&D world to live in that wonderful blind nostalgia to a Middle Ages that never was, a more realistic part would rather live in a setting as suggested by Ryuutama, which is positive, uplifting, accepting, and so on. Ideally, I’d live in the setting of FreeMarket: a post-capitalist world where people live forever, diseases have been eradicated, and all people’s basic needs are met. A world where your existence is driven by hopes, dreams, and passions. A world where every being gets basic respect and the universe is open for us to experience and learn from.

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