With Gen Con approaching, I thought it would be good to talk RPG shop with some of the talent behind exciting projects on the horizon. One such is Rupture, a game set 300 years after the Great Rupture that sent magic pouring throughout the land.
The lead designer on that is Kenny Francis, and Kenny has some interesting thoughts on how tabletop RPGs can be used to understand yourself. We’ve certainly seen a boom in media acknowledging how RPGs can benefit our mental health during the lockdown.
In games, we’re used to exploring magical lands and dangerous dungeons. What about exploring ourselves?
Exploring Myself Through Characters
By Kenny Francis
A challenge for gamers to consider is to go back to some of their characters and see what they reflect back at their creators. What were you expressing or experimenting with as this character gained life as they played through their world?
I have been playing TTRPGs for 7 years. In that time, I have had characters in Pathfinder, Exalted, Shadowrun, and even helped build a new game, Rupture. Some characters have lasted years, while others only had a couple of hours before the group fell apart for one reason or another. But each character has had a common thread, they all let me explore some aspect of myself, even when they were not intended to.
In a time where I was trapped between the egos of others, afraid to speak up for fear of offending or causing more problems for those around me, I created an honest character who didn’t care who he hurt with his words.
When roleplaying we are given a safe place to imagine and play. But it also lets us try being different versions of ourselves, to experiment in ways that we would not be able to in our day to day lives. I can try being a leader, a diplomat, a jerk, a loyal follower, a self-centered individual, or anything else I may want to explore.
Some characters I have created I loved, and remember fondly, and I know that those aspects of myself are parts of me that I like. I have created characters that I hated, and I know that if I were to act like that, I would not be able to like myself.
TTRPGs are so important for mental health for so many different reasons. For me it is being able to experiment with who I am as a person, and how I present myself in terms of personality and choices.
- Art credit and game info: RuptureRPG.com.
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