#RPGaDay2021 – Day 7 – Small

Today is Saturday and sets us smartly on the steppes of stupendous supposition and scintillating speculations for Day 7 of #RPGaDay2021! Our supreme suggestion today is the slight slip of a word ‘small’ with the supporting suggestions being inspiration, better, and engage. I often include talk of those in my RPG sharings, so I suppose it makes sense to snub the smaller print for today and stick to ‘small’. You see, we could be heroes – just for one day~

Day 7

LISTEN to the Casting Shadows Podcast instead.


In gaming, as in life, I think a sense of scale is important. When we lose perspective on where we stand in a situation we are in a real sense living in a deeper and more distorted illusion than we do at our best. This affects our decision-making and it affects our satisfaction. So, given my choice, I tend to go for smaller and more personal stories than for what might be considered the ‘epic standard’ of the day. I am more interested and tend to get more satisfaction from play that solves a mystery or stops a villain than saves a world.

Remembering the premise that at their core roleplaying games are about making decisions, or more specifically about players making decisions in the context of a fictional construct, then from that point of view, the scale of play matters a great deal to our ability to conceive of and connect to those decisions. It is the connection aspect which matters most to me here.

When play is one of the character levels, and there is a possibility of playing long enough to form a stance for play that represents who that character is, then a curious thing can happen. We can have emotional responses to the experience of play, we can have emotional responses to the content of play, we can have emotional responses and even a sort of relationship form in response to the role of the character in that content, and we can have if not empathy for, at least sympathy for, the character and what they are experiencing in the fictional world in which they live. For whatever reason, I find those responses are deeper and more meaningful if the scope is… smaller.

It is great fun to save the world, stop the apocalypse, restore magic or freedom or Arthur or whatever to the universe and I have greatly enjoyed such stories in my time in gaming – past and present. That said, it is the smaller stories that resonate with me more, that keep me coming back for more, and of which I am most proud.

In Our Play

A Short Sample from the Archives

A Dark Tale from A Dark Age to Cast Light on this Shadow~

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