Early Collaborative Games of Fantasy and Imagination
August 5, 2022 11:58 PM   Subscribe

Early Collaborative Games of Fantasy and Imagination
A few months ago, I posted a rough translation of the rules to a collaborative fairy tale storytelling game more than 200 years old. I've now put that onto a Neocities site with many additional translations: a total of 5 variants of the same game re-published many times between 1801 and 1867, several variants of a game the same age that involves role-playing, and several variants of even older poetry and nonsense games related to the Surrealist game "Exquisite Corpse." There are also pages and translations explaining the history of the games' penalty phase, offering advice on running demos of the storytelling game especially using motifs from the earliest "secondary world" fantasy novel, and possible round-robin storytelling from the 1600s-1700s, as well as links to many additional sources for parlor games from 1551 to 1899.
Role: Mediocre translator
posted by Wobbuffet (3 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

This is really cool. I think the tabletop rpg parts of the internet would appreciate this.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:47 PM on August 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes, while this is quite different from modern RPGs, it's interesting to look back on the deep roots of collaborative story games. I trace back my love of role playing games to playing Star Wars action figures with my brothers, and then being introduced to D&D by a friend's older brother when I was 7. While I'm not a big fan of playing with minis on a grid, I think I would roleplay better if everyone was holding onto an action figure or doll of their character while talking for them.
posted by rikschell at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I saw this some time ago but didn't know who made it. Great work! It was pointed out on an RPG-themed mailing list I get.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 3:31 PM on September 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

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