... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Caucus Race

Tim Knight really liked a quote from my last post and suggested "every OSR clone/game that has a "what are RPGs" section should replace it with this quote." Of course, I specified D&D in the quote, so for those of you who would like to quote me in your upcoming rulebook, here's a more generally applicable version:
"A role-playing game is like Lewis Carroll's Caucus Race, where everyone runs around in circles until someone announces the race is finished and everyone wins."
I am really tempted to start referring to Liber Zero as "An Adventure Caucus Race".

That's awfully short for a chapter on "What Is a Role-Playing Game?" You might want to follow it with an excerpt from Chapter III of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
`What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone, `was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'

`What IS a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

`Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, `EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.'

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