De Profundis

Letter from PA to G (2012-12-28), page 2

The core of the volume, as with the first edition, is written in the epistolary form that most of actual play assumes. Even the “De Profundis Online” additions are styled as emails. Despite — or because of — an almost complete absence of the sort of algorithmic devices common to tabletop roleplaying, this “game” demands skilled and intelligent players. “RPG” experience may even be a slight liability. A related program for in-person chamber “psychodrama” is relegated to an appendix (as it was in the first edition, if I recall correctly), but it is an enticing feature of the overall text, and might be implemented on its own or in connection with the letter-writing method.

I suspect that the 21st-century obsolescence of personal correspondence by postal paper may actually make “paper age” undertakings of De Profundis more powerful, albeit more challenging. The very oddness of receiving a handwritten letter in our current cultural context helps to transport the reader/player from the quotidian to the weird.

If you would pick up a copy — it appears to be available from some online book retailers, as well as game suppliers — we might try out some of these techniques, with an eye to the gradual incorporation of suitable aspirants in an ongoing project.

Love is the law, love under will.

Flamma sanguineque,




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