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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > June (#31) > Play it Smart

Play it Smart

Can more rules mean greater freedom when it comes to roleplaying stories? We consider whether doing things by the book can help unleash your creativity
Adventures such as D&D’s Curse of Strahd often come with evocative themes that can help spark players’ imaginations (Wizards of the Coast)

Stories, it seems fair to say, are central to tabletop RPGs. Among the many definitions in José P. Zagal and Sebastian Deterding’s book Role-Playing Game Studies (2018) we find David Jara and Evan Torner’s suggestion that “RPGs are texts that produce other texts”, Lawrence Schick’s that “a roleplaying game must consist of quantified interactive storytelling” and Rick Swan’s rather bold claim that “roleplaying has a lot more in common with novels than it does with games”. Zagal and Deterding themselves define RPGs as “play activities and objects revolving around the rule-structured creation and enactment of characters in a fictional world”.

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