Science fiction was invented by Mary Shelley on the shores of Lake Geneva in 1816. (Sort of. There were precursors but let's ignore them for a minute.)

Tabletop RPGs were invented by wargamers on the shores of Lake Geneva in the late 1960s. (Sort of. There were precursors but let's ignore them for a minute.)

There's an interesting alternate history where the two swap. Where Shelley invented a new pastime for the bored poets, where they imagined themselves Gothic heroes by using funny dice.

It's a different Lake Geneva, obviously, but I find the coincidence amusing.

The Appendix N of this hypothetical would be filled with Gothic fantasies like the Castle of Otranto, Vathek and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner instead of pulp fantasy.

Romantic poets were already the equivalent of goths and nerds and metalheads of the 1980s and 1990s that embraced D&D, so you could imagine the game catching on quickly among that sort of crowd.

200 years later, the RPG field would have grown in sophistication and variety in ways that are hard to imagine, as scifi has done.

@nickwedig trying to grow the RPG field in that direction is an exercise in frustration. Most players just want more weapon and monster stats, and are not interested in fluff.


@WanderingBeekeeper I tend to agree, but I think most attempts to grow or change the RPG field are doomed to failure.

Perhaps in a world where RPGs began with Romantic poets instead of wargames, things might be different.

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