How to Tell If You Are a Character in an RPG

It happens to the best of us. You’re living your life, just trying to get by, when suddenly, you realize you’re not actually a sentient being at all, and are instead a character in a video game. Man, what a bummer!

If you’re worried you might be suffering from this strange affliction, take the time to read over this checklist. What you learn may save your life, or at least remind you to go use that save point.

generic rpg town

Everything in your village was peaceful and idyllic, until one day it wasn’t, and you got a sweet sword.

Even though you’re in the middle of a war, people seem pretty cool with you barging through their unlocked door and rifling through their stuff.

When people do lock their doors, they hide the key in a conspicuously placed chest.

People seem inordinately fond of pacing back and forth and wandering aimlessly in circles.

Your town is completely surrounded by vicious monsters, and no one seems particularly upset about that.

These monsters frequently carry money, weaponry, and assorted pieces of armor with them, even though they don’t have any visible pockets.

With the exception of your closest friends and traveling companions, everyone you know just repeats the same phrases and over.

Every once in a while, someone asks if you know about that cool thing you can do when you press the square button.

Everyone you know is a kid, your age, a forty-something dude in a bandanna, or an impossibly old man who is mostly made of beard.

You may also know a few talking cats and sword-wielding frogs.

The world economy seems strangely dependent on monster eyeballs.

You can comfortably fit weapons, armor, and several dozen potions in the little pouch you wear along your belt.

Castles, fortresses, and dungeons all eschew traditional security systems in favor of puzzles that involve pushing or moving things.

There are castles, fortresses, and dungeons.

Every town you visit has a handful of shops, a few scattered houses, and a large building that is important to your mission in some way.

You have a mission.

Your hair is ludicrously spiky, even though none of the stores you visit seem to carry hair gel.

That cute pacifist girl you’ve been hanging out with is surprisingly chill about the bandits you just murdered.

You spent most of your days walking around, talking to people, slaughtering monsters, and playing overly complicated card games.

Time is meaningless, unless there’s some kind of numerical countdown floating above or below your head.

Occasionally, you black out and wake up with no memory of anything that’s happened in the last few hours. No one has suggested that you see a neurologist.

You used to care about things like economic inequality and the corrupt government, but lately, you’ve just been focused on that pretty guy with wings and long hair.

You’ve been eaten by a monster on at least one occasion. You got better.

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Strontium Dingo
Strontium Dingo
7 years ago

This article is fantastic. Final fantastic, some would say!

(sorry please don’t hurt me)

But seriously, you’ve nailed every single issue I have with RPGs – especially the whole ‘come in and take my stuff, that’s fine and totally not thievery’.

Keep up the great work! 🙂

7 years ago

You forgot magic pendants and villain teleportation.

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