The 24th day of 2019’s RPGaDay is upon us, the penultimate Saturday in our RPG conversation. It has been a different experience so far this year, and that’s a good thing. Gone are the same old questions we’ve been asked to answer. The word prompts have allowed Autocratik’s quest for positivity in the gaming community to evolve and give greater versatility to those taking part. It seems to have been a tremendous success, which sort of leads us into today’s prompt: TRIUMPH.
One of my favorite conceits of RPGs, of Dungeons & Dragons in particular, is that it is not a game you “win”. Oh, there are victories, both large and small, sprinkled throughout a campaign narrative, just as there are setbacks and defeats. In an RPG, the simulated “living history” of a well crafted campaign, does not lend itself to “winning the game”. Instead the triumph of victory is measured in far more satisfying ways.
“Victory” is achieved if fun is had. “Success” is measured by a well-played and eventful game session. “Triumph” is felt upon the satisfying end to a campaign.
In an RPG, it is possible for your characters to be unsuccessful, possibly even die, and you still feel a sense of accomplishment in the end.
In an RPG, you “win” just by playing, “success” comes from laughing with your friends, the “victory” lies in the experience itself. Ultimately, the “triumph” is achieved in the camaraderie with those gathered around the table covered in a vast array of dice scattered across a battlefield of maps and minis and character sheets.
— Bob Freeman