Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tylenol

Something I used to do on occasion was to play in a "Tylenol" game. This gets its name from the premise that you'd find what appeared to be a bottle of Tylenol on the counter with a label that says, "Eat me." Upon taking one of the pills, you'd find yourself transported to a game world, transformed into one of the denizens. It is the ultimate form of the "If you were a character in (game x), what would you be?" Obviously, most games are played in D&D, but I've played tylenol games in a number of other settings, and most of them don't even require the bottle of tylenol to get there! For example, in Vampire, you can just be embraced. Any sort of game that involves a trasnfiguration like that can work just as well.

If you didn't already know and haven't figured it out yet, a Tylenol game is one in which you play yourself. Rather than creating a character as normal, you simply list those stats that you actually have. Then apply modifications to adjust for the in-game characteristics (for example, maybe you'd apply the elven racial template).I've played in a few, though I only really remember two, and one of them I was running, so I wasn't really playing, although I did have myself written up as a character and was involved in the story. It can be fun on occasion to experience the vicarious adventures as yourself, but depending on what player type you are, it may or may not be a plausibly realistic depiction of how you'd actually behave. But games aren't meant to be psychological tools; they're supposed to be fun! So who cares how plausible it is?

In both of the games in which I was involved, the system used was the original World of Darkness. There's no reason it can't be done in any setting, though. One of the most intriguing concepts for me is a GURPS Time Travel Tylenol. How fun would it be to go traipsing through history? Why write up a character to do this when you can just do it yourself?

An interesting idea, at any rate. If you haven't tried it before, you should give it a shot some time! Be sure to let me know in the comments below how it goes for you. 

And with that, I bid you once more a fond

Game on!

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