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TROLLS • 2017rpgfinalist

Joel Dettweiler • dettonator11.tumblr.com

You are a troll: an under-the-bridge, ugly-as-sin, billy-goats-gruff troll.
 
Fortunately, you chose a bridge with a good wifi connection.
 
Make up an internet handle and write it down for everyone to see.
 
In secret, write down three physical aspects about which you, the troll, are extremely insecure. DO NOT draw on you, the player’s, insecurities.
 
The last troll to finish their list starts by stating their opinion on a topic, real or imaginary.
 
SPEAK ONLY IN TROLLSPEAK.
 
CALL CHARACTERS ONLY BY THEIR HANDLE.
 
IT IS YOUR JOB TO PURIFY THE INTERNET OF WRONGNESS.
 
DO THIS BY INSULTING OTHERS' LOOKS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
 
WHENEVER SOMEONE MENTIONS ONE OF YOUR ASPECTS, EVEN IF NOT AT YOU, YOU MUST RESPOND IMMEDIATELY.
 
NO PHYSICAL CONTACT WHATSOEVER.
 
If any troll thinks they have figured out someone else’s aspects, they can yell "BLOG POST", at which all other trolls must fall silent while the first enumerates those aspects.
 
If right, the attacked troll cannot blog post anymore. If wrong, the same happens to the attacker.
 
Play continues until only one troll can still blog.
 
End with a group pact "by the name of [winner's handle]" never to speak or write as you have just done.

Author Comments

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Judge Comments

This is a well-written and well-conceived game. Playful invective and moral force are combined to convincing effect.

I particularly admire the way in which a beautifully-judged three-act structure communicates the breadth and depth of the game’s theme. This is delivered with clarity and emotional impact.

The fourth and fifth sentences offer up the “insecure” emotional space of the TROLL while allowing the player to distance herself from what she is putting across. The ALL IN CAPS second act accurately depicts the lurid “active-defensive” (as opposed to “passive-aggressive”) dominant feature of Trolldom, while the third act ties-off the angry insecurity of the TROLLS raised in the first act – “write down three physical aspects about which you are insecure… DO NOT draw on your own insecurities” – with a conclusive switch between the shared imagined space of the game – “by the name of [winner’s handle]” – with the real world of those playing: “agree never to speak or write as you have done”. - Abstract Machine

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