"Childish", "Teenage" and "Adult" RPGs?

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First Post
Eh, I agree with the original French author, in theory.

Of course, I've played in D&D "adult" games about responsibility, etc... but I think CoC necessarily lends itself to that playstyle more readily, in my experience. This is not because it is horror or not horror... simply because in CoC, throwing down is not always going to do anything. (Not that it is in D&D, but it's far less apt to work in CoC!) In my gaming experience, of course.

WoD and nWoD being teenaged games... right on, really. I enjoy this style too, but... yes, it's correct.

Of course, you can play any of these games as any of the age categories... some just lend themselves to certain styles more easily. (And, honestly, I think I find the "childish" style the most fun. So be it.)


The real question, Terwox, I think, is whether these perceptions are the result of GMs interpretations of the games they ran or whether it is a inherent part of the games mentioned. What do you think?

This comparison isn't actually in Dubious Shards, I think. Ken Hite would pick better wording.

Anyway, it's basically correct, just as long as you remember that there is no value judgement on the terms- D&D can be quite "adult" in one sense. It's just that the core themes of the game is one closely related to childhood. D&D characters develop; there's a fairly linear "growing up" phase, and as they do so they face ever increasing challenges. If that's not a metaphor for childhood, I dunno what is. D&D's target "get 'em hooked" age was 11-12, or thereabouts, after all.

Many (though not all) World of Darkness games focused on a sudden transformation setting a person apart from their contemporaries, a transformation that carried with it newfound power, responsibility and frightening consequences. If that's not a metaphor for becoming a teenager, I dunno what is. That was their target audience, after all.

The metaphor breaks down when you get to Call of Cthulhu, which isn't a metaphor for adulthood.

Just divorce yourself from the terms as insults and just look at the central metaphors- most WoD games (especially the oWoD, and Exalted) can be viewed as metaphors for adolescence using horror tropes like vampires. D&D's core ethos is one of gradually increasing responsibility and capability- you go from the 1rst level baby to the 20th level adult, and so on.

Also remember, they're just metaphors, they don't really mean anything for gaming...


First Post
not exactly a compairison I ever considered but it seems well thought out. I can agree with the d&d compairison and Vanpire, but as I have never played CoC so cant make any worthwile statements about it.

what it really all comes down to is the players anyway since they will make the game "childish, adolescent, or mature"

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