The characters are the players

Hello all,

Certainly not an original idea (it was the premise of the original D&D cartoon), but have you ever played a game where the characters are actually the players who find themselves in a RPG setting? What was the premise? How did it go?

I was thinking about starting such a game and was looking for some input or comments.

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!


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First Post
Yes, I have. And I wouldn't recommend it. Especially if two of the players are a couple.

I let myself get talked into running d20 Modern using the players themselves as the characters. This should go just fine, right? I mean, what are the chances it could go wrong? These players had been together for years without a major conflict! Well, it turns out Murphy loves a challenge.

Long story short? The game ruined the relationship with the couple, because they couldn't stop fighting over minor details. Two other players and myself came to learn a third is really a massive jerk in real life. And at one point, I apparently accidentally seduced one of my players and I never did figure out how.

The group still talks. It was a surprise to no one when the couple got divorced, though lately things between them have improved enough the cops don't need to be involved if they talk. The jerk? No one was surprised when he ended up in prison.

It sounds like playing this way actually did at least some of you a service: it brought people's real character and motivations to the surface. You quickly found out that one person was a jerk, and the couple may have avoided staying unhappily together for years.

Or am I just surmising based on scant information and getting this sooooooo wrong?


Yes, I played in a campaign where we all played ourselves, transported to a D&D setting... and we all had the meta knowledge of this fact that we could utilize in the game. It was pretty fun, I recall that one of the first major issues I ran into was how to find a pair of glasses since I didn't have a supply of contact lenses/contact lens solution on me :D

I ended up being a mage, although it wasn't actually me casting the spells, I had an item that I could mentally convince to "cast" a spell for me (as long as I could articulate the effect I wanted to achieve) though it frequently backfired. We ran into some "celebrity" NPCs from various settings and even some gods - my PC had several encounters with manifestations of Wee Jas who was seducing him into doing her bidding.

I don't remember why we stopped playing, I think the DM had some real-life issues she had to take care of and we never continued.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I've done this more than once, though never in a highly combat-flavored game like D&D. Worked out well. Except for the guy with low self-esteem who built himself way weak.

Though the Me in the time traveling game got really mentally screwed up when we accidentally stopped the Kennedy assassination and later found out that the Cuban Missile Crisis turned out a lot worse and we had to "correct" the timeline.
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..I have done this just once. It was a post-apocalypse campaign. Basically, the premise was that we showed up to game and nukes started falling. We basically had only what we showed up to the game with (IRL). It was pretty fun.


First Post
Another issue other than the aforementioned one is the characters statistics. You'll find a lot of people seriously bumping their stats up. Played with one school drop-out who wanted to give himself a 16 intelligence and wisdom.

The reason this is a problem is.. its going to cause arguments a lot of the time unless you use pointsbuy or something, and even then it can cause arguments. Some ugly opinions can be brought up.
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First Post
I haven't, but I remember a FANTASTIC Call of Cthulhu Story Hour here on EN World (long ago), in which the players created themselves as characters who drastically changed because of the horrifying things they'd experienced.

The DM wound up driving one of the players crazy by holding up a green marker occasionally when something horrifying was happening. All the other players were trained to pretend they couldn't see whatever the DM was describing... only they pretended they weren't even experiencing as players what the DM was describing. Only one player didn't know about the green marker deal, and apparently almost lost it at the game table.

Good times, amiright???


First Post
My real-life stats are way too bad to create a pc who'd survive the first (combat) encounter...

Perhaps it can work with an RPG that is actually based on that premise?
FFG's 'End of the World' RPG line assumes that everyone's playing themselves, even including potential starting equipment.

Level Up!

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