Looks like Paladin isn’t the only one on a soul-searching mission. Necromancer shouldn’t be too surprised though. I mean, she wasn’t evil to begin with.

While today’s comic is all about character exploration, I’d like to take today’s rant as an opportunity to discuss the other kind of personal revelation. And that mess has more to do with psychodrama than gaming.

You see, therapeutic roleplay has a long history, one that predates RPGs by decades. In fact, back when our hobby was young, certain quarters felt that the term “roleplay” smacked of psychobabble, and favored “adventure gaming” instead. I can understand that impulse. We’re out here for fun and adventure after all. Why would you want to gum up the works with all that self-serious navel-gazing?

Speaking for myself, I think the answer is easy. That’s because ‘want’ has nothing to do with it. The psychological aspect of roleplay is still there regardless of intent. It’s the same deal with writing or painting or any of those other crazy lovely things! When you’re a creative person, you put a little bit of yourself into your work. And in my case, I may have put just a splash more than I’d intended.

My ranger icon is also transitioning to wizard.

Back when Wizard adopted her new look, I described my personal relationship to crossplaying (a term I used to describe opposite-gendered players and PCs). I also told the story of my first female PC way back in Courtly Dress. And by the time Fighter got hit with the girdle of opposite gender in the very first page of The Handbook of Erotic Fantasy, you’d think that my English-major brain could have detected a pattern.

All of which is to say: I’m very pleased to meet you, Handbook-World! Your humble author will be using she/her pronouns from here on out, and shall henceforth be known throughout the land as Claire Stella Stricklin. (Leave it to a D&D nerd to name herself ‘Bright Star’ like some kind of friggin’ fantasy princess.)

That’s my dramatic revelation for the day. What about the rest of you guys though? Have you ever discovered unexpected psychological resonance lurking within your RP? Or conversely, have you ever used roleplaying intentionally to work through your personal issues? I know this is a tough question to bring before a public comments section, so please don’t share more than you’re comfortable sharing. But if you do feel up to joining me and Necromancer before the Mirror of Truth, I’ll see you down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Thrice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.