Part of the allure of role playing games is the limitless potential. The regular shackles and boundaries of reality are cast off and we are free to imagine and do the impossible. We are set free. But freedom comes with a price. At some point we realize that without limitations or boundaries anywhere none of it really matters.
As Harry Nilsson told us in The Point, “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.”
Looking at this prompt for today I was inspired to think of the limitations that we place into the fiction, the procedures, & the mechanics. Far from being restrictive, these limitations can give meaning to what we are doing. They bring order to chaos.
You only have one shot at this. Do or die.
There is only one Stormbringer, not 100 identical magic swords.
There can only be one party caller.
Of the choices before you can you can only choose one. Choose wisely.
There can only be one champion. Many will enter but only one shall emerge victorious. Are you the one?
This mystery has many possible solutions, but only one is correct.
Game X has one set of rules and procedures. If you’re not following them, you’re playing it wrong.
There is only one Last of the Brunnen-G.
It doesn’t really matter if the limitations are exactly one or a handful. Just the fact that they are finite and precious is enough. The fact that the restrictions balance out the otherwise limitless possibilities makes everything stand out in stark contrast and matter more. The things that are finite matter because they are, and the things that are without boundaries stand out in contrast.
Sometimes rolling a one is good, sometimes it’s bad. Depends on the game.
“Just one more thing…” ~ Columbo