Do you write? Even if you don’t, you know about it because writers write about it. You sit down, intending to write, and instead just stare at that blank page for a while. You get up, clean the kitchen. You sit back down. If you’re like me, you realize that there’s a problem on your server that you need to work on before you think you can write. You go and do that. You come back to the page. It stares at you, all the cleaning and playing with server configuration having failed to magically make the page not-blank.

Sure, every writer has their tricks, their ways of making that page stop being so damn blank. But what do we have as role-players? If you think one person alone in front of a pad of paper has enough distractions, imagine a room full of people all trying to find ways to distract themselves from the blank page that they’re all collectively staring at.[1]

But we all want to play. We just need somewhere to start. As I see it, we have two options for kickstarting play: tropes and system.

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  1. And yet of course, we do play, and love it. But sometimes, and you all know what I’m talking about, it’s really hard to start playing. []
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