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Identify this anti-Roleplaying novel

Proteus

Yours Pedantically
Validated User
I read this novel when I was young, long before I'd roleplayed, and later concluded it was a pretty heavy-handed parable about gaming making you lose your grip on reality and stuff. Very much aimed at young adults. I'd like to find it again. Here are the things I can dredge from my memory:

1)I'm pretty sure it was just called "the gameplayers" or some such, but Googling has never won out for me.

2) The protagonist's PC was called Jan and was a barbarian. At one point we are treated to a tale of Jan's glory, only to find we are reading the protagonist's creative writing task in school - complete with spelling errors!

3) Another PC had the surname Wieldaxe, but didn't actually wield an axe until the player found an appropriate miniature.

4)The PCs were questing against Scorbius the Enchanter. Or Scorvius. Some variation on Scorpius, anyhow.

5) I don't recall any "Satanic Panic" stuff. It wasn't about becoming enthralled by the devil, it was about fantasy vs reality and maybe also about bullying.

Any ideas?
 
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Majestic

The Truth is Out There
Validated User
Can you give a ballpark of how long ago this was? Was this 5 years ago? 10? 20? 30?
 

Proteus

Yours Pedantically
Validated User
I read it sometime in the mid-90s, at a guess. Got it from the library, though, so no idea when it was published.
 

Peers

Order of Cleansing Flame
Validated User
I found a reference to this book on RPGNet back in 2005.

Unfortunately, it was a post by you, asking if anyone remembered the name of it. :(

Sorry, my Google-Fu is failing.
 

Gavin Bennett

What Would Trudeau Do?
Validated User
If its the one I am thinking of...with a black cover, and some sort of puppet image?

It wasn't really about the gaming panic at all, but apparently about how the kid was in a toxic situation, with a manipulative GM (and friend group) but somehow uses his gaming fu and growing confidence to win out. I remember White Dwarf (I think!!) praising it.
 

DarkMum

Godamn Catwoman
Validated User
Plot Question:
Did it involve a Player deliberately killing off their Sprite PC on an illusion trap (fake loot over poison spikes) as a ploy to kill current game off and start a new one?
 

Loki Dodges-Their-Claws

Hunter of the Damned
Plot Question:
Did it involve a Player deliberately killing off their Sprite PC on an illusion trap (fake loot over poison spikes) as a ploy to kill current game off and start a new one?
Doesn't sound like it; that's Mazes and Monsters (but you probably already knew that :)). I've read both Hobgoblin and Mazes and Monsters, and neither of them sound like this book.



Edit: I thought the Hobgoblin game setting sounded cool.
 
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JamesCat

Super Moderator
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Shit, I know *exactly* the book you're talking about, but can't remember the title.
 
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