short stories

Distinguishing Characteristics

Your character sheet has holes in it again. You feel them like a trickle, as of snow or ashdrift, down your spine. On the backs of your hands in their mittens.

A short story about a roleplaying game and revolution in Jonathan Oliver’s anthology Dangerous Games.

I am indebted to Liam Liwanag Burke’s superb roleplaying game Dog Eat Dog for providing an example of game design as social commentary (imperialism/colonialism), and to Eric Rath’s Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan.

For the curious, the hattahk are based on the many delicious 호떡 (hotteok) I ate as a student in Korea. None of them ever caused harm to me or my character sheets.

Thanks to Yune Kyung Lee for the beta.