Friday, November 15, 2013

The Necessity of Emotional Distance - Disgust

This isn't an emotion that most Storytellers seek to evoke though it can be a good one and powerfully evocative because, well, most players don't expect it. When the Storyteller paints a picture of an apartment building whose graffitti-covered corridors stink of urine, a nasty meal they see served up or the in-depth description of a filthy toilet bowl which a hapless character must stick their unprotected hand in to seek out a key. So what's the threat of disgust? Well, if you're too good at it there might be a mad rush for the toilet. Folk might feel nauseas and as nausea is a pretty good method to classically condition someone AGAINST something you might find them a little leery of attending the next session. If the players are eating dinner they might be a little angry if they now can no longer stomach what they're trying to eat. Other than that, well, it's not that big a deal with most people. A little bit of nausea, a little bit of disgust, is too transitory to be traumatic. I mean, it might lead to some off colour jokes that might last for the rest of the campaign. "Eww, you just shook Toilet Boy's hand...." But that's about it. Hmm, can you guys think of ways where disgust might be successfully evoked? Or where it might be problematic?

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