#ManilaEncounters: Short horror stories on Twitter trace origins to tabletop RPG

February 26, 2019 - 6:03 PM
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Tabletop RPG
Participants of a tabletop role-playing game. (Wikimedia Commons/File photo)

A hashtag for short horror stories shared by social media users on Twitter can be traced back to one user’s intention to start a tabletop role-playing game on the platform.

#ManilaEncounters” gained traction on February 26, Tuesday but it already surfaced in the microblogging platform as early as February 24, Sunday.

Latest posts of the hashtag indicate that users have been sharing their own horror pieces, whether it is original, based on an urban legend or a historical figure or event.

Tracing the origin of the hashtag reveals it was created by Twitter user BJ Recio for a tabletop role-playing game with Metro Manila as its setting.

His first entry for #ManilaEncounters features a fantastical creature called the “Dragon of Pasig.”

In a follow-up tweet, Recio said that his piece was inspired by the book “A Time for Dragons:¬†An Anthology of Philippine Draconic Fiction” that curates seventeen short stories and an essay on “majestic creatures of the imagination.”

His hashtag trended as people¬†started to create¬†similar short stories with horror as its main genre‚ÄĒalthough most of the users have no idea about him and his intentions in the first place.

Tabletop role-playing 

Tabletop role-playing is a form of a role-playing game where participants describe their characters’ actions through speech. It is a cooperative storytelling¬†game with rules.

Dice rolls and character sheets are traditionally used to let the participants engage in fantastical worlds.

The game is conducted like a radio drama because people only use their voices to enact their roles, although they do not exclusively speak in-character.

Participants act out their role by deciding and describing the actions of their characters within the rules of the game.