In the world of fairy tales it is not uncommon for the protagonist to have an interesting godfather or godmother. The best known of them is the variant of the fairy godmother, a creature of great power that the godmother would provide her godson with great gifts as she needed it in life. Less well known, but for the purposes of role-playing games perhaps more important, they are the godfathers of “El Dios Padre” and “El Padrino de la Muerte”, since in these two stories the godfathers are the devil and death itself ( respectively). In both stories the father decides to ask the first person he meets on the street to be the child’s godfather. “The Godfather of Death” is in many ways the more interesting of these two stories, first because it develops the relationship between Death and his godson more than any other fairy tale, and second because although the father has decided to ask the former, he sees himself as a godfather, he ignores god and the devil because he believes that both discriminate against the poor. However, upon meeting death, he rejoices because death treats all people equally, taking them as their turn to die.

Within role-playing games we can take from this the idea that a person might indeed on rare occasions choose a godparent for their child, regardless of the normal handicaps of the parents. It would be interesting to play a character with a godfather who gives them some great gift, but in return makes difficult demands on them. In the case of the Godfather of Death, the person knew how to prevent Death from taking someone, but was told never to do this if Death was at the head of the person. However, realizing that Death loved him, the godson ignored this, for he loved those who were dying. In RPGs, this may not be much of a challenge for players, although their characters may be attached to someone the player may not be. Unless the player can more honestly play their character. And so, what could death demand in exchange for saving someone’s life?

To take this idea one step further, the best man in an RPG could be an evil god, who waits until long after the character is good to give him his gift. Imagine the conflict of being caught between a godfather one has come to love and the ideology and beliefs the character holds dear. Once again, such conflicts require a good role-player; however, there is real value in such stories, as it is these conflicts that make the fantasy so interesting. Because within fantasy the conflict itself is invented and thus it is capable of questioning the reality in which we live much more deeply, just as fairy tales are.

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