Color, Song, and Choice Diction: Using Chromomancy to Summon Worlds
In reflecting on my fieldwork in Denton, Texas, I continually find myself slipping through the cracks of that college town and into Nabonidus IV, the asteroid that formed the location of the three-session mini-campaign that a dungeon master named Liz Larsen ran during my visit. The two worlds interpenetrate in my memory, as if the surface of Denton funneled downward toward the Larsens’ apartment south of town, swirling my recollections around and depositing me on the slope of a lunar mountain, looking down over a forest of purple mushrooms. This chapter captures my experiences in Denton as an ethnography of at least two dimensions: first, and primarily, it is a description of Liz’s practices as a dungeon master; second, and inseparably, it is a description of a sub-universe that Liz created with those gamers and our negotiation with that place. Liz’s primary techniques are different from the worldbuilding techniques explored in the next chapter; here, the central concern is not how to build a world, but how to summon one, to experience an imagined world as a thing separate from yourself.
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