The Naismith Stratagem: Roleplaying in the Vorkosiverse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


‘The Naismith Stratagem’ considers critically the adaptation of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga into Genevieve Cogman’s table-top roleplaying game (TRPG) GURPS: Vorkosigan. Using an entirely new analytical methodology, it examines the ways in which GURPS: Vorkosigan reframes the Vorkosigan saga as an immersive, interactive environment through a number of adaptive processes defining TRPG adaptation. It assesses how the adaptation balances the requirements of the Generic Universal Role-Playing System ruleset with the need to facilitate immersion in an authentic version of the Vorkosiverse. As such, the chapter considers the ways in which the processes governing the adaptation of narrative fiction into an interactive roleplaying ruleset result in a reframing of that fiction as a context for play and performance. In so doing, ‘The Naismith Stratagem’ acknowledges that the immersive experience of the TRPG transforms readers into ‘prosumers’: consumers who also produce new interactive stories that enrich already established story-worlds for their roleplaying groups.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiology and Manners
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on the Worlds and Works of Lois McMaster Bujold
EditorsUna McCormack, Regina Yung Lee
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-789-62173-0
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameLiverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies
PublisherLiverpool University Press


  • adaptation
  • Game
  • RPG
  • Literature
  • Roleplaying game
  • Narrative
  • narratology
  • ludology
  • Bujold
  • Vorkosigan
  • TRPG
  • Vorkosiverse
  • USA

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