noun. A game mechanic or ritual acting as a metaphor for a concept in your game's setting, philosophy or general theme.
In Castle Falkenstein, the system uses cards instead of dice because cards are a sign of more civilized culture than the thuggish brutes who roll dice in alleys. This is a mechaphor for the aloof Victorian attitude.
In Agon, you roll attack dice in your right hand and defense dice in your left hand, just as you would a sword and shield. This is a visceral mechaphor for brutal ancient combat.
In Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, a bag with black and white stones allows each player's decisions in the short-term to have long-term consequences for the whole group. This is a mechaphor for karma.
This is a term I use with some regularity and just realized hasn't been given a proper post on the blog. This is now corrected.
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