If I Were a Lich, Man
A downloadable game
Liches are Jewish-coded villains. If I Were a Lich, Man is a one-hour freeform tabletop RPG about a community meeting of liches. The meeting's agenda has two points of debate: the fate of our phylacteries and our struggle against the lawful good paladins. Liches’ phylacteries (spooky artifacts containing our souls and preserving our undead existence) are based on Jews’ phylacteries (small boxes containing scripture, traditionally wrapped around our arms and heads during prayer). Today, we identify with liches, we fear and resist our oppressors, and like true Jews, we debate our rituals.
If I Were a Lich, Man was written by a gay, trans Jew in New York City in 2019, about the rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence in the United States. (This is not an allegory about Middle East land battles or nation states.) The paladins, who are heroes in games like Dungeons & Dragons, here represent the present-day horrors of white nationalism, Christian hegemony, and the danger of the US government to its marginalized inhabitants.
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