The elusive unicorn could be found at my gaming table every other Friday night. Pretty bad ass huh? Not on the board but around it, when we were speaking out of game, like most role players who don’t have the talent or patience for interesting voices we needed a way to differentiate from our characters speaking and our real self’s speaking. Thus the unicorn was born.
Like most mythical beasts it came about accidentally. During our first session ever we were discussing something sexual as most people in their 20s and 30s do, and it wasn’t meant to be something our characters were saying but us as friends talking. 13 our youngest and most vociferous player was trying to remember something and she put her hand to her forehead. Besse the smart ass and ball buster we know (and love I guess) asked if she was becoming a unicorn, it stuck.
We would use it to make jokes about our DM Boose. The unicorn kind of infiltrated real life too. We would get in the habit of using it when talking Monday at work following a rather intense session the weekend before. As we went on we would chatter less about non-game related items and the unicorn became less of a crutch and more of a bonus.
As we have grown as gamers our talent has become a finely tuned engine. Our characters have become fully fleshed out, this includes voices and inflection. Even still the unicorn prevails (much like England, death and taxes). When in doubt the unicorn clarifies, though the gesture is more than often replaced by the word.
Now it is used more now as a jokey after thought as we have become comfortable playing pretend though it was an integral part in our first campaign. This one simple gesture allowed us to feel more comfortable in our new found paper skins. Most of us had come from theater backgrounds, it was one thing to do this on a stage after having memorized lines, but completely different when you are on someone’s leather sectional eating chips after discussing wedding plans and how you want children. This can be a stressful time, when really it’s meant to be in good fun, and the unicorn allowed us to fully express the two parts of us, and often to tell Besse to go fuck himself.