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I remember reading about a roleplaying game, similar to dungeons and dragons, that is played in-universe in a D&D setting. That is, the characters played an RPG. However, after searching for a while, I have not been able to find the name of it, or really any evidence of its existence.

My question is: does such a game canonically exist in one of the settings of D&D, and what is the name of it?

I'm not interested in rules for such a game, just the name of it, if it exists.

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You're probably thinking of "Papers and Paychecks" -- derived from a cartoon that first appeared in either the AD&D DMG or in a Dragon magazine in the late 1970s -- in which characters take on the roles of "workers and students in an industrialized and technological society."

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've been an avid Papers and Paychecks LARPer for close to 20 years now. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – RobertF Jan 25 '16 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Which I first remember seeing in the AD & D 1st (hardback) edition Dungeon Master's Guide. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Gutting Jan 25 '16 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ that sounds like what I'm thinking of, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Jan 26 '16 at 2:38
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You might also be thinking of the 1st edition DMG cartoon where, if I recall correctly, a fighter is explaining that the individuals sitting at the table with him with visually obvious AD&D character classes are all playing a table top RPG where they are characters in an advanced technological society.

Not sure if this is the same as the other answer.

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This is not exactly an RPG-in-and-RPG, but you might have read about Three Dragon Ante, a sadly out of print card game published by Wizards of the Coast in 2005.

The gimmick that accompanied it when it came out is that it's not only a card game you can play with your friends, it's the sort of card game you can reasonably expect adventurers to play in a smokey tavern - it has no in-game elements that would be out of place in a medieval fantasy setting, and uses established D&D properties like the distinction between chromatic and metallic dragons.

I remember hearing about - though never seeing myself - tie-in rules that used your characters attributes (such as Bluff) as modifiers in the game itself.

I've played it many times over the years, out of character, and we even played it in-character once, as part of a diplomacy-focused adventure where we both enjoyed the game, and continued our in-character banter, conversation and political maneuvering while playing.

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Maybe it is Humans & Households? That joke though is not that old, only going back as far as the 2013, when Dead Gentlemen Productions did make a little 3-part movie on D&D-ish heroes playing a game... of perfectly normal humans.

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