I'm kicking off a series of posts about how playing role-playing games (RPGs) has affected my writing. This topic not only excited me, but other authors I know. I'm eager to have some of my writer friends share their experiences through guest posts too.
I've always loved writing stories. It can be a lonely venture, though. I used to play imagination games with my friends where we'd play out stories. Back then, I had never heard of RPGs. I didn't play my first Dungeons & Dragons game until I was in university. But I was already addicted to something else before then.
I loved playing PBeM RPGs. What are those, you ask? Play by email (or play-by-post) RPGs are games groups of people as their characters interact together in a predefined environment. Many groups have rules about not only the parameters of the world but also the conduct of the players and subject matter allowed.
I played in all sorts of groups. Most of them in Yahoo Groups. Fantasy, science-fiction, dystopian, and tons of Harry Potter groups. Yes, I do love playing in that world!
What I liked most about these RPGs was that I didn't know what the other players would come up with next. I loved the twists and turns, the weird surprises, and the amazing stories we created together. Since I'm a pantser, I reveled in it.
With all these different types of worlds, I was able to experiment with different writing styles and various characters. I discovered that I loved to write about relationships - be it romantic, friends, enemies, etc. It was the characters who attracted me and drove me to become the character focused writer I am today. (One of the most character driven groups I had been in was a dystopian called Descent Into Sin. Deep, dark stuff.)
While these RPGs helped to mold me into the writer I am today, there was something else I loved about them: the friends I made. These friends encouraged me to write more of my own original work and gave me the strength to submit it to various venues. I had my first short story published because of their support. And even to this day, over fifteen years after I started in my first PBeM group, I'm still in contact with some of these amazing people. Not all of them write or play anymore, but they have never ceased to be fantastic cheerleaders and super friends.
Have you ever play in a PBeM RPG? A tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons? What were your experiences like?
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I would like to extend an invitation to any writers who have played RPGs. I'd love for you to guest post on my blog about your experiences. If you're interested, please leave your email in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com.