Role-Playing Games

Role-Playing Games!  Not the computer kind, I speak of the kind with sheets of paper and dice and what the hell is the appeal?  I have spent and continue to spend far too much time in Game Mastering – running these imaginary scenarios so groups of players can pretend to be cool heroes and do interesting stuff.

It is the very pinnacle of escapism and such a big part of my life, I must write about it from time to time on my bloge.  All of these posts will be tagged “Gaming.”  I’m starting with a series about ways players can screw up.  In fairness, I should eventually get to an article or two about my failures as a GM.

There’s different interfaces for RP in this modern age.  Luddites can use books and papers, chill in someone’s basement with the wood spiders.  If you’re using the internet, you can recreate the Luddite experience through services like Skype.  A more common way to do things, I think, is PbP (Play by Post) or using a chat interface.

That’s what I use.  It has an awesome advantage:  The text record cuts down on the need for GM notes.  About ten years ago I got into RPing regularly after a long time without.  I found that I needed a record of game events, and it quickly became a total mess.  With a text record, I can Ctrl-F a relevant term and find out about any past events I please.

The other thing about text-based RP that is interesting: it becomes more like writing prose.  “Live Action” RP, or LARP, is basically improvisational acting.  Text-based RP is a lot more to my liking, as an act and as an art.  And the extent to which it is like writing invites comparison and criticism from a literary point of view.

All that said, I’m going to try to dispense with terminology and explanation of the basics on future posts.  I’ll start making them soon.

A Resurrection Story

This story was partially written by one of my least sucky groups of players ever, in a D&D game. I changed the characters substantially to work better for an audience unfamiliar with that situation, so nothing should be too confusing here. It is a short story about a resurrection, to fit the day in an irreligious way.

The Virile had a rough morning. This sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in the city. You go to a magic demonstration and yawn while the party’s arcanist rubs their chin. You don’t go to see your priest’s head explode. There would be a reckoning over this slight because The Virile had a reputation to maintain – the manliest band of heroes in town – but for now the agenda was resurrection.
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Morality in Fiction

What’s the moral of the story? It’s a question you probably left behind in high school, sometimes because the morals are obvious (“well I’m all broken up about that man’s rights“), more often because that’s not why you came to the story in question (“there is no spoon“). I didn’t pay it much mind for years, but recently it’s been getting my attention. I’ll just lay out the thoughts in their own paragraphs, whether they reach a conclusion or not…
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