One of my hobbies is Role-Playing Games (RPGs). I’ve written fiction and short stories since I was a kid, and have a pretty good sized collection of worlds in my head. Something that I need to get out of my head and down on paper more often I think.
RPGs are one way of doing this. For those that don’t know what an RPG is, imagine if the Drama Club kids in high school were really into math and statistics.
RPGs are a little similar, but you cut out the character building, and you hope like hell that your hooks catch your player character’s interests.
Not being great at math, I tend to be a little slow on my turns with RPGs, but I do enjoy the more dramatic flair of it.
Having written creatively since I was a kid, and writing technically now I’m finding that RPGs allow me to maintain my creative flow and actually seem to reinforce my technical writing. Still I would like to get some of my ideas out of my head and in to a book or two.
Recently I’ve taken on the challenge of not only GMing (my first time!) but in creating an entirely new module for a gaming system. It’s been fascinating to work on, it’s quite similar to world building for creative writing, but there’s also one major difference: the players.
In fiction writing you sit and figure out your characters, your plot, and lots of world building details (factions, economies, maybe even new geographies). RPGs are a little similar, but you cut out the character building, and you hope like hell that your hooks catch your player character’s interests.
Being new to the whole endeavor, I’ve been mildly overwhelmed at how difficult building plot and hooks can be. My players are all experienced, and while I’m not feeding them their usual hack-and-slash fare, they seem to be taking well to my environment.
Where I’m running into difficulty is both my plot though I have a rough idea of where I want to go with it. Figuring out how to expand out to meet the needs of an entire campaign is difficult however. Another issue I’ve run into is, when my PC’s do something completely off the wall. While I’ve been good at thinking on my feet to get around these issues, it’s been sometimes more difficult than I’d imagined. Though I’ve been told that I’m doing well with my improvisations and flying by the seat of my pants.
Still, I’m enjoying both the world I’m running my characters in, and I’ve enjoyed seeing my players interact. Even if it isn’t how characters of my own design would react of course, this is part of the fun of being GM, because I know the plot in my head, and how characters I would create would react, but seeing my friends and their characters move in a world I’ve created, and have reactions outside of what I’d expect the characters in my head would do has been a pleasant change of pace.
I’m looking forward to furthering the campaign.
And in the words of Table Top “Play more games!”