Writing Excuses 4.5: Roleplaying Games as Tools for Story Telling

Roll for initiative, folks! Brandon, Dan, and Howard all play tabletop role-playing games, and sometimes even play together. The question of the hour (well… quarter-hour) is “how can these games help your world building, storytelling, and anything else having to do with good writing?”

If this ‘cast doesn’t make you want to play RPGs with your friends, congratulations on a successful Saving Throw vs. Dark Podcast Magic. If this ‘cast doesn’t make you want to sit down and start writing, you have our condolences. That’s not the saving throw you were supposed to make!

In the spirit of not-necessarily-related personal information: This week we learn that Howard is moister than Dan.

In related news, see the Writing Excuses crew this coming Saturday, February 13th, at the Life, The Universe and Everything Symposium at Brigham Young University in the Wilkinson Center. We’ll be there for the full symposium, but on Saturday we’ll actually be recording in front of an audience. You’ll also get to meet Bob Defendi, who gets mentioned at least three times in this episode.

Audiobook Plug: Nation, by Terry Pratchett

Writing Prompt: Don’t write about players being sucked into their RPGs. That’s been done a lot. Suck the RPG characters out into our world, and see what happens.

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52 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 4.5: Roleplaying Games as Tools for Story Telling”

  1. I actually do a specific kind of roleplaying where me and a bunch of my friends get together and write a story using various
    POVs. We use a forum and set up a bunch of characters and setting and stuff. Very often it’s fanfiction with self-insertion, simply because we want to put ourselves into the world an author has created. So we’ve done Hunger Games once (ended awfully) and Harry Potter (which is thriving but currently stagnant), but we’ve also done an original called Nikomedes. We often get together on chat to do planning, and get to have loads of nice feedback on individual posts as well.

    I’ve been doing this since sixth grade, and working together with people to build a world and a story has increased my skills as a writer DRASTICALLY. Not only that, but it’s tremendous fun. Not that anyone’s ever going to read this post, but here’s a link to our harry potter forum if you’d care to read any of it!


    I strongly suggest starting something like this with some of your own friends! It’s one of the most fun things you can do online. :)

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