When Words Collide Part Six – RPG Storytelling (Role Playing Game)

I have been a fan of RPG‘s or Role Playing Games for a long time.

Three Stand Out Quotes from this session:

“Like knitting a parachute while falling from a plane”

“Never get to the YOU HAD TO BE THERE moment” 

“Take notes on the game – Brent – naked and in chains – “That level of bad dice rolling is epic in some players”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with role playing games (you should be!), a brief overview.


A group of 4-6 people gather together, preferably in person rather than online. The online/physically together debate is a matter for a different blog. One of the people functions as the Game Master – GM for short. This person leads the rest through an adventure, plays the role of bad guys, neutral characters, allies and the setting. They prepare in advance.Must be able to think fast and be inventive, after all characters like people don’t always do what you expect them to do.

The other people each have a “character” to play. They “Role Play” or act out through words and description how their character behaves.. Traditionally played with various sided dice, pen and paper. The dice are used to determine a variety of outcomes, damage, did you see through the assassin’s stealth, does the bar maid love you. Each character has attributes that help define how to play the character. Some are bruising tanks with low intellect – THORG SMASH, clever wizard’s or dumb wizard’s as the case may be. Some may be rangers or dragons or giants, elves etc and oh and dwarves.  It tends to be much like the Lord of Rings Characters and Races. Some role playing games are set in the future – some are set in alternative universes – Star Wars Universes – You get the idea. There is much more to role playing and developing your own character.

Over the course of several hours your merry band of adventurers go on a journey, encounters trouble, solves problems, defeats the enemy(not always via combat). In the process a story is created, unique to that night of playing. And as the panel discussed VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO RETELL!.

Our panellists for this session were Brandon Sanderson, Chadwick Ginther, Ron Bender and Dave Gross. Most if not all of these folk function as the game master for their group or groups. The story telling is rich and varied with laughter intrigue and generally a good time is had by all. To recreate this into a story that you put into print is difficult if not impossible as the speakers outlined.

Context, quite often how a person talks or how they gesture adds or helps define the meaning of what they are saying.

Point of View – our old friend PoV haunts what we try to put on paper after an excellent night of gaming. The best advice is to try and tell each scene or vignette from one character’s point of view

How do you integrate the dice rolling into the story? You must be inventive.

People have tried transcribing adventures and it just doesn’t work, if you don’t believe me, try it, – I HAVE! What a nightmare to decipher.

If you have never role played an adventure game with pen and paper – I highly recommend it. If you are looking of an example of excellent narrative role players, please watch:


Be Well – dcd

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