Role-Playing Online: For Writers

Role-Playing Helps Stories Matter

Yuri role-playing as a warrior for hire.I love small groups socializing with story telling.

Role-playing games take this into the realm of collaboration, and such mutual efforts have survived transference to the virtual tabletop.

A fantastic resource for writers:

Nothing tests a novel’s fantasy setting like having a dozen people bouncing around inside it with characters they’ve created and control.

Role-playing is the jiu-jitsu of storytelling.

It’s all about live situations where players constantly challenge themselves and others in a simulated life or death struggle… by rolling.

Roll20 only requires a browser for role-playing

Monster of a role-playing map. Made at http://donjon.bin.sh/.My current book, Ranger of Path, is based on a role-playing campaign I created and game mastered over a decade ago.

Now it has come full circle, and I’ve created a new campaign based on this book.

Go where the people are.

It’s true with politics, writing, and role-playing. I need to engage people to be successful. Hence, a website is the easiest path to initiate as it utilizes what people already use.

Don’t attempt to change behaviors if you don’t have to.

Roll20 is a virtual tabletop website I use to manage my current role-playing game within my book’s setting.

Requiring a download to read or play filters people away.

I’ve been able to convince friends to try this role-playing solely because it is browser based. Any laptop can handle it, as can some tablets, but the website is still a bit much for smart phones.

Virtual tabletop systems requiring installation are non-starters. Fantasy Grounds may work better, however…

It’s the age of millennials:  Commitment is hard. Obsession is easy.

I enjoy collaborative storytelling with the widest variety of people. Therefore, to hook interest, I keep it simple.

Just click and play.

I do ask my role-playing companions to use the downloaded version of Discord for communication. This is due to the browser version not having a push-to-talk feature. Without that, a hot mic is a constant concern.

A bag of chips on comms is a lower level of hell torture.

I have had to switch region settings because of connection issues, but overall it is a fantastic free comms tool. My Eve Online alliance switched from Teamspeak to Discord last year, and they are very needy and hard to please.

I do pay a $100 a year to Roll20

It’s for features that make my game mastering easier and my player’s more engaged.

Roll20’s free hosting does work fine for role-playing. Like I mentioned with Scribophile, try it out. The basic version may be plenty.

I appreciate the work Roll20 is doing and don’t mind supporting them as part of the growing creator community that has welcomed me.

The site also has a gifting system that lets players directly reduce their hosting game master’s cost. It’s a great way to show appreciation for the collaborative storytelling facilitator.

The Pantheon’s Gyme

Great character for role-playingEvery other Monday, I host my role-playing game session:

The players begin in Titantale.
A city where holy war compels
Mayhem and mystery.
A sandbox with intrigue
Is key to making tales titanic.

This living story is anchored by my brother playing Colgrevance, a character based on Don Quixote.

The other adventurers must band together to steer this wayward knight, or they may all chase valor off a cliff.

We are fourteen sessions in, and I’ve learned to manage the site’s features pretty well. I would like to start streaming on Twitch through a player character’s eyes.

Next session, Colgrevance and his entourage will attend a ball to hunt a vampiress that’s way beyond the dangers a windmill presents.

I’m betting fans of my Ranger of Path book would be interested in seeing a live game taking place within that story’s setting.

I’ve set up a reward on my Patreon page to allow a limited number of people direct access to our role-playing game. They will be able to poke players in the role of monsters and other antagonizing effects.

I need to grow a fan base for the setting, not just my book.

I bought Scrivener to plot out my novel sequel.

This writing management software has a layout that works well enough for me to use it for everything.

Google docs and sheets don’t work for me anymore, because I’m juggling a role-playing campaign and a book series in the same setting.

I need it all in one easy to navigate place, and I want it available off-line. My scheduled creation time shouldn’t be a wasted if the Internet is out.

Seeke story, forever my son

Cover art I made.For years I’ve put my son to bed most nights with the same story.

I’m not retelling it, because I continue it. Freestyle, I flow until his eyes close.

The story started with a shepherd boy walking with a giant wolf.

That first night, he fell in a hole and found a sword he named Sharpie. As of last night that boy is a man leading an intersteller team of aliens and robots, flying a starfighter named after his wolf, Gray Dog.

Yuri also has a character in my role-playing game, Slip.

It allows him to chime in before bed like an oracle with an attention deficit disorder.

He sees the secrets on my screen, but he’s eight. So, he tends to unleash a tornado of words instead of wisdom.

With limited time, I’ve adapted writing to blend in family and fun.

I think I’m a better writer because of this mix. It is a tricky recipe, but a healthier one than stewing in my basement alone.

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