BLOG: Of Dice And Pens.

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was keen on looking into the effects a creative outlet such as a tabletop RPG, or in my particular case Dungeons and Dragons, has on some bodies creative output.

Now obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone and is a textbook example of anecdotal evidence but I think it will curious to explore it.

Previously my daily word count target hovered at around 1000 words. I find it easy to put that amount of words down, I’m not short on ideas (though keeping to one project is a different matter). That target became, in terms of writing content for projects, almost non-existent when I began running a long-term game of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

As the Dungeon Master (DM), or Game Master (GM) as some prefer, it is my job to present the world and the narrative hooks for the players. This is the first pitfall for myself. A DM can, if they choose, run an adventure or campaign in a premade setting. D&Ds 5th Edition (5e) uses the Forgotten Realms as a standard setting, home to a host of well-known literary characters and adventures.

But where is the fun in that? I’m the kind of person who simply has to play around with the established archetypes of fantasy. Tolkien is all well and good ( and I would point you towards Adventures in Middle Earth for a great 5e Tolkien setting) but it’s been done so many times before.

I don’t want to play in a pre-established world with its own lore and standards, I want to create my own. To that end I set about creating a homebrew (where a person creates their own setting) world for my players. That was possibly the first sign of my trouble, but I didn’t see it.

I set about laying down some bare bones for the world in preparation for the first session, I created a land, a town and the name of a few others. I put down some story hooks for quests and created a few Non Player Characters (NPCs) for the players to interact with.

I only set about this small amount as I was unsure if the players would want to continue, they were all first time players after all. Even this surface world-building cut into my daily word counts.

The first session went well, the players enjoyed themselves, I enjoyed myself and they wanted more. Now I am furiously laying tracks before the runaway train and because I enjoyed it, because it was new and exciting, I didn’t mind that game prep and world-building ate into my writing time.

Of course it’s all writing, it’s all creating. That’s something else I want to explore too.

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