Posts Tagged ‘Role-Playing Games’

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Pullman, WA for the MosCon Revival. It’s going to be a fun weekend of panels, stumping for SpoCon, and feeling nostalgic for days gone by.

My panel is Do Women Game Differently? Our first task, I assume, will be to define what KIND of gaming — tabletop role-playing, video gaming, or something else? Then we’ll talk about the intersection of plot goals and play goals and how some of these may be more oriented to men’s interests than women’s. Which doesn’t mean the gals don’t play, just that we have to head-canon things like conversation with NPCs that may not be built into the game. It should be a fun discussion, anyhow.

My other main interest is in a First Pages panel that will be led by Cat Rambo. They don’t give much direction on their web site, but usually it means you bring your first page and the moderator reads it, then the panelists give critiques. I’m going to bring the first page for The Ghostly Grove, the next novella in my Minstrels of Skaythe series. The feedback should be valuable as I prepare for a fall publication.

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Honestly, this headline is a little deceptive. The iconic role-playing game never really went away, although it’s had waves of popularity like all cultural touchstones do. This article from a year ago in The New Yorker does a great job detailing some of the ups and downs. D&D is now in its 5th Edition, while another popular game called Pathfinder is a spin-off based on the 3rd Edition D&D rules.

As a role-player since 1981, I can attest that doomsayers have long predicted the end of our beloved paper-and-pencil games. Video games have risen to great prominence with their fast action and colorful presentation. Yet there still is a place for the wild creativity of a role-playing game. Much as I enjoy playing video games, I’m constantly chafing at the limited options when it comes to dialogue and decision making. With a good GM, video games just can’t compare with in-person games for spontaneity and nuance.

Most interesting, writer Neima Jaromi highlights a trend I’ve personally observed in schools when I worked as a substitute. Some classes use D&D to teach social lessons. Role-playing encourages kids to imagine themselves in a different life. If they want to have fun, they have to be flexible and work with a group. Role-playing also includes rewards, both as level-ups bringing new abilities, and with treasures found. More flexibility comes into play as the group must decide who gets to keep a certain item. They learn that the entire group can benefit from one character’s success.

I know I’m preaching to the choir, so go ahead and read the article here.

Coming Up

I will be at Fall Folk Festival this weekend, reading my stories and greeting the public. That makes this a perfect time for a guest post! Author J. Keller Ford, will be talking about the role of dragons in her Chronicles of Fallhallow series. I’m looking forward to that, and I hope you are, too.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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