Monday, February 22, 2016

The Writer's GM

The following is an expansion of G+ comment I made to Nick Carter, a fellow writer/soloist.

In this blog I am looking to fuse writing with RPG mechanics. The dice, the rules, the mechanics are a rocket booster to the writing. They extend the thrill of RPG (what is behind that corner?, is that door a trap?, what is in the inviting chest?, how does our hero defeat that monstrosity?) to the sometimes empty chamber of writing. 

The empty page, both like and unlike tabletop's graph paper, can be a very inviting

Sometimes in the written word, we are prisoners of our freedom. Our universe of thoughts just needs a game master. I would dare to say there is comfort in having a Game master in my writing. After all, don't we always need someone to blame?

Like teaching, when I started out I wanted to use everything. Cover every rule, roll every die, set up an entire party of characters that went carousing into an ever-expanding dungeon (homage to +John Yorio and his solo-ing). But the writing got bogged down in the mechanics. The rules and systems felt like sludge where I wanted it to be near-frictionless fiction. Now I use simple fudge ranks and link them to Mythic's Likely rankings. Being that my journey is called 'Rogue of Changes' I allow any and all sudden divination or divination-like practices to flow into the soup. This includes I Ching, tarot, runes, playing cards, story dice, a scene out the window, something on the tele, or poop on my car. It all gets thrown in, very much like the strange casserole one makes from a randomly stocked pantry. 

Fortunately I very much enjoy eating mistakes!