Break out those old RPGs everyone, because they just might be your key to unlocking better scenes!

Yup, you read that right folks.  According to one of the classes during this past weekend’s MFRW seminar {which I cannot praise highly enough} playing RPGs can help improve your ability to craft tantalizing scenes.

Here are a list of attributes from class that you can learn from playing RPGs.

1: World Building Exemplified. Have you ever noticed how each world is skillfully crafted in RPGs from it’s occupants {human and otherwise} to it’s laws of magic and even it’s daily life?

2. A Study In Great Characterization. Each time you build a new character, you’re creating a person {as with your writings} you create their appearance, and their attributes. Their attributes limits their characterizations, the same way we limit our story characters, abilities. In writing we go a step further by creating their back ground stories {AKA their backstory. In RPG’s this is mostly done for us. However, each and every choice an RPG character makes, has a profound impact on the rest of their story lines.

3. A Community Of Players = A Community Of Readers. People who like to play the same games already have one thing in common . Chances are if you communicate with them and get to know one another, you’ll figure out you have more in common than you thought. Also, it’s a good bet you’re playing RPG’s of the genre you write or read about. Which means, they most likely are too.

4. Some Slight Of Hand: Evoking A Theme With Subtlety. For this one, I’m going to give you a direct quote from class.

“You soon discover the only thing that divides the opposing cultures you encounter in the story world are the qualities that make them unique but often difficult to accept, qualities they come by as a result of their struggle to survive and adapt. It is, perhaps, this subtle reflection of our real world that makes this game endearing.”

5. It helps you learn how to build a series. {this is one I brought up during class} Each RPG has it’s own series. War Craft, has more than one. It even has a world wide MMO now.

Guild Wars {my family’s favorite} has four, each building off the other at different time periods.

Star Craft has 3 {will be a minimum of four by the end}

Pay close attention to how each subsequent story line builds off of and compliments the other, while being stand-a-lones as well.

That’s true with books as well. The Chronicles Of Narnia had not only the world of Narnia as a common thread, but the children as well. Harry potter has the kids and even the main villain working behind the scenes as their common threads.  Yet, while you can’t deny they are tied together, each story line stands on it’s own. Beginning, middle, end.

Before this class, I’d never thought of how much an RPG could teach me. Now, I’ll never look at playing RPGs as procrastinating my writing again. Even when I feel burnt out on writing and editing, I’ll just break out the RPGs. They’re not only fun, but they offer writer’s a valuable set of insights into crafting stronger, compelling scenes and improving their world building aspects as well.

I’ll be “working” while I play. Now I don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying a day or two of PRGs every now and then.  😉

After that the instructor and I pretty much hijacked the class talking about how fun Guild Wars is and how many options it gives us for creating classes and stuff.

What are some of your favorite RPGs? Have you met any interesting people while playing an RPG? Will you ever look at RPG’s again the same way? Do you have any fun stories to share with us about playing RPGs?

Reference Materials: Role Playing Your Way To Good Scenes: What Playing an MMO Can Do For Your Scenes by Janet Elizabeth Jones at MFRW.

P.S. This post appears in an Editors/Writers Collaboration  here.Be sure to visit the link and vote for your fave article of 2012. Only the top 25 will be in a special issue.


About kittyb78

Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung-Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style, and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon-lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side. Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing, especially Young Adult Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of many writing and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups. Favorite personal quote: "An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

4 responses »

  1. AlphaTrio says:

    Love the post. And the blog. Read the entire thing. You should come check out this new Guild Wars 2 Forum my friend started at – They may be giving away free copies of Guild Wars 2 in the next few weeks for those of you who haven’t pre-ordered yet.

  2. […] Barton presents RPGs = Better Scenes? posted at Kitty’s Inner Thoughts, saying, “Did you know that playing RPGs like Guild Wars […]

  3. […] Barton presents RPGs = Better Scenes? posted at Kitty’s Inner Thoughts, saying, “Did you know that playing RPGs like Guild Wars can […]

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