A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting as part of a set narrative and main plot set up by the gamemaster (GM) or moderator. There are several forms of RPG; the original table-top, video games, live action – in which players act out their roles – and the online writing or story kind. Other than fanfiction, we started writing together in online writing RPGs. In fact, several of our novels began life in this form… or, at least, the characters did.
So, what exactly is an online writing RPG and how does it work? If you’re lucky you get together two or more decent writers, writing one or more characters each, united under a common premise and guided by the creator moderator or ‘mod’ – who generally require an application for each character the player wishes to play. These applications generally require a full background, and personality, along with an appearance including style of dress and any tattoos, scars and piercings. Also, a played by or ‘PB’, a face, generally a celebrity to represent their character (though to be brutally honest the character can often depart in your head from looking exactly like their PB, that, and it’s much more difficult to find PBs of anyone who isn’t American and white.)
Our major WIP ‘Emissaries’ was actually born of an RPG, I (Loz) started five years ago (in September), and yes my brain’s just gone, ‘Good God has it been that long!?‘, which indeed it has, and we have continued to write them through the platform they started in. In this case insanejournal as a Private Storyline or PSL, as it suits us, and as individuals with their own brains, it suits our characters too. They have faces, though my girl insists her hips are wider, her boobs bigger and she doesn’t have the roots her PB does; and Michelle’s boy is shorter and has lighter, longer hair than his. We have also set up PSLs for Balancers, the Cornwall WIP, and a few others. We obviously don’t want to go into too much detail because of… paranoia.
All we would say about RPGs to any writers who would care to try it, it’s a fantastic way to learn how to have characters react to the unexpected, possibly enter new genres and learn from the styles of others, as well as have fun and make some good friends, such as is the case with us.
*Picture – ‘RPG Addict‘ – © Nerd-Apparel.com