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If Writing Were Like an RPG

Game Master: Your character is a level one writer. You've got 7 ego points (EP), and you put your skills into . . . wait, why did you put all of these points into Psychology?

Jim: I kind of changed my mind mid-way through the character creation process. Now I want to be a Writer.

GM: Fair enough. Writers are good for multi-classing. The adventure begins in a library. The year is 1995. You're alone in the stacks. Cramped shelves block most of the light, save for the flickering fluorescents directly overhead. The air smells musty.

Jim: I make a search check. [Rolls a 17]

GM: Not bad. You find an old tome marked "Writers Marketplace" from 1992.

Jim: Sweet!

GM: [Reads from the module] The Writers Marketplace is a compendium of monsters, complete with summoning instructions. As a first level Writer, you might want to start out with some of these lower-level--

Jim: Screw that! I need to build some XP! [Flips pages] What about this one? She's got a pretty high challenge rating.

GM: [Raises an eyebrow] Are you sure? We already spent the whole afternoon making this character, and now you want to--

Jim: Yes, I'm sure. I read the invocation.

GM: You've cast "Summon Marion Zimmer Bradley". The casting time is three to six months, but--

Jim: Three to six MONTHS? Are you freaking kidding me?

GM: For the sake of gameplay, we're going to speed things up. MZB has a Challenge Rating of 98. Roll your dice.

Jim: Can I get a +2 bonus to my cover letter for talking about how I'm a level 1 writer? Oh, and I'll tell her all of the spell components I used for crafting my manuscript. [Rolls dice] Um. Does a 16 make it?

GM: [Laughs] Against a CR 98? Marion Zimmer Bradley smites you for-- [Rolls] 3 points of ego damage. Wait, MZB gets a bonus to crush young egos. Make that 5 points of damage. Also, you've failed to craft your manuscript properly. You're left sprawled on the library floor. Bradley shakes her head sadly and disappears in a cloud of blue smoke.

Jim: I bandage my ego wounds and crawl back to the book. What about this one? [Points to another page in the book]

GM: You're down more than half your ego points, and you don't even want to take time to heal? Your funeral. At this rate, we'll be done in time for Battlestar Galactica. Fine, you cast "Summon L. Ron Hubbard". Casting time is . . . wait, casting time is supposed to be another three months? Who writes these rules? Forget it. We're jumping into the next combat. L. Ron steps out of the shadows. His contest has a CR of 96.

Jim: [Rolls] Critical hit! Go me!

GM: Wow. Roll to confirm.

Jim: [Rolls again] Holy crap! Triple damage!

GM: L. Ron fails his save. You finish your manuscript and hold it high. Bunny-shaped knives leap from the pages, driving your opponent to his knees until he bows his head in surrender. You didn't score high enough to win his gold, but you claim his silver and receive a place in his tome.

Jim: Yeah, yeah. Get to the experience points! Come on, lay those beautiful XP on me.

GM: [Calculating] You level up. Congratulations. Roll 1d4 for Ego Points, and you also get 10 skill points to add to your writing. You'll have to decide where to distribute those points, and whether you want to start specializing in any particular concentration.

Jim: My friend said this game was hard. Hey, what's that other sourcebook you're hiding there? Editors and Agents Compendium? When do I get to fight some of those?

GM: [Evil smile] Any time you're ready. . . .



Should I continue the adventure in future posts?

Yes! It's wonderfully silly and fun!
136(86.1%)
No! It's boring and stupid!
0(0.0%)
Spoon!
22(13.9%)

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ex_kaz_maho
Nov. 25th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
100% yes!! Oh, the wonderful memories! The geeky joy! More, please. :)

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Jim C. Hines
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