Reverb12 Day Twenty Nine: The Coming Year

What do you want to try this coming year?  Is it something that has been on the bucket list for a while, or is it something you swore up and down to others you’d never, ever do?  What new waters – those uncharted or those well-navigated – will you dip your toes into this year?

Anything new that I would try in 2013 would have to be uplifting. Fun. Social, but in control. That is to say no clubs, no big parties, none of that sort of extrovert-oriented affair. And while I have no idea how to go about doing it, (or even if I will bother doing so), I thought if given the chance I might try to find a place to delve into role playing games. (RPG.)

Let’s clear up a few things. There are about a thousand different types of RPGs. The type that I would potentially like to try would be the table, pencil and dice kind. Again, I am not privy to all of the details of how those things work, but what exposure I have had to people who partake makes them sound like an ideal new endeavor for several reasons.

To begin with, they are usually  reserved for smaller groups. 5-10 people according to most of the research I’ve done so far. As an introvert I don’t want to be surrounded by 30 strangers when I try something new. A more intimate setting where it’s quiet enough to hear both others talk and myself think is ideal for those types of games I’d think. Certainly it’s ideal for keeping me calm.

Another plus is that I don’t have to dress up or run around with toy swords to play this kind of RPG. Now I have no intrinsic objection to that kind of role playing (“Live Action Role Playing” aka LARPing), but it’s not for me. I understand the appeal of creating a character and imagining a different world under the guidance of s story teller. But I’d want it to be just that…imagining. Getting dressed up and running around the park or a farm is a bit intimidating for me.

Which brings me to another advantage to playing table RPGs; creativity. It sounds like it could be a quite useful exercise for the fiction writer as well as the actor.

True, one doesn’t sit down and compose a linerl story at an RPG, as chance plays a large role in what unfolds. But without stretching the imagination pursuant to new worlds, rules, plots, conflicts and the like, role playing in this context is impossible. Kind of sounds like the mindset one needs to write good fiction doesn’t it?So it seems to me in the least to be a suitable companion activity for fiction writers. Provided they find both a group and a game that’s a proper fit.

As for me, I haven’t the first clue right now how to find either. is not much help for total beginners like myself. Plus, again, I’m not even sure I will do it. But I’ve been giving it some thought over the last few months and it seems like an activity where both actor and writer types would be at home, and where I would have a regular chance to interact in a more introvert-friendly atmosphere.

Obviously millions of people play RPGs every day, so it’s nothing unique. Nor is it anything I ever swore I’d never do. I just haven’t ever given it a lot of thought until now.

So maybe table top RPGs will be my new thing for 2013, if the stars line up in favor.



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