It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of Critical Role, an amazing D&D show where a bunch of voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. I mean I focused my entire Word Crawl around their previous campaign. I love that show so much I’m willing to get up at 4 am on Fridays (every once in a while when I don’t have to work) to watch them live.

Over time, it became something of a comfort food for me. Every week, for four hours, I watch amazing, improvised storytelling and get lost in those characters and their adventures.

On top of watching that show for years, I’ve been playing various Role Playing Games for years (had my very first session at 6, though, admittedly, I wasn’t very good at it back then). And here’s a thing:

I’m pretty sure playing RPGs, as well as watching others play, has made me a better writer.

I learned that

  • Failure can be fun too! And if the character always knows everything and always succeeds and what they set out to do it’s takes out the drama. Barely succeeding is also fun.
  • Sometimes leaving things to chance can be fun
  • I don’t have to dwell on plot and character decisions, just make them in the moment and see where it takes me.
  • When in doubt, improvise.

There are still things I should work on as a writer, and I do realize that because it’s something of a different animal, not everything that works in D&D will translate into good writing, but it definitely gets my creative juices flowing and keeps me open to all sorts of weird plot possibilities.

As a side note, one day I’ll write an entire novel like it’s a D&D campaign, rolling dice when my characters take actions to see what happens next.