Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fantasy Ebooks and RPG's

As many of you would know my fantasy history is intertwined between a myriad of different media but without doubt the majority of my time was spent living in the fantasy worlds of role playing games (RPG's) and I thought that it would be a good idea to make a post regarding how fantasy novels and RPG's are entwined.

When looking at the history of RPG's it is obvious that a huge amount of their content is derived from fantasy works and in particular the classics such as Robert E Howard and J R R Tolkien who helped to define the genre as we now know it by laying down a foundation for us to work with. Thus it falls on us as the current users of fantasy to expand upon these early works and broaden the field of the genre and the depth of it for all to enjoy.

Probably the easiest example of how the two different media are connected can be seen through the concept of inspiration. Essentially written works offer those GM's who have writers block, or are struggling to get a good and engaging storyline that the players want to explore, an opportunity to pillage some of their treasure in the form of plot lines, character profiles or settings. By taking a broad basis from one or several different sources and changing a few aspects to it a previously struggling GM can have an enjoyable set of adventures ready to go.

Although this view only looks at one side of the coin as the reverse is also true, if you are looking to become a writer either for a job or just for enjoyment, then RPG's offer a boundless amount of inspiration and also a testing ground as to whether or not your plot lines, characters and detail engages the players enough to engage a larger audience. You can also look to use this medium to your advantage as it forces you to develop your world and hone the aspects that make it unique and fun to interact with.

So for me I see these two mediums as mutually supportive of each other to the benefit of the genre as a whole as each single aspect will help to spawn ideas and ingenuity for the other. The next phase of course is with the rapid increase of computer gaming RPG's to meld stories, ideas and worlds across this new platform.


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