Roleplaying Games as Personal, Emotional Challenges

Before I gave them a try, all I knew about roleplaying games (RPGs) was the tropes I saw on TV: a game master (GM) sitting behind a trifold with I-don’t-even-know-what printed on it, players mouth-breathing and rolling twenty-sided dice, Tolkien-esque orcs, machismo-heavy dwarves, sexy elves, and players responding with cheers or groans to tell those watching the cartoon whether the story within a story was going well or poorly. At its best, this was disinteresting; at its worst it was arbitrary (GMs deciding outcomes based on unknown mechanics), crude (killing monsters to level up and get coins), and sexist (damsels in distress within the narrative, and no non-male players).


My First Improv Workshop

I’m one of those extroverted introverts. It’s not an oxymoron; it means that I can and do enjoy interacting with people in an energetic way in certain situations. I am comfortable and confident running a role-playing game for strangers at a con. Yet this past Saturday I was terrified to stand in front of my friends. (more…)