I’ve always enjoyed playing D&D, and some ten years ago was amazed to discover play-by-post (PBP) games where users across the internet came together to slowly weave their adventures on web forums. Players take turns writing up actions for their characters in response to other posts made by the DM. It’s slow, but with a good group of player’s its a fun way to practice writing. In the last few years I’ve really enjoyed the chance to indulge my enjoyment of both gaming and writing.
One of the great things that playing PBP games has helped me with is to quell the incessant part of my brain that wants to edit every line that I type. It’s that terrible urge to slow down to find the perfect word, preventing the story from pouring out on the page. PBP has helped me to “get on with it” and get the words written. Sure, I go back and tweak things, but I try not to do too much of it until I’ve managed to capture most of my immediate ideas in a some semblance of text. After all, the game is waiting for my post!
What follows is a recent post that I had fun writing, from a game that I’m currently playing in. My character is a rogue, a somewhat of a stereo-typical scoundrel. He’s been a fun character to write and play, probably because he’s so different then the every day me. The premise of this post is that my character is about to rejoin his companions on the eve of an expected orc attack. Here goes:
Markus received the note. He was depressed by the sight of Billups, who was made up to look like a “true” warrior. He knew the man was trying his best to be a soldier. Poor sod.
The smells of breakfast had forced him conscious. He banged his head on the table he found himself under. Apparently he’d passed out beneath it the night before. He shot a glance to his feet and exhaled in relief upon seeing his boots. He breathed a word of thanks to Tymora and did his best to stand up, his every bone aching from the hard floor.
He couldn’t remember much of the previous evening, aside from a lovely dark haired girl with whom he’d drank too much. Early on, he’d figured out that she was feigning interest in him. She was young and had brilliant eyes that drank in everything. She had a way with words that drew others in, making them feel at ease. She clearly had a gift for conning people. He decided to let her bilk him, but only after he’d hid most of his coin down his boots. He left a few coins in his belt purse so she could walk away with something at the end of the night. It had felt good to be fawned over for a change.
With a smile he returned the coins from his boots to his now empty belt pouch. He stood warily for a moment and considered ordering breakfast, but his stomach still roiled from last evenings drink. He’d made sure to have plenty to drink last night as he thought it might be the last good bender he’d enjoy for a while. Despite his nauseousness, he knew he needed to eat something, so he swiped a pair of apples from the bar and exited to the street.
He forced down both apples while walking. His feet moved slowly as he pondered his fate, wondering why he still continued forward to rejoin his companions. He felt no urge to join a cause. If anything, his instincts were to turn and run as quickly from this conflict as he could.
But a strange feeling pulled him forward. Guilt. He couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his hapless companions alone to face whatever stupid thing they decided they needed to do. Sure they were skilled warriors one and all, but they’d be helpless without him. They kept getting themselves into stupid situations that ultimately he’d have to get them out of.
He arrived at the meeting place just as Mag’s asked where the others are. Heck if I know.
His head pounded from the exertion of walking, so he reached into his pack and pulled out a bottle of dwarven whiskey. He took a long swig and waited for the day to begin.