Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

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Arenblade
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Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Arenblade » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:58 am

Hello fellow Fear The Boot fans!

My name is Arenblade and I have run a campaign and am writing a book based upon it.

I could use some help/advice/opinions on various aspects listed at the bottom!

So I remember watching an anime back in highschool called Record of Lodoss or Lodoss Wars. When I researched it, I learned that it was a short story that was posted in the news paper every weekend and that it was from the records that a player took from their weekly D&D campaigns.
The D&D group was in Japan and the short stories were so successful that they made an anime and movie out of it.

So is anyone working on a story that is inspired or copied from a campaign that they played in?

One tip that I feel strong about is:
For a video game or table top roleplaying game: you want players to have an array of skills and magic or powers at their disposal. However if characters in a novel/book has a huge amount of abilities and powers then I found it difficult to create as much drama and such.

Anyone have advice along those lines or any suggestions for me? I would be much appreciated!

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Chris
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Chris » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:44 pm

I have a few campaign/adventures from the past that I plan to turn into fiction at some point.

The key isn't what the characters can do, it's what they did.

If the story wasn't interesting in regards to what they went through (as opposed to what monsters they killed), then it's not worth telling
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Pilgrim
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Pilgrim » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:10 am

I've tried writing up some of my past games as stories, and I've found that a good way to add interest in the more tedious bits is to change perspective. Move from character to character, trying to build in what they might have thought individually of the things that happened. It might not suit everyone, but I found the results pleasing.

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Freemage
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Freemage » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:31 pm

One thing you should do is cull out the unnecessary bits.

For instance, a lot of PCs will take actions or make purchases that never have any effect on the plot. Don't feel you need to list all the 'just in case' purchases, for instance, unless it later caused an issue due to encumbrance.
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clintmemo
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby clintmemo » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:45 am

Freemage wrote:One thing you should do is cull out the unnecessary bits.

For instance, a lot of PCs will take actions or make purchases that never have any effect on the plot. Don't feel you need to list all the 'just in case' purchases, for instance, unless it later caused an issue due to encumbrance.



I could also see using that as a character moment. Fytor and Quirko each come back from shopping. Fytor is bragging about all axes he bought while Quirko is geeking out over his yo-yo.
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Sion
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Sion » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:30 pm

In terms of worrying about the characters being too powerful, thus making an uninteresting story, that is a problem but not an insurmountable one. Just make their opposition that much stronger and invest more in character development.

Keep the combats as short and to the point as possible, if it can be helped. The worst thing that can happen is if the reader can hear the dice rolls behind the sentences. There are some R.A. Salvatore moments where the fights are really drawn out and felt very tedious to me.

The best aspect about a role-playing game in terms of storytelling material is that it has a living dynamic quality to it. Writers often fall into ruts and genres become predictable. Because you have several people contributing to the story that automatically creates a bit of enjoyable chaos that will keep the reader guessing. And because you have the dice contributing its own form of randomness then that adds even more. The problem for you as writer is going to have to be to trim the fat and to bend the truth here and there in order to provide the story with dramatic credibility. At the end of the day it has to work as a story on its own, so the truth of the game log be damned.
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Leoff
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Re: Writing a book/short story based on a roleplaying game

Postby Leoff » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:59 am

Another fun thing you can do with pumped-up characters to make the story and the combat narratively fun, is to note what happened in the game -- including all the bad rolls and the fancy-dancy equipment bonuses -- and then consider what happens when that equipment fails, when the characters do fluff their "rolls", when they think they're their min-maxed self but they aren't. What happens when the heroes slip on a banana peel? What happens when they over-reach themselves? What happens when they get in over their head? You've got to narrate how they got themselves to the next stage of the journey. Does it involve a few weeks locked in a hole-in-she-ground prison cell until they can dig their way to out and get their stuff back, or being nursed to health by an airy form whose outlines they can just barely make out, whose presence makes their skin prickle?
It stretches the story into chapters per day instead of days per chapter, but it's fun. I think it would improve roleplaying skills too.


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