Getting Creative: Our Old School D&D Podcast
A Writer’s Reflection: How D&D Was and Still is a Creative Breeding Ground
With age comes, if not wisdom, hindsight. I can see now that when I was a youth, I had an abundance of spare time. I wasted a LOT of it. On a given Saturday, I might head over to my friend Randy McClain’s place and we’d spend the day swapping baseball cards, playing Spellfire, and then holding night long D&D sessions in a tent in his backyard.
The baseball cards are worthless.
I couldn’t begin to tell you how Spellfire worked.
But I’d like to think the time laughing through our adventures playing D&D was well spent. We would generally run two campaigns, a funny one set in Forgotten Realms Where I played a self-hating dwarf who pined to be human and he played a steely cool Ranger. It was the very height of adolescent humor and I can only imagine what Mrs. McClain thought of when she heard our snickering in the backyard.
I imagine she stood frozen in fear, hands clutching her chest in the realization that her son and his friends were tremendous geeks, and this with High School just around the corner. “Oh, cruel world.”
When we wanted to test our chops at something serious, something that could take advantage of the night sky and the general spookiness of being twelve and out of doors, we’d switch to the swirling mists of Ravenloft, and adventure as a pair of Werewolf hunters in the enchanted fur trade.
Now at this point you may be nodding your head in understanding, or rolling your eyes at my admission. “I thought he was cool,” the writer imagines you saying as he fuels his own delusions of grandeur.
Hear me out.
These little sessions did more for my ability to string together coherent plots, navigate different character voices and identities, develop comedic timing, and see a story through multiple perspectives than I ever realized at the time.
But now I see benefits, and its something I actively try to grow with my own sons. Only we play the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion game instead of D&D.
Last year, I landed myself a real sweet gig. Nick Cole cast to play the Bro-inspired Barbarian Barabosa for his podcast, Sci-Fi Writers Playing Old School D&D.
It’s proved to be a hilarious couple of hours every month. It’s driven me to write in the fantasy genre in a novel I’m excited to release later this year. I get to relive the RPG glory days with other seasoned writers. With a family, writing, and a day job, there isn’t a lot of time for these sorts of things any more. This makes makes me appreciate the sessions so much more now than in days gone by when time was a valueless commodity. I think you might appreciate the show as well.
Give episode one a listen and let me know what you think.
Oh, and if you like what you see heard… you can read more of my funny side with ’til Death, and the savage Barbarian side with Ledge Town!