Wednesday, October 10, 2007

As Much As I Love Novels

Occasionally I hear D&D described as "like writing a novel." Or GMing as something that GMs do because they can't hack it at other creative pursuits. The Chatty DM occasionally refers to himself as a "failed novelist"--mostly as a joke, I think, but it serves to illustrate the point.

I really don't think this is accurate. There are better analogies than novel writing--directing a movie, for one. (Not my idea. I just stole it.) But the larger point:

I don't GM because I can't write novels. I GM because I love to run games. Because there are some things I can do with a roleplaying campaign that I can't do with a novel, or that are easier in roleplaying, or that are more fun in roleplaying.

And when I want to write a novel, I write a novel. Some ideas, some techniques, are fundamentally novelistic. But I don't think of writing a novel--or any other creative pursuit--as fundamentally superior to roleplaying.


  1. Interesting take on the subject and, self-depreciating jokes aside, I totally agree.

    DMing was my main creative outlet before I started Blogging and it is as good as any other channels. Although the intended audience is much narrower.... (although I'd bet there are novels that see less exposure than the average homegrown RPG scenario on a Friday Night).

  2. That narrowness is one of DMing's real strengths. You can and do know your audience very well.

    The main reason I mentioned the comment was that it was what got me thinking about the subject.