Sunday, March 9, 2014


As you probably gathered from the title, this is a public service announcement for the roleplaying game community.  The following is a bit of wisdom that's worked well for me over the past few months.  I hope others can benefit from my RPG PSA.

Time is a valuable commodity to some of us, most of us, probably, especially when you've got a spouse, kids, demanding career, other hobbies, etc.  I had things I needed to do, RPG related writing, and a limited amount of time to configure them - toss ideas around the old brain box - before putting those thoughts down on paper.

As an experiment, I decided to cut-out my usual talk radio and CD listening on the commute to and from work.  It only takes me about 25 minutes to get to work and just a little bit longer than that to get back home due to traffic. My hypothesis was this: starved for distraction, my wandering mind would eventually be forced to focus on some of the things I was trying to formulate RPG-wise and, from that, a few good ideas would materialize.

It worked.  Maybe it took 10 minutes of driving without listening to anything but the muffled sounds outside the car (usually much less), but eventually, I thought about game mechanics, NPCs, magic items, monsters, the triumphs and tribulations of previous sessions, something I wanted to try in a future session, the nature of gaming, etc.  Most days, by the time I reached my destination I had a little something that made my silent drive worth while.  Occasionally, I'm able to solve major problems or come up with a string of neat creations in a row... bing, bing, bing!

So, I encourage you (those, like myself, with a temporal deficiency in their lives) to try it.  Rather than doing exactly what I did, take the essence of this experiment and apply it to yourself, to your own situation.  There will probably be fleeting moments of discomfort at first - the mind loves its distractions and hates to do without them - however, the price one pays for free floating thoughts is worth it.  That liberated imagination can easily (eventually, at the very least) be directed towards gaming, your job, relationships, superhero underwear collecting, or whatever it is you want to think about.