Adventures in Role-Playing Online

While I was out in Utah, I had the chance to do something I certainly had never thought I’d end up doing. My friend Dan Wells has started an online roleplaying group with some of his author friends. Typecast RPG essentially has him DM the other authors as they play through different campaigns he designs for them, all of it done on camera, live on Twitch and then stored on YouTube for later viewing. Dan asked me if I’d be up for playing through a session, and I happily agreed, even though my experience doing actual tabletop RPGs is quite limited.

Me being me, I agreed to do it, added it to my calendar, and then thought nothing more of it until about an hour before it was supposed to start and I was actually on site, meeting the other authors. (Who are the authors? Glad you asked. Howard Tayler (who writes the Shlock Mercenary web comic), Brian McClellan (author of the excellent Powder Mage series), Mari Murdock (author of some of Fantasy Flight Games’ Legend of the Five Rings series), and Ethan Sproat (Director of Proposal Development at Utah Valley University). Charlie Holmberg (author of the Paper Magician series and others) was away on a trip, so she wasn’t in the session I participated in.

I got there, asked a bit about what ruleset we were using (D&D 5e), chatted for a little about what was happening in the storyline and where my character fit in, and then we were off and running. All told, the episode ran about two and a half hours, and you can see me in all my glory here:

What was it like? Well, the episode I was on turned out to be very exposition-heavy, meaning that there were a lot of huge, world altering reveals that meant a whole ton to anyone who’d been following along with the campaign, but left me fairly confused and fifth-wheely. Imagine if Frodo’s distant cousin showed up during the Council of Elrond, popping in for a visit while he was in the area, and then suckered into attending the long meeting. He might be a good fighter, but there wasn’t much cause to actually fight anything at any point. (Even though I did get to punch the lights out of one person. Natural 20!)

I’ll admit, I was tempted to mess everything up a couple of times, particularly when they were all gathered around and the big bad evil dude was detailing just how evil he really was. I wanted to just start trying to stab him to see what happened, but I decided I wouldn’t give into the whim, and I held myself back. Didn’t want to ruin their whole story.

Would I do it again? You bet! I had a fun time, even if most of it was just spectating. I think it would be a blast to do more regularly, and if I could carve out time in my schedule, it would be a great way to spend it. Will it ever happen again, though? Not likely. There are many, many things I love about Maine, but if staying in the thick of the fantasy writing scene had been my big goal, then leaving Utah was a huge mistake.

In any case, thanks to Dan for having me on, and to the rest of the gang for putting up with my newbness. If any of what I’ve written sounds appealing to you, I encourage you to check out Typecast RPG on YouTube and Twitch.


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