I’ve got this song stuck in my head, “Older” by They Might Be Giants. Except, instead of the lyrics going “You’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older,” they’re going “You’re further than you’ve ever been and now you’re even further.” I didn’t write much again. D&D ran a little late and things were going so well I was unwilling to end things early. 6:30 to 11 isn’t super late, but it’s definitely later than we’ve played most days. Usually we’d play from about 6:30 or 7 until 9 or 9:30. The longer sessions are definitely nicer as a the DM, but they’re also harder to incorporate into what is a rather busy month for me…
I shouldn’t be complaining. I had a lot of fun, my players had a lot of fun, and one of the characters almost died because he got kissed by a demon (not the first time it has happened to him). I’d like to spill some more details about what they’ve been doing compared to what I’ve been planning, but all my players could theoretically read this blog post and I don’t want to tempt them with meta-gaming knowledge.
Tomorrow night, after my bills are paid, checks deposited, and laundry is folded, I will sit down and write until at least midnight. I should be able to pick up some decent progress there. I will also attempt to do the same thing Thursday night and Friday night. If I can do that, I might be able to recover my numbers to the point where I’m no longer floating around the 50% mark (pretty sure I’m below even that right now…).
I know I can do this. I wonder if that knowledge is making me over-confident? I suppose we’ll see.
Every character has strengths and some of them are even fully aware of these strengths. Today, write a scene in which a character not only knows and relies on their strengths, but also gets over-confident and fails because they took their ability for granted. Show them failing when they should have succeeded, not because the task was simple but because they approached it without due care.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with interesting characters, one of the best places to find inspiration (and make sure it stays only at inspiration) is on forums of table top RPGs. My personal favorite, for use as both a DM and a writer, is ENworld.org. There are just so many wonderful resources for world building and so many well-crafted NPCs and characters lying around that it is almost impossible to browse the forums without being inspired to take your character creation to the next level.
One of the keys to “originality” is to take stuff that already exists and combine it in new and interesting ways. Find five characters you like and mash them all together, trimming off the extra bits and filling in the gaps until you have one fully solid and new character. You can even do this with plots, cultures, and even entire worlds. Mix and match until you’ve got something wonderful and new. There’s nothing wrong with taking notes from existing works or creators, just make sure that all you’re taking is notes and not entire characters or places.