Sorry the Friday blog is late this week, but I wanted to share about the game night I had Friday evening. My “Writing & Editing for Gaming” course is nearly in its final month, which is exciting and scary. My students are working hard on their final projects along with their weekly assignments. As I mentioned earlier, some of my students had minimal or no experience with roleplaying games before taking this course, so I offered to run a D&D 5e one shot for them. That first class RPG night went so well, another group of my students asked me to please have a second game class RPG night.
So, last night, I ran a second group of my students through the same adventure I did for the first group, Part I of the Lost Mines of Phandelver from the D&D Starter Set. I followed a similar format of introducing the students to roleplaying, D&D, Theater of t(he mind, and mentoring them about roleplaying (you can read more details in the first experience post). For those interested, this party consisted of a highly dramatic human tempest cleric who sought bounty on the seas and land, an elven noble who studied the arcane more as a hobby than a profession (which led to his untimely end), a human warrior seeking glory in battle after his years of service as a soldier, a halfing rogue torn between his desire for riches and his moral compass, and a half-elf bard forced to mother this ragtag group of misfits when all she wanted to do was perfect her performance. This second adventure was full of drama, over-the-top combat, and some off-the-wall comedy. The night ended late, but everyone had a great time and continued talking about the adventure long after we had finished cleaning up the room. There was talk among my students of doing more roleplaying together which I found very encouraging. So glad they enjoyed the evening, and the new player finding a new hobby he enjoys.
The first class RPG game night taught me how much I enjoy running new and young gamers. They bring such a unique energy and inquisitiveness as they experience this hobby for the first time or explore it further than they have before. This second game night, running the same adventure as the first, emphasized how different each gamer and gaming group is. The same storyteller running the same story can have dramatically different experiences and results based on the players. For those of you that run convention games or run the same module for multiple gaming groups have likely experienced this before, but for me this was a new and enlightening experience. Even this old school gamer can learn new things, and these two game nights have definitely made me a better storyteller and game master.
This class gets better by the week as the students open up more and as I grow in my understanding of how best to teach this newly designed course. Because of the feedback already received from the students, the Professional Writing department’s leadership have asked me to consider repeating this course in the future and perhaps making it an ongoing course in the major. I look forward to seeing where these talented and passionate students go as writers and editors, whether they work in the game industry or not. They have touched my life, and I hope I have made a small impact on their creative futures.