One of the hobbies that I’ve been interested in for years but never actually able to enjoy is tabletop roleplaying. I have the books, I read the blogs, I play the computer versions, but the act of actually sitting down and playing a roleplaying game (like Dungeons and Dragons) has always eluded me. The few times I’ve tried it with my wife, we’ve petered out, probably because we lack the extra dynamism and problem solving power that comes with having many people at the table).
However, in recent months I have been getting more and more into the idea of solo roleplaying. This isn’t like playing a video game–rather, it’s using an extra rule set to play a “traditional” RPG, like Dungeons and Dragons, by yourself or with one other player.
This sounds geeky. It is. However, it can also be awesomely fun. The stories generated by using these systems can often surprise the player, even though you are both “game master” and player.
What is is not is traditional role-playing. It is certainly different than playing at a table full of friends. It’s quiet, for one, and more idea driven (at least in my experience). I am creating the idea of a story more than the execution of a story. Broad swaths of a world are created and changed in an instant, and things like a conversation can be abstracted away to nothing.
What’s interesting, though, is that despite the extra layer of abstraction, at the end of a gaming session one often comes away with the same feeling as if one had played a full game. The tools might be different, but a story is created.
One of my goals for this Body, Mind, Wallet project is to engage in activities that are good for all aspects of my being. Solo roleplaying, which requires the mind to be in a state to create, is one of those activities. I hope to be able to create a running log of solo RPG adventures on this blog, along with everything else I’m going to share. This is a creative act, and although the stories may be fictional, I believe that the mental effects of living these fantastic adventures will improve my well-being, creativity, and happiness.
Spend at least 2 hours per week engaging in a creative act via solo roleplaying.