Roleplaying Game Market
like to write horror, fantasy, or science fiction, and like most writers, you
aspire to be published. My question
to you, then, is: have you ever considered writing for the paper roleplaying
same skills that you use to create believable, compelling fiction could be used
to create gaming supplements that do what no novel can: allow your audience to
actively participate in your world, experience your plots, and
interact with your characters. Imagine
authoring something that will not only be read for enjoyment, but played
for enjoyment, too.
know. You want to be a novelist,
not a game writer. Well, consider
the fact that several bestselling authors have roots in gaming. Im sure youve heard of a phenomenal series called Dragonlance.
Well, Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman worked on gaming products for
TSRs Dungeons and Dragons before hitting it big as novelists.
To this day, Tracy Hickman is widely known for writing a game adventure
called Ravenloft, which he wrote with his wife, Laura Hickman.
The Hickmans adventure not only spawned an entire horror-based D&D
game, but it sparked a series of novels by various authors, as well.
And maybe youve heard of Raymond Feist and R.A. Salvatore?
Parts of Feists world of Midkemia were previously published as gaming
supplements, and Salvatore claims to be a long-time gamer to this day.
In fact, he wrote the D&D gaming supplements The Bloodstone Lands
and The Accursed Tower. Of course, he is most widely known for his
dark elf novels set in the Forgotten Realms, a D&D setting.
I gotten your attention? I hope so.
Im not saying that roleplaying games are an extremely profitable
market, though some are. Most
companies pay between two to five cents per word, which is about the standard
pay for a short story in the magazine market.
And, like the magazine market, the publishing outlets are very few.
The point is, however, that you can hone your world building skills in
the market, and you can gain an audience for your future novel endeavors as you
do so. Its something to
toughest part about writing for the game market is that youre required to
learn a games mechanics in order to write for it.
Its also good to have played the game, in addition to processing its
rules. Both of these things require
time. In addition, if you choose to
write gaming adventures, which are basically playable plots, then you need a
logical mentality. For instance,
you need to cue the Game Master--the person running the game--on how to deal
with foreseeable, conditional situations. You
might say, If the characters attempt to open the secret door without the
necessary magical key, they are immediately teleported to the top of Mount
Viricoz. Its important to
outline as many situations as possible, as this helps the Game Master direct the
outcome of the game. Writing game
supplements, like playable kingdoms, is a little more straightforward and
novelist-like, but knowing the rules is still a must.
you are interested in deciding if this market suits your writing skills, you
might want to check out the following long-lived markets and their game lines:
(GURPS: Generic Universal Roleplaying System, Produces the online Pyramid
(produces the Penumbra D20 line, Feng Shui, Unknown Armies,
and Ars Magica)
(producers of Dungeons & Dragons and two D&D-related magazines: Dragon
(Grey Ghost Games, producers of FUDGE)
Jackson Games maintains an extensive list of game companies on their site.
You can find other possible markets from their link: www.sjgames.com/general/companies.html
hope to see your name on the gaming shelves soon!