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A strange collection of side skills

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I'm not sure how it came up, but the other day I got to thinking about the many ways that playing tabletop role playing games has offered benefits elsewhere in life. I think its obvious how playing such games can increase your creativity and gives you another reason to be social, but it seems like the effect reach into a number of less obvious areas.

For example when pondering dastardly things to do yo players in my games, I tend to do best when engaged in some activity that needs enough focus to keep your mind from going into power save mode but not so much that it can wander onto other topics. Walking my dog has been the ideal time for this. She tends to get extra strolls around game sessions, and all the exercise she wants when I'm planning out the next module of the adventure.

Going through high school and college I can't even remember how many English and writing courses I had to take. During that time I'm pretty sure I knew that dictionaries and a thesauruses exists, and probably had a pretty good idea of what their purpose was; I never once opened them though. Now that I'm writing dialog for dozens of NPC's from a plethora of fictional cultures Chrome is telling me that is one of the sites I visit the most, so I think its safe to say my vocabulary has improved.

Last week my wife had to make cookies for a baby shower, and amongst them there were bottles, rattles, and others that needed decorated with icing. Even though the piping bag isn't quite the same as paint brush, painting mini's really does preparing you for decorating cookies. The steady hand for doing lines, blending and layering colors, and being immune to the tediousness of painting 3 dozen cookies the exact same way. Though it should be noted, that while you combination teddy bear, rattle, and rocking horse cookies combined together and painted like a barbarian on a warhorse wielding a giant mace looks really cool, it is probably inappropriate for a baby shower, or so I was told. Several times.

As a player I'm sure you all know that amusing to write up stories and histories for your characters. Its just that being original and thinking up cool stories is hard. The best way to cut corners is to steal stories, and this has pushed me toward doing a lot of reading. In an effort to keep my book shelves from snapping under the weight of all the novels I've read, my wife got me a Nook for any future books. So RPG's have even gotten me new electronic toys!

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  1. Blond Gamer Girl's Avatar
    Agreed on everything does make one more creative. I'm now writing my own fiction.
  2. templeorder's Avatar
    My wife got a nook and i tried it out. I still prefer my library - its like a symbol of accomplishment for me - some measure of how far i've come in life. Its filed with mystery, history, academic, sci-fi, fantasy, speculative, and all manner of other books that sort of represent me as a person. And yes, i draw on all those to tell my stories - which i weave into multi year camapigns in-game. The sum of my experience goes into who i am, which is reflected in my actions - and gaming (specficially GMing) is a big part of that.
  3. Q-man's Avatar
    I used to think the same of my collection of dead tree books, I still do in fact. Its pretty impressive to point at a mountain of books and say "Yeah, I've read all those". You'll also never beat a printed book for flipping through to find some text or skim through a section.

    It was more the laws of physics that pushed me toward getting a nook. The shelves my books were on were literally bowing and threatening to snap under the weight of my collection. If I tried to get any more on there I would have to play some book tetris to get them to fit, then likely the bookshelf would have given up and dumped them all to the floor.

    As I said I still prefer the printed books, but without the nook I would have been hard pressed to store more stories.