Q&A: What About RPGs?

Brad Nunnally, co-author of UX Research is a sounding board for a lot of my improv content. In most of our conversations, the comment usually arises “there’s a lot of improvisation in RPGs and table top games”

“there’s a lot of improvisation in RPGs and table top games”

Brad is right. There is a lot of this. Brad has turned me onto Critical Role, where a number of table-top RPG players play, and record their session in real time. Be warned, these videos are hours long. Iv’e also had recent discussions with Dan Brown (@brownorama) where I was introduced to @improvforgamers.

I toyed for a while how to best write about RPGs and improvisation. Since I don’t play RPGs, I feel any “how this is like that” post would not only be incomplete but would lack context of someone genuinely familiar with both domains.

YES, Both Improv and RPGs start with rules, have complex world and character building, and are more engaging by understanding our characters motivations and drivers.

Rather than focus on that, I want to build on my previous post “What About Whose Line” and leave you with a short video of Will Wheaton joining the cast for a version of Duet.

Will Wheaton joins Whose Line is it Anyways for a game of Duet, combining RPG and Improvisation.

Improv is Everywhere

Will Wheaton is a self proclaimed nerd. And while I can’t go into all the ways table top gaming and improv borrow from each other, it’s easy to see how improv is everywhere.

I wrote Collaborative Improv with the intent of drawing parallels to product design and collaboration as a whole. But we can learn from this craft in all aspects of our lives. Improv exists in corporate culture, in gaming, in dating, in life-coaching, and in stress management. How might we extend our understanding of improv from theater to something more as a life skill?

I want to hear from you

What questions about improvisation do you have? Respond to the original tweet, or comment below!

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