Like the old TV show “Perry Mason” everyone always admitted to his or her crimes and he never lost a case. At one time or another, dark fantasy writers have to face their accusers, answer these questions truthfully, and throw your destiny onto the mercy of your readers.
Writer, do you admit to being a lifetime nerd? Yes.
Isn’t it true that you and some of your awkward friends in college sat around a table and played role-playing games like you were some kind of medieval war heroes? Uh..yea.
Isn’t it true that you are completely familiar with a medieval role-playing game having memorized every rule in the Player’s Handbook, every creature in the Monster Manual, and have familiarity with the Dungeon Master’s Guide? Uh..not the DM guide.
Isn’t it true that you know the difference between a longsword, a shortsword, a bastard sword, and a two-handed sword, which is a bit unusual for 18-year old college girls? Uh..nod.
Isn’t it true that you used to roll dice with three sides, six sides, and 20 sides, and some of your friends carried these around in bags? I rolled other people’s dice. I didn’t have my own.
Isn’t it true that you shout expletives when you roll a “one” or a “double ought” or when you “lose initiative” and nobody knows what you’re talking about but your carb-consuming friends? Yes.
Isn’t it true that you played characters like elves and pretended to cast spells like some kind of wizard out of cartoons and kids’ books? I didn’t play an elf.
Isn’t it true that you carry an entire satchel of details about your character, including costumes, statistics about intelligence, looks, strength, and add “levels” as you continue to play in twelve-hour sessions? Not all were twelve hours. Most were just ten. I didn’t use a satchel.
And is it appropriate to assume you belong to a group in costumes acting out these fights in weapons and costumes? No. But you know what it is? Yes. So there! You do know it, and you know people that belong to it? Yes, but..
Isn’t it true that you’re completely familiar with “modules” like “Ravenloft,” “Fafhrid and Gray Mouser,” and “The World of Greyhawk?”
I didn’t play Gray Mouser or Ravenloft.
Isn’t it true that you know the difference between chain mail, plate armor, leather armor and the number of gold pieces it takes to purchase? I didn’t play characters wearing armor.
And last, but not least, Writer, do you have any clue whatsoever how to play the online game “WarCraft?” No.
Writer, admit to the readers that you are guilty, a former role-playing gamer, eternal nerd, and dark fantasy writer. Yes, sob.
Guilty as charged!