What is Role For Initiative?

I think about RPGs. A lot. As both a Dungeon Master and player of D&D 5e, I often find myself musing on the nature of the game, what is is, what it can be, how I approach it from either side of the DM Screen. A lot of this gets written down, and I need somewhere to put it…

Here at Role For Initiative, you’ll find a steady stream of articles, essays and discussion of D&D (and roleplaying games in general) from the perspective of someone who sees the heart of the game not in dice or Spell Slots or Ability Scores, but in the uniquely infinite possibility it offers for storytelling, drama and shared experiences.

I’m not here to tell you how to play the game, or what the best Spell for your Bard is (though obviously, it’s Vicious Mockery, because who doesn’t want to insult a monster to death?), but to get you thinking about the roleplaying and storytelling potential that make tabletop RPGs something truly special. Whether you’re planning a session, creating a character or building a world, I hope my ramblings can inspire you to take a risk, create something unique and take your games beyond the dice.

So What’s Actually Here?

Currently, I have 4 planned article series, covering various aspects of the roleplaying experience:

Crafting A Character: This series will focus on the various approaches to creating a character for a tabletop RPG, covering subjects such as writing a backstory, discovering your character’s personality, and roleplaying particular classes, races or archetypes. Much of this will be written from the perspective of a player, but will often be just as applicable to DMs.

Worldviews: This series will focus on the creative processes of the Dungeon Master. From creating a brand new setting, to getting the most from your NPCs, to expanding your narrative toolbox, any DM should find some things to think about here.

Experience Points: In this series, I’ll be taking real-life examples from my games as a starter for discussion, reflecting on the highs and lows of the game from the perspective of both player and DM.

Beyond The Tabletop: This series will be a little more varied, but the core element will be the relationship between tabletop roleplaying and other forms of storytelling. Across the spectrum of movies, TV, books, comics, video games and the rest, there’s myriad ideas that can feed into your tabletop RPG experience, and this series will take a look at those opportunities.