It isn’t something I can hide anymore, nor from myself, not from my blog. It’s something I have to talk about because it’s part of how I think, and it’s part of my whole design: my characters all have character sheets, and what’s more, they have stats and powers and feats and skills and equipment. Part of the process I had for making the characters was to imagine them doing things, which included fighting.

The combat system I’m most familiar with being the d20 System, of course. Since I first downloaded the Character Builder, it’s what I’ve been using as a jumping-off point for character creation. I used the same software to design the characters for my novel last month, The Dragonslayers, and it isn’t like I’m going to stop using the system I know any time soon.

One of the things is, gaming and storytelling for me, go hand-in-hand. I get them, they mesh. It’s like a language I speak, where everything makes sense, and the more I study it, the more it makes sense. When those first ideas for a scene start to trickle in, I immediately go into characters present for the scene, and either what they’re talking about or what they’re doing. The purpose. The goal. The objective.

After I’ve had a chance to mull over a scene, some, depending on whether I get ideas about the action, the set pieces, the antagonists, or the obstacles first, I look at the scene from different angles and start to fill in the blanks. Where are they, what’s the terrain like? Who’s there, what threat do they pose? What sort of challenge do the characters face, how do they approach it? What’s the outcome, how do things change?