NZ Writers & Readers 2018

I’m a scheduled guest for a session in the NZ Writers & Readers programme, which is part of the New Zealand Festival, NZ’s most prestigious arts event. I’m surprised too.

My Dwarven Cleric Slays Your Elf

Would you rather face chaotic evil or lawful evil? How high is your charisma? And what’s with those weird-looking dice? If you have the answers, you’ve probably rolled up your own characters and stories in role-playing games.

Join games maker Morgan Davie and comics creator and Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast Dylan Horrocks as they discuss player-generated games and their potential for great storytelling with novelist Danyl Mclauchlan.

This session was assembled by W&R director Mark Cubey, who has a sense that there’s something of interest happening in the D&D/RPG sphere. I agree with him!

Leading culture outlets have been increasingly fascinated with D&D’s resurgence – last January LA Weekly’s arts section featured an all-women D&D group in the context of resistance against Trump’s America, in October the New Yorker covered the uncanny resurrection of Dungeons and Dragons, and in November Wired featured an extensive profile of a professional Dungeon Master. (Public intellectual of the moment Ta-Nehisi Coates has also long been open about the formative influence D&D played in his life.)

I’m excited to see what kinds of conversations we might have with arts and culture heavyweights – many of whom are no strangers to role-playing games and other kinds of grassroots creative play. There is so much yet to explore! So I’m hoping this session will be a spark for some new and exciting things.

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