On The Giant roleplaying, and how writing OotS replaced DMing in his life.
J - Order of the Stick is of course a huge gaming comic so I was wondering if you still had time to do any roleplaying these days?
R - No, no, I haven't in a while. The last roleplaying I did was when I was working on... when I was gonna do Snips, Snails an Dragon Tales, the limited book with the Dragon Magazine strips, I did some 4th Edition roleplaying to be sure I knew sort of what I was talking about, which I probably didn't but I can pretend better, and that was over a year ago now. It just doesn't work, you know, it hasn't really worked out that way, that I had as much time for that as I used to, sort of fallen by the wayside, but not in a way that I'll never go back to it, just in a time way, I think you get busy at a certain point in your life, with your work and your family and your such and such, and whether or not you have time for it is sort of random, sort of up in the air. I mean, I still get a lot of that sort of fix from thinking about it, talking about it and such like that. But in a certain point, I was always the DM when I played, and at a certain point it just feels like I'm taking that much time to craft a complex story, maybe I should just write it down and someone would pay me for it. I guess that's possibly maybe a little bit of it, because I'm now sort of essentially a professional fantasy writer, that I can't really bring myself to put the same amount of effort I did when I was in college and such and it was the focus of my creative attention.
On the OotS Roleplaying setting, and why it doesn't exist
J - And along those lines, I realize that doing it at this point would probably be a mountain of effort and give too much away, but I've seen people on the forums asking if some day there would actually be an Order of the Stick world created for any sort of gaming system. Do you think you would do that if you had the time and opportunity?
R - Let me tell you, I started working on that a few years ago, and what happened is, I got about 20 or 30 pages in, and WotC announced 4th Edition. And I didn't know what was gonna happen with it, I didn't know whether I was gonna want to make it for that, I didn't know if making it on 3rd Edition would still be possible with the game license, would they find a way to revoke that, it was all up in the air, everything was sort of chaos and I had no idea what was gonna happen, so I put it aside, and then have never gone back to it since, really. It wasn't compatible at all with 4th Edition, so therefore that wasn't going to work, and I don't know, I didn't know whether I would ever really have the direct audience that I thought it should so I think I just sort of let it lie fallow after that.
I cannibalized parts of it, the document I started working on, I think the last compilation I put out, Don't Split the Party had some black and white cartoons that were from that project,and I know the map that I did in the back of one of them for Azure City was actually of the Azure City country description, so you know, pieces of it have been seen here and there ever since. But another problem was that I'd done a write up for Elan's Dashing Swordsman class,and since then I had at least three things I've put into the comic, you know, here's this joke about this class that has this ridiculous cliched hero abilities, and if I put out that class, I can't really do that any more. Can I then say "Oh, it has this ability too"? 'cause I've already taken people's money to say "This is the class that it is!". So I think it's easier to leave things vague and up in the air and just use them when I want to as humour rather than as concrete game rules.