Dice Chewing with Jacob Sannox

Greetings Game-Fans

It’s been a busy week in our household. In case you missed it, Baldurs Gate 3 was released on Aug 3rd for PC. Everyone in our house has been waiting for this game for a while, so as you can imagine, there was much excitement. Unfortunately, we only have one PC between the three of us. Naturally, there was a gladiatorial-style competition to see who would get the first run-through following the download. Spoiler alert: it was not me. 

Apparently, I’m just not cut out for hand-to-hand combat. So, while my husband has commandeered control of the PC for the foreseeable future, I have been busy writing some new RPG campaigns and planning my upcoming blog posts. As promised, this time on Dice Chewing, I am back to speaking to my favourite authors about the games that have influenced their creative projects. Today, we are talking to Jacob Sannox, author of The Dark Oak Chronicles and The Return of King Arthur Series.

Before we get into that, I want to give a quick shout-out about our Dice Chewing group on the Page Chewing forums. We run D&D mini-campaigns, one-shots and battle pits for players of all abilities and experience levels. We just finished a three-part storyline and have new games planned for September and October. Some sessions are specifically tailored to new players who want to learn about game mechanics and character creation and are a great way to dip your toe in the water (there are no sharks, we promise). We post all details of upcoming games on the forum. 

In the meantime, we can get into the good stuff. In this post, Jacob tells us about LARPING, Lorien Trust and how his days roleplaying as a swashbuckling action hero influenced his writing journey.

Jacob: ‘I was an avid LARPer for about a decade. Live Action Role Play lets you bring your game characters to life, acting them out and having genuine interactions. Larping is a great way to really get inside a character’s head. First, you have to sit down and create a backstory. You also decide upon their traits and beliefs, which is good practise for writing. Inhabiting that character bodily for days at a time also allows you to try being different people. It also gave me a sense of what it might be like to be one among thousands on a battlefield. Obviously, LARPING is not dangerous (or shouldn’t be!), but that sense of chaos and only seeing what is happening around you. It helps you think about the individual stories that are going on within a greater narrative as a battle unfolds.

I started seriously playing D&D in about 2018. Once again, it was character creation that got my mind whirring. I spent days coming up with character concepts, deciding what gear and equipment a character would have, and thinking about how they would stow things and what spells they would choose. I generally like my characters to have a theme as well as writing pages of backstory. I have made dozens of characters I will probably never play, but some of them found their way into stories or will in the future. You store them away – just in case!

Now I mostly DM, and Jacob Sannox adventures are – unsurprisingly if you have ever read my books – pretty damn grim and extremely character-focused. I tend to focus on character-driven storylines leading from background or developing relationships. There is a fair amount of improvisation and coming up with scenarios that will hit the players right in the feels – making that emotional connection with the character.

 LARPing, I got into at 15 when a shady friend nudged me and whispered, Hey, wanna come to a park in Luton and hit people with swords? I mean, who could say no to that? Since that day, I have spent many weekends killing goblins in the woods, rescuing allies and making great friends with fellow players at events run by the Lorien Trust (https://www.lorientrust.com/).’

You can find out more about Jacob and get his books from https://www.jacobsannox.com

Next time, we tackle first-time player nerves and offer some tips on how to get around them to make your first session as fun and easy-going as possible. Until then, happy dice chewing!

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Author: Holly Tinsley

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