Now we know where Stephen King really gets all his ideas

It’s always exciting to learn about celebrities with RPG skeletons in their closets, and here’s a particularly fun one: the NYT is running an article about Joe Hill, an author recently outed as the son of Stephen King. It’s a nice piece about the challenge of carving out your own career in the shadow of a famous parent. But the really interesting item is way back at the top of page 3, where we learn that a certain roleplaying game factored into life in the King household.

What roleplaying game, you ask? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count:

The King boys grew up riffing on each other’s fantasies; in what they called the Writing Game, a literary version of tag, one brother would write for a few minutes and pass the story to the other. “We used to play Call of Cthulhu,” Owen told me, referring to the role-playing game based on the H. P. Lovecraft story. “Joe was always dungeon master. You had sanity points, and it was like, if you encountered Yog-Sothoth one too many times, you were crazy. You could only have so many adventures, and then you had to have a new character, and I thought that was brilliant.”

Truly, a finer summation of the Call of Cthulhu experience has never been uttered. It all makes perfect sense now. The Dark Tower series always struck me as awfully RPGish, in a very good way…

(Thanks to the M-Pire for the link.)

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  1. Good post. Its always good to know what the celeb gamers are (or were) playing. Here’s a link to what Will Wheaton (of Star Trek NG fame) plays (other than poker):


  2. Andy says:

    Looks like the link got lost there, Adaen–do you mind re-posting it? Sounds interesting!

  3. Woops again,my html-fu needs some work. trying to type this while being mauled by wild ferrets…, my offspring. I’ll try to repost them later….or if you would be so good….


  4. Andy says:

    Not all of the HTML survived my attempt to fix it–my apologies. But the link does work. Thanks much!

  5. No. Thank you.Cheers,


    ~Adaen of Bridgewater

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