Thursday, 11 August 2016

The Very, Very Late to the Party RPGaDay 2016

Huh, well this August has been a nightmare so far, putting me waaaaay behind on RPGaDay. I'm not going to try and catch up in one post, but this will get me closer.

3. Character Moment You are Proudest Of

There are lots of ways I could go with this question, but the first answer that jumped to mind was a scene I played with my wife a few years ago. This was in my friend's super-villains fighting The Man game, and our characters had been attracted to each other throughout the story without actually getting together. We planned to have a scene together in the finale, and totally expected that the scene would head in a romantic direction.

When we played it out, though, it turned into something else. It became a scene about how sad and alone the two characters were, how hurt they had been by the world. The scene did not leave out the possibility that they might become romantically entangled at some point, but it showed how difficult that would probably be.

We didn't get the scene we expected or maybe wanted, but we committed to that scene 100%, and we followed it where it led and were true to our characters and in the moment.

I am proud of that.

4. Most Impressive Thing Another's Character Did?

My players often surprise and delight me, but the moment that is springing to mind was in my Victorian vampire slayer game Sunset Empire. One of my players was a goblin thief named Mudlark, and circumstances had brought him and others face to face with The Red Queen, a mentally ill psychic. I was expecting that they would make it a straight up fight, or else run, but Mudlark elected to use a magical gift he had been given to heal the Red Queen's damaged mind, bringing her back to the side of the angels.

5. What Story Does Your Group Tell About Your Character?

I dunno about my group - maybe they tell stories about my characters behind my back? - but my wife likes to repeat an anecdote from a d20 MODERN game about ten years ago. We were playing fictionalized versions of ourselves in that game who had taken to battling monsters and the supernatural, like ya do, because who doesn't want to work for Hellboy?

In the adventure in question, our characters ended up battling a demonically-possessed wood chipper, which was getting ready to do some damage to my wife's character. When it was my turn, she turned to me and suggested that I pull her out of harm's way. The punchline, when she tells it, is that I groaned "Yeah, but it'd be my whole action."

For the record, I did pull her out of harm's way and got hurt myself by the wood chipper for my pains. No good deed unpunished etc.

6. Most Amazing Thing a Game Group Did For Their Community?

Not something I was personally involved with, but the local game club here at Western U did a 24-hour gaming marathon last year for charity. I'm not sure how much they raised, but it sounded like a great event. If only I wasn't too old to have the stamina for that sort of thing.

7. What Aspect of RPGs has the Biggest Effect on You?

Probably the social element, but let's keep it personal instead of exceptionally broad. Everybody makes friends playing games, I hope.

LARP players talk about "bleed" in games, and I have had the privilege to play in a number of games over the past few years that let me experience this. Essentially, bleed is when game play inspires emotional reactions that begin to seep from the fictional character you're playing into your "real" self. You're feeling emotions personally that your character is feeling, or else they stir up personal feelings in you based on your own experience.

For me, games that are able to touch that chord inside you are doing what they're supposed to do and going into exciting territory. I can never really know what it's like to battle monsters with a sword, or blaze away at an alien horde with a zap gun, but if a game is able to touch and explore emotional places in me, I've connected with that fiction in a powerful way. Games that are emotionally "true" pack a lot of power, and that can be scary for some people, but I always find it cathartic and exciting.

That's five, so let's stop there for today. I'll do another five next time.

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