Friday, September 5, 2014

IDIC Files: The Characters I've Been (part 01)

There is a practice of looking at the PCs of a given player -- perhaps in one RPG, perhaps across all RPGs played -- and reading into the choices of play as an insight into the player.

On one level, this is similar to watching basketball or chess players and coming to conclusions about their play style, strengths and weaknesses. On another level, it's akin to reading one's creative work and coming to conclusions about the player's conscious and subconscious issues, philosophies, and goals.

Keill Blackthorn

When my age was in the single digits, I remember rolling up a D&D character, and named it Keill Blackthorn. Funky spelling of first name? Check! Stereotypical fantasy last name? Check!

Never played him, as I didn't have a regular crew to play with.

In my teens, at a Recreational Center in the U.S. where I had to build a high-level character (several levels lower than the average in that group, of course) Keill was reborn as a half-elven fighter / thief.

My conscious goals were to keep things simple, keeping magic out of my concerns, and just focusing on doing combat stuff. Subconscious goals may have been:
  • play a character who doesn't have to lead, to be in front the whole time (as fighters were wont to do);
  • provide more skills to the group beyond fighting -- scouting, theivery, and the ever-popular backstab from the shadows;
  • emulate a more finesse- or swashbucklerish-fighter with multi-classing;
  • be mysterious and not have to talk much, because I was shy and uncertain of myself.
I eventually caught up in gaming skill, but I must admit that I lacked gaming experience as a gaming newbie, and in one spectacularly bad game -- I died three times in a 1-hour timespace, all my fault because I didn't quite understand that the magical symbols I was trying to read were actually a ward that caused instant death when looking at them. They were very generous in resurrecting me -- and one player, she took me aside and explained out of character what I was doing, and that I shouldn't do it anymore, and cited the reasons why.

The campaign was great fun, and though I eventually drifted apart from that group, Keill Blackthorn was my first real ongoing PC in a game.

It was also an eye-opener for me in terms of the separation of playing a class from playing a role, because of a trap that shifted the minds of the various players into different bodies. I learned that I could actually play a character's personality separate from the stereotype of the class (forgive me, I was slow and didn't quite understand the role-playing aspect of the game yet). It freed me to play a truer character in future games as well.




No comments:

Post a Comment

That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...