Thursday, August 28, 2014


A while ago I ran with a player that had a character that was very personal for them. While they were a fantastic player they clearly had a story arc for their character. Now, I love story arcs, I enjoy writing rich backgrounds for my characters, NPCs that work with the concept, gear that is reasonable. The problem with the situation before is no one was let in to what the intended arc was. So when one character teased their character in a way the player didn't like it was an awkward experience for everyone. It eventually felt to me like I was walking on eggshells so as not to cause the player more stress.

I admit, I am like that sometimes. My first D&D character had a whole storyline in my head. And by whole I knew how it started and where I wanted it to end. When he was an apprentice he fell in love with the apprentice of another mage. However, he had a jealous rival and one day said rival tried to use a high level scroll to kill my character. The spell misfired and killed the girl they both loved. Torn with grief my character realized that there was no way he could bring her back to life in a lifetime so he set about to become a Lich. When you're immortal, you have nothing but time to work on a project. Besides, he figured, once he could bring her back to life he could make himself mortal again.

In my mind the end of the story was my character sitting on a throne in a tower, the landscape around him was a black, blasted landscape with undead wandering the land. He would resurrect the love of her life and she would see what he had become and all the terrible things he did just because of his obsession with bringing her back. She would then fling herself from the tower leaving him alone with no hope in a world he burned. I was 15...I'm no literary master.

Recently however I decided I would try something new. A character who's background I don't even know. The character's personality is dictated by personafix software. I decided I wanted to put my character more fully in the hands of my GM. I let go of control and started just enjoying the feeling of freefall.

A GM looked at my sheet and really got into the concept, asked me a few questions about my character's history and I said, "Well that's up to you." What happened was one of the more memorable RPing sessions of my gaming life. My character met someone that knew them before they had their personality and memories scrubbed. Problem was it was someone that my team had to turn over to a corporation to be disappeared.  So with only a little time left, and the rest of the team looking to get paid my character was desperate to find out anything this person knew about them. Apparently five years ago my PC and the NPC had a love affair. This was backed up by a flashback my character had upon hearing their name.

Anyhow, long story short, it was awesome.

The point, I am trying to make is that sometimes you have to have faith in the person running the game to take care of "your baby". Sometimes things will not go as you planned but sometimes those things can just be all the more awesome because they enhance what is going on. Don't let your own internal story take away from the fun of the moment. The player I mentioned before quit the game because the game's story arc deviated from their internal story arc. As for me, I am having a great time enjoying the freefall.

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