Sunday, February 26, 2012

You'll be the death of me

Hi all :) I know I'm late this week (or nearly for next week, depending on how you look at it) but here I am with another post. As Monty Python once said "and now for something completely different!". Today I'd like to talk about role-playing games and in particular how my characters seem to keep getting killed but first these messages.

Shameless plug: My book The Newfoundland Vampire will be on in April 2012 (Pat is hard at working editing now :) and Tasha’s books (the second one I’ve read and highly recommend) are out now.

So I have had a love of role-playing games (RPG) for over 20 years now. I think Vin Diesel said it best when he called them "the training ground for imagination" (and no I don't think much of him as an actor but I have to admire his choice of hobbies :-) I won't go into a long discussion of how RPG's work. I'll just reccomend this book or you can look it up on Wikipedia.

In my look role-playing career I've played many different types of characters. Wizards, gladiators, gamblers, cops, Tarzan, Zorro, professors, bug-men, zombies, vampires and many other kinds. When you play a character it means that you build up skills, powers, get tougher, stronger but most importantly you start to feel a connection with a particular character, for me the longer I play one the stronger this connection gets.

For me role-playing is a chance to act out and explore behaviours and actions that I never would (or even possibly could) in real life. As a consequence I tend to play people who are often morally gray or sometimes just downright evil bastards :) Just the other day I had a nice chat with my friend about a character I played for over 3 years who died in a session on Feburary 18th (yes this is the session I promised to talk about =) He was a huckster (a type of sorcerer that uses playing cards and binds a demon to his will to gain powers) and he was pretty well insane and evil to the core. With that said he was usually an immense amount of fun to play and since he never acted any of his friends (i.e. the party or group) he somehow always managed to make it out alive. Huck had been near death so many times that he had picked up a number of phobias including, dismemberment, dead bodies, inclosed spaces and trains (when you get runover by one it's understandable ;).

Deadlands is a brutal world where the U.S. civil war never ended, law is non-existent in many places, magic ghost rock is mined and used to power all sorts of things, strange science makes robots and other gadets and monsters like vampires, zombies and dragons are all too real.
So Huck (original name I know ;) got in a huge bar fight this particular session, got beaten to a bloody pulp, blew off a ship and almost drown and then was finally killed by a massive water dragon (it didn't help he was tied onto the ship at this point either :)

I always feel sad when a character dies, the connection I have is gone. All the time building up skills and getting new powers seem wasted and I have to come up with a new name :) Seriously though because of the type of characters I usually play it happens to me quiet often, I've also been know to have a few drinks while playing and this can lead to some poor game choices. It's all in good fun though and I do enjoy making up new characters as well.

In conclusion perhaps you've heard of Dungeons and Dragons, if you've never tried it I would highly reccomend it. It's a great way to make friends and have fun and I believe many comic book stores offer D&D night once a week. Well that sums up in for me, until next time dear readers I am . . . .



Natasha Larry said...

This sounds like something I need to check out! I wonder if it would satisfy my inner history nerd.

Penumbra Publishing said...

Super post, Charles. What a great way to learn to build characters for stories!


Charles O'Keefe said...

Thanks Pat! :) It certainly does involve using your imagination a lot. I got a chance to play Zorro and Tarzan, so that was fun. They are pretty cool literary characters. RPG's can involve history. In Call of Cthulu it is usually set in 1920's and often as player's we have to be reminded it's not current day (payphones hadn't even been invented by then and commerical flights didn't exist). Now I need to come up with an idea for this week :-)