05 August, 2016

#RPGaDay 5: What story does your group of players tell about your character?

This question seems to imply that a gamer has only one group of players to whom they belong. But this doesn't match my experience at all. Over the years I've had dozens of groups, some tabletop, some LARP, some miniatures, some groups that covered multiple gaming formats, most groups sharing overlap between one another with myself and one or two others linking different circles of gamers.

Another issue I have with this question is the fact that over 25+ years of gaming, I've accumulated a lot of stories...and like most gamer anecdotes, they need a decent chunk of context before they make sense, and often setting the groundwork for that context can be monotonous and boring before the interesting bit if the story arises.

(Also note that I've spent most of my gaming time as a GM)

So, one of the best ways to answer this question might be to discuss the tales of my characters that have spread from one group to another, through sources other than me. These would be the stories where a character of mine from one game has their exploits related among a completely different circle of gamers by another player.

I could answer this question with "The Ballad of John Steel", a naive werewolf of the Glass Walker tribe who fell into a surreal existnce living with infernalist vampires and mages...which is also how I as a player met +Klaus Teufel. But I'm pretty sure I used this take of woe (or maybe "Tale of WHOA!!") as an answer to one of the RPGaDay questions last year, and the complete tale is something that only a few select people were privy to (in a LARP containing a hundred or so regular and irregular players).

I could answer it with the LARP game where I was asked a favour by local mages would would not, or could not, leave their wizardly towers. They had wanted a scrying amulet to be carried around for the day, so they could see what was going on. The amulet needed to be plainly visible, because it needed an unobstructed view of the outside world. Other players had agendas to destroy the amulets, or claim them for their secertive benefactors (perhaps to use against the mages). A few amulets were given out, most people wore them openly around their necks, they were all attacked for the amulets (seeing them melted down or sold to rival factions of mages). I was the only person to end the day with an amulet, in plain view all day, just not in the regular line of sight. I had strapped the amulet to my boot. Numerous people commented on the amulet but were often in the middle of doing something else, heading somewhere in a hurry, or generally distracted by other events in the game. A few commented that once they were done with their current task, they'd come to hunt me down. By the end of the day, none had followed up, and I returned the amulet to the mages. Everyone talked among each other, as I had seemingly pulled off an "impossible" task, none could dpubt that the amulet had been clearly on display.

Many were the stories of the dirty old men in the wizardly tower, all using their scrying amulet to peer up the skirts of female characters in the game. Those rumours didn't bother me, I walked away with the promised bounty for a job completed. 

The tales of the open faced bravado still come back to me every now and then from players of other LARPs..."you're the guy who did the amulet thing aren't you?"..."did you hear the story of the mages who used a ranger to look up skirts?"...

...and every time, I smile.

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