Saturday, June 26, 2010


I've been examining why certain characters are fun for me to play, and others have been difficult or less enjoyable. A common factor in the "fun" characters is a sense of purpose or "vision" for them.

I discovered that it's a lot easier to come up with a purpose before actually playing, and then setting about acting on that vision in the adventures and encounters you face.

One of my good friends plays a character whose vision is so all encompassing, so intense, and so deep that it almost obliterates opportunities for exploration. Sometimes that's fun, especially as a spectator; and other times it's infuriating. That can be particularly true as someone involved in a scene or adventure with that character, trying to obtain something other than the purpose being persued by the character.

Purpose can be personal, global, scenario specific, or a combination of all of those. It's really interesting to see how purpose affects all kinds of things. Players that actively push their purpose can be hilarious, serious, mercenary or any other adjective that might describe the purpose their character follows.

Eile has something she is working towards (or rather, something she is working against), which makes her carefully chose her actions - and try to align her actions with the purpose of getting her to her goal.

I'm really enjoying that aspect. I like balancing action against consequence and reward against effort.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Playing Types

I have a very mixed bag of friends when it comes to gaming. Some of my friends are very much into the "killing Orcs for beer money" kind of mentality. Otheres are a little more in depth than that, but they're very narrative, and only when it is "their turn". I have a few friends that really have seriously meaty characters that they love exploring in depth, and wearing like a second skin.

I've noticed a tendency among the people I game with to play certain "types"- one of my friends is notorious for playing "lone wolf" kinds of characters, even in a group setting. Another friend ALWAYS plays a leader/charasmatic character, even when there are other choices for that role.

I have a tendency to play characters that are emotionally damaged in some way. Some of my past characters were more screwed up than others, and some were more obscure than truly unhinged. I don't have any issue playing against gender or against my own personal mindset. I will admit that playing a character that is unlike me in more than one specific way is exceptionally difficult.

I enjoy the challenge, and often give myself little tests to see if I am doing it "right". Many times, I do the opposite of my own personal inclination just to be more in line with the character.

It's when the character is dramatically different that I start to have major issues. For a calm, reasonable and fairly open-minded person, it is truly difficult to play an implusive, instinctual and judgemental role. The kind of thinking it takes to get into that head is truly problematic and I used to struggle with it all the time.

Then I went back to playing my type- the thinking, careful, slightly damaged character.

And it's easy. It's what I am good at, and what I feel comfortable doing. It's what I like most and where I can get the truest response, the deepest emotion and most intense action. It's where I can wear my second skin.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

[WOD] Austin by Night : Session 3 as Eile

Our wonderful ST kind of LIVES by that internet joke "I try to live one day at a time, but several days attacked me at once". His days are usually busier than my weeks. I have come to understand that it takes a zen like focus and a whole lot of aggression to get through his stuff and try to be as generous as possible to him as I can.

On the day of our last game session, a whole MONTH of days attacked him. He didn't arrive until very late, so not a lot got done- but it was still a fairly good time.

Eile has been working at the Hedge Row, and has struck up something of a romance with a colleague at the bar, TK.

[Out of character, I know that this PC is a Sin-Eater. In character, Eile knows he is supernatural, but she doesn't know what he is. She knows there are a lot of things out in the world, but doesn't have any sort of "Field Book" to help figure him out. So she's using the process of elimination, or trying.]

TK's player and I decide to run a scene, but that it will take place in "downtime", and proceed to walk all over Austin, have dinner, go dancing and then walk back to the bar. TK then decides to make a move, and puts a slow song on the music player at the bar and they dance in the dark, alone at 5 am. TK finally kisses Eile, and the evening comes to a close after a bit of necking.

The scene was very well played- there was a strong sense of anxiousness, anticipation, curiousity, interest and tenderness. It really evoked that skittish, eager, first date feeling.

The ST ran a much-needed scene for our werewolf players- OOC, I know that they finally got a totem! He then elaborated on a few issues I asked about and I got more ambiguity on my in-character living situation. (Which I find hilarious and do not discourage at all!)

We wrapped things up, but I know the crew went over to the local AllNiteDiner and another scene or two may have gone on. I had to go home, as I was due at work the next day.

I enjoy our group, even when we aren't doing anything. I do wish I could help facilitate some of the "fringe" players more, but that's a whole different post.   I had a good time overall. We'll see what transpires next game!