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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Year And All That

I'm not such a cynic that I'm above reflecting on the past year. It occurs to me that depending on how one takes it, a year can either be a catastrophe or a miracle.

I was almost made homeless, lost the only job I ever loved, and had it confirmed that I will probably never breathe normally ever again - assuming my heart holds out.

On the other hand...
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_MJ_BYrMQmlQ/SgnXjS1HUgI/AAAAAAAAAHg/D5yA_PBDlPg/s1600/Fiddler-on-the-Roof-m05--tevya.bmp

I moved into a house with four great friends, celebrated my 3-year anniversary with my girlfriend, and got the ball rolling on a potentially awesome youtube project.

So will 2014 be better?

Probably. There may be an improvement in my health, I may find a job, this How We Roll thing may come good - all manner of awesome things may happen.

So I maintain an air of quiet optimism.

Happy New Year, world.

Friday, 20 December 2013

How We Roll - The Birth Of Something Cool

So myself and the folks I live with, with the assistance of various of our friends and associates, will soon be putting together a youtube channel.

This channel will primarily involve RPG-related gumf. Things like thoughts on character, on setting, in-game stuff as well as out-of-game. It may well involve comedy, too - as we keep skitting out bits under the purview of The DM Society, a bunch of high-society blaggards that swig brandy and scoff at the "lower classes" (players) who they run games for.

While various people have ideas in place for what they want to do, I'm still in the air.

One thing I DO want to do is related to the classes commonly found in D&D / Pathfinder - and an exploration of each one. Oodles of examples of why not every Barbarian has to be Fafhrd, and not every Rogue has to be the Gray (sic) Mouser. This would probably include an exploration of characters from movies, TV, comics and anime that could, perhaps, be played as an example of each class.

I'm thinking aloud right now, I'm aware, but I'd quite like input - and also advice re: the channel. We're going to need music for the titles and credits, graphics, that kind of thing.

Feel free to bug me via the comments section, or my facebook or twitter.

That said - how YOU doin?

Edit: How We Roll now has its very OWN Twitter feed, right here.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

RP Characters - What Makes Us Tick

While discussing the origins of various RP characters with someone not so long ago, I did a mental head-count of the haracters I played, and came to a few realisations.

There are certain character traits that I seem to fall back on, a hell of a lot. Some of them are personal standards, some of them are quirks, but they're all things that recur in my characters - and I decided to, for fun, list them.

I like playing characters that make things. Sculptors, mechanics, swordsmiths, coders, magic item artificers, tattoo artists - the idea of a character making something strongly appeals, if only because I value and respect the ethos that goes into it.

I like playing characters that are competent combatants. From raw-boned two-fisted gutsy brawler to full-blown spec ops tactical, sword master to sniper, swords-at-dawn to knife-in-the-back. Even if the character isn't a designated ass-beater, I still like to know that if necessary, they can beat ass.

I like playing characters with strong convictions. Someone that believes in something - whatever that something may be. A total belief in a god or cause, or a moral compass so strong it overcomes all doubt. The real world often makes such a thing difficult, but not in RP-land.

I like playing characters that defy stereotype. Hackers that aren't teenage wunderkinds, assassins that are fairly sociable, fighters that aren't walking tanks. Stereotypes exist for a reason - I just get a twisted kind of joy out of deliberately bucking a trend.

I like playing characters that are smarter than the average bear. It's hard to simulate intelligence above and beyond your own - but at times it is harder to play someone dumb as a post. Especially if the character isn't one that particularly calls for high intellect.

I like playing characters with engaging backstory. Especially if I can tie that into another character's story. Making throwaways isn't something I've ever enjoyed doing, and I'd rather concieve a bio that someone never uses, than have a PC with no history

I like playing characters that are musical. Not necessarily musicians in their own right, but certainly with an appreciation for it. This mght be simply because I find it hard to play someone that doesn't love or enjoy muic, but hey, it still counts.

I like playing characters wth personality. I want someone else to be able to describe them without mentioning physical description, job, class and name. The age-old character test. So when someone else says "...but that's not like them," I get a warm fuzzy feeling.

I like characters wth interesting names. Minor, yes. But it's true. Nicknames, double-barreled names, titles, obscure meanings - a name says a lot about a character. Sometimes it says a lot about the character that isn't even true, which can be fun in and of itself.

I like playing characters with weaknesses and flaws. A character without flaws, be they hero or villain, is boring - and sometimes a charater' flaws and strengths can come together to make them something greater than the sum of their parts.

Following this I decided to list the hit parade of some of the characters I've played in the past, and score them on the traits previously mentioned - if they display a trait, they get a point, score from 1-10. I'll also list what game system they are from and what they were.

Crowbar (Eclipse Phase, combat engineer / soldier) - 10/10!
Canny Hare (Exalted, Night-caste thief / courier) - 9/10
Blazing Hammer (Exalted, Dawn-caste swordsmith) - 9/10
Corbin Anyson (Pathfinder, Human Rogue) - 8/10
Lady Elysian Kore (Pathfinder, Human Paladin) - 8/10
Rayze (Pathfinder, Human Fighter) - 8/10
Hakim al'Sham (Pathfinder, Human Cleric) - 10/10!
Rotsnik (Pathfinder, psychopathic goblin) - 5/10 (well he IS a goblin.)
Grimm Redmayne (Pathfinder, Dwarf Fighter) - 8/10
Hunter Arlington (Scion, Son of Hachiman) - 8/10
Callum Jameson (Scion, Son of The Dagda) - 9/10
Arthur (Mage, Moros Arrow) - 8/10
Ihsan (Mage, Acanthus Mysterium) - 9/10
Perdix (Mage, Acanthus Free Council) - 9/10

There's more of course. But these first examples really impressed on me just how similar I make my characters.

Are they all the same? Far from it. Those who've played with them will probably attest to that - but it's the similarities that make me think, and make me wonder if there's a reason why I like playing these characters so much.

Maybe they are traits I see in myself, or wish I could see in myself. Maybe they are values I see in people I respect or care about. Maybe when I make a character, I end up making a character I want to be, want to look up to.

It's hard to say. But it's something to think about, at least.

Thoughts? Comments? Any interesting traits that are common in your own characters? I'd love to know.