Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Yeah, I've been at this roleplaying thing for a while. It's essentially an exercise in improv acting and using a rules system to your advantage. I try to focus more on the character aspect, but it's easy to get involved in a discussion of character classes, hit points, and special abilities.

There's been at least one game of one kind or another going among my group of friends for several years now. I've been involved in a lot of them, creating and playing a whole bunch of characters in a whole lot of settings. There have been a few serious moments, but mostly just frivolous good times, making up stories and getting away with stuff you just can't do in real life.

It's time once again to sort through the stack of roleplaying character sheets in my satchel, and figure out which to let go. Only this time, it's interactive! I'm gonna run down the list, and any of the relevant Storytellers, Dungeon Masters, etc. who read this may kindly let me know if I'll ever need them again. Feel free to also post reminisces, etc.

And now, from top to bottom:

Whisper of the Rushing Wind, Celestial Exalted.
Modeled after Judi Dench. Functioned as a guide in Liam's Exalted game, in which the characters were invited to the renewal of wedding vows between the Sun and Moon. I only played in one session, but it was quite amusing.

Lee Simons, a.k.a. Lost Packet, Seattle Police cybercrime officer.
I sorely miss this game. A cyberpunk setting, as one might guess, with much of the game taking place in cyberspace. Lee's avatar was a cartoon rabbit with ghetto wear and twin uzis. There were hilarious antics involving a swarm of digital bats. Hats off to Liam for that one.

Caleb Tears-of-Gaia, abomination.
That is to say, a vampiric werewolf. It's easy to miss the fact that abominations are full of roleplaying possibilites, because they're so powerful as to be unplayable in most settings - except by the most trustworthy of players. I took the opportunity to play one in Shannon's post-apocalyptic World of Darkness setting, since it wouldn't have been particularly unbalanced there.

Kar'Dath, Narn drug dealer.
I know I don't need this character sheet any longer, since the character has long since lost his mind and died in a prison revolt. I'm keeping it mainly for the picture I drew of him, which started a tradition in Carolyn's Babylon 5 game. Goofy pictures make for good character sheets.

Vinzo Targa, Centauri telepath.
My unplayed successor to Kar'Dath in Carolyn's B5 game. The game was thoroughly enjoyable because of the emphasis on social play rather than combat. Anyone who's caught an episode of Babylon 5 will understand that tendency. The game was particularly memorable because of several moments, including the introduction of the immortal Dio Sabbath, Space Cowboy. Thank Drake.

The Razorclown, Abyssal Exalted.
An outstandingly evil, twisted incarnation of Zippy the Razorclown from days of old. Prone to flashy combat maneuvers, calculated madness, and jesterish dialogue. This game had less to do with full-on villainy than high adventure with a group of rather wicked people. Very fun until the lava tentacles showed up. Ow. Lenny did admirably besides, it should be noted.

Sergei, mutant Russian spy.
Member of Kyle Katarn's entourage in Matt's Rifts game. Post-apocalyptic fun for the entire family. And an opportunity for me to deliver snappy dialogue in a Russian accent. Many fun pseudo-memories.

Remar Sukos, Solar Exalted and travelling merchant.
I think I'm holding onto him so I'll have an Exalted character ready, in case Lenny decides to start up again. Notable because of his cool anima banner, and for the fact that he convinced a pirate not to sack his ship.

Thorn, dimension-hopping demon.
Making characters in any Palladium Games system - Palladium, Rifts, Beyond the Supernatural, etc. - is a gigantic pain. One day, I noticed that fiends in Palladium, Thorn's native setting, have the "dimensional teleport" ability. When Matt decided to run a Rifts game, Thorn simply leapt from high fantasy to sci-fi, just like that. His equipment list reads: halberd, mace, NE-300 "Stutterer" grenade launcher. Handy.

Zippy Von Zippy, the Razorclown.
A long-enduring character of mine in prose and roleplaying. The idea of a gothic clown with a gigantic sword and magic gloves that make fish catch on fire popped quite suddenly into my head, and hasn't left since. His character has developed significantly, in my mind, at least, since his original incarnation. I plan to have a story or two about him written... someday.

and finally,

Pedro Vallastrada, a.k.a. Pantera.
Anthropomorphic cat superhero. Also deceased. The tradition of goofy character pictures continued in Nick's superhero game, in a big way. And it was a good game besides, with a shocking twist ending: half of our heroes defected to the Nazi party, and only villains survived the grand melee that ensued. Alas, Pantera took his super-secret past with him to the grave. Unless I told everyone afterwards. I forget.

And that's the stack as it stands. Oi. That's a few characters. There are more besides, but those sheets are long gone. Marcus Robinson. Milos Daskalos. Gully Ironblood. Stuart the Bug. Sachiel the Blackguard. Orson "Osh-Kosh" Montblanc. Plenty of stories, lots of memorable moments.

I'll get into the philosophy behind roleplaying in a later post. For now, I'll sign off.

Whew. It feels good to be writing again, at least.

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