Friday, May 3, 2013

The Many Characters that I've Played

As we all know, one of the hardest things to do is to wrangle a four or five thirty-somethings into sitting around a table and throwing plastic dice at one another.  No one has the time, really - family, work, etc. take precedence.  One of the things that I've done in order to keep gaming, is that I play some online games through RPOL.

I do this because I am inveterate lover of rpgs; I love write; and I love to play new games.  The problem with online games is that most of the games tend to fizzle out.  There are a few, however, which have withstood attritition, and have kept on keeping on.

As a matter of fact, one of the games was so epic, and the group of players so disciplined, that I had to bow out because their posting rate was far too quick for me to participate.  It also didn't help that the game had been going on for five years.  It is very difficult to participate in a game with that much backstory.

There are other games, however, that have been quite amazing.  The game Lacuna comes to mind.  Although that game has ceased, the two years during which that game was active remain some of the most fantastic gaming experiences that I've ever had.  I attribute the lion's share of success to the GM, a great guy named Don.  Don had the ability to roll with whatever oddball decisions our oddball characters made.  He gave as good he got, in other words.

I have also been involved in pretty epic, picaresque Talislanta game.  Although the game does experience protracted lulls, it always picks up again.  The GM of this particular game is also pretty darn fantastic.  The players are great as well. 

I am currently involved in Amber game, as well as a Dying Earth game.  We are in the process of creating characters, which is always fun.  Here are the descriptions of the two characters that I am going to be playing.

From Amber:

The greys and reds of Rene's trump suggest gathering clouds and slashes of blood.  Physically speaking, Rene possesses the graceful musculature of a cat.  His hair is as dark as wet coal, and tangles about his head.  Easily tricked, he's prone to vengeful fits of anger – especially when the past reminds him that few wrongs can be forgiven or forgotten.  
When asked why he loves jazz so much, Rene shifts his tortoise shells and says that the convolutions of bebop remind him of the whorls and curves of the pattern.  There is magic in allowing one's fingers to scuttle and weave across frets, creating melodies from shadows.
When he is not loitering within the halls of Amber, Rene Thomas haunts dark cafes and theatres, playing songs that evoke the melodies of Cherokee, Avalon, How High the Moon, All the Things You Are, and Ornithology.  Onstage, he prefers to concede the spotlight to Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Pops, and countless others.  He keeps company with men and women of a fey disposition- a lost generation of soldiers, poets, and novelists who speak nostalgically of wars and crumbling regimes.

From Dying Earth:

Balthazar Vaughn IV comes from a long, distinguished line of rakes and libertines.  The entire male line of this family has either been jailed, or succumbed to one excess or another.  It is rumored that Vaughn's father and grandfather murdered one another in a duel over a mistress.   Not wanting to be outdone by his forebears, Balthazar Vaughn IV has spent his days cheating, gambling, and amassing enemies.  He is, like his forebears, utterly convinced that he can talk or feint his way through any predicament, and that he will always remain one step ahead of his fate.

It sounds like a lot of work, but, most games on RPOL unfold at leisurely pace.   The best thing about playing these games is that I've been able to hone my writing skills a great deal.  Everything is text-based, so one has to be able to desribe their character's actions as vividly as possible.  This doesn't necessarily require paragraphs, by any means.  It does, however, require clarity.  Less is often more, as the saying goes.

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