Once again, it’s time to create a new 4E character, and once again, I’m paralyzed by indecision. Believe it or not, this isn’t because I’m overwhelmed with options. I’m okay with having bunches and piles and oodles of options. Pathetically, I’m currently frozen by the crushing terror that I’m going to make the wrong choice and wind up with a lousy, useless, despised character, which reflects badly on me as a player, a man, and an American. And possibly a human being.
With Wil Wheaton’s post, the clouds finally parted and the sun didst shine down and lo, it didst alight on my brow. Previously, I got it, but I didn’t really GET it. I understood it, but I didn’t really understand it.
I feel like it is possible to establish a renaissance of roleplaying, assuming you even want to, but it couldn’t possibly work through just one devoted person, even if that person is the DM. It would just be too excruciating, too mortifying, and gradually, the intensity of peer pressure would grind the Method actor back into a more acceptable shape. If this is to work, it would have to be through an explicit contract at the table.
I’ve talked about investing some emotion in your character and, thereby, the game. As a follow-up, I suggested you seize the game by the horns. The “Play Boldly” article seemed more concrete, more useful, than the first. I thought about it, and I have more to say about giving your character traits and a history that make up a backstory.
Following up on my last post, I intend to disparage no one, including my players past and present, but a malaise sets in on me occasionally when I’m playing a D&D game. Players seem lethargic. They don’t respond to the information given to them. Their characters act far different than the intrepid adventurers those characters should and must be.
Players should be as bold in game action as their characters are in the game world. Why? Because it pays off in fun and energy at the table.
The psychology of desire and attachment defines our lives in countless ways. This fact is true even in the roleplaying games. Every character you play is an extension of you and the desires you want to fulfill by playing. More elusive, though, is real attachment–emotional connection–to a game’s goings on.
Excuse me, but could I have just a few moments to talk to the players out there? If you’re a DM, with your level-plus-four encounters, your killer dice that never roll below 15, and your behind-the-screen smirk, I’d just ask you to step out of the room for a little while so I can address the players… okay, are they gone? Good.