Recently I was forced to take a month long absence from both this blog and from role playing. It made me think about the things that I missed the most about playing and the things that I liked the best about it too. Here is a quick list of those things:
1.The ability to enter into any world you want.
I like to think of myself as a very imaginative person. I like to daydream, to put myself into a world and play out a little scenario, battle, or story. In fact when I was little the best times I would have would be when I was by myself and playing out a story all by myself, pretending to be one of the characters. I guess role playing is just a way to continue doing that as an adult. With other people. And not get all the weird looks as I do it. Well, I guess I sometimes get the weird looks.
And the thing I love about role playing is that you can enter into any world that you want. Want a world of medieval knights, wizards, goblins, and orcs, then a game like Dungeons & Dragons is perfect. Want to go into a sci-fi, post apocalyptic world, a game like Rifts is great for that. If you'd love to do Star Wars or Star Trek, they've got games for those too! Or maybe you'd love to be a superhero, then check out Marvel. The options are really limitless, the world, as it were, is your oyster. And I love that.
2.You can be whatever character you would like.
Oh, the infinite possibilities. More choice than Mass Effect, Star Wars KOTOR, or Skyrim could ever possibly hope to give you. You can be the guy you've always wanted to be, the action hero that you wish you were, but were never blessed in the muscle or bravery department. Or the nerd that we all know you really wish to be but are stick in the jock crowd. (Course, if you're playing role playing games, you're kinda almost in that nerd category aren't ya?)
And, let's be honest, who doesn't love working on that character sheet for the first time and watching the bones of that character take shape? All the possibilities for what this person will be like, how the stats will influence their personality, the things that this guy or gal will be able accomplish, and the mischief they're going to cause. For me, it's one of my favourite parts of role playing. It makes those imaginative, day dreamy juices flowing for me.
3.The chance for wonderful epicness.
Who doesn't love coming home to your family, your wife, or husband, and saying that today, you killed a whole squad of orcs with one spell? Or that you hit an Orc so hard with your sword that half of him landed ten feet over there and the other half ten feet over there (I've done that, it was awesome!). Or tell about how just made that critical role that opened the chest that let you kill the chief villain and actually conclude the campaign you've been playing for over a year (Saw that happen too, it was pretty intense).
The fact that you get to be a participant in that, that you get to actually do it, albeit through the medium of dice, paper, words, and a little imagination, makes it so much better than anything a movie or a video game could do. We all have those moments that we remember, that stick in our minds as something so stellar, we'll likely never forget them, and they'll always pull us back to the table-top. Cause we always want to witness the next one, what will someone do next? Who's going to pull off that long shot role and save everyone's bacon? What is my character going to be able to do this time, or next time?
Yeah, this is really the thing that brings you back to the table, isn't it? It is for me. We all need that chance to let our hair down, to hang out with the "guys" (even if they're not all guys) and just be ourselves, and have fun. You push each other to play better, but you also joke around. You talk about the stress of the day and at some points can actually say what you always wanted to say to that person who ticked you off today, and then go back into the game and let it all go. You get to have a drink, eat junk food, and go galavanting on a valiant quest, or hunt some undead, or plunder the next village, all the while making friendships that last. I've gotten to reconnect with my old group from years ago, and I came back as if I never left. Indeed, it's those friends that really keep us at the table, rolling those dice, and enjoying that group dynamic that can brighten up your day, week, or month.
Tim lives in Southern Ontario, father of two young girls, and husband to a great lady, that did marry him despite the fact the he told her that he role played, likes Star Trek, Star Wars, made a lightsaber prop, and went as a Jedi for Halloween, in university. Tim has Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and a Master of Divinity, which is only worth letting him serve as a pastor in the Lutheran church.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.