Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Let Me Tell You About My Character

My character's plan: step 1) Become Strahd's BFF; step 2) Kill him and take his stuff.

Yeah, I know.  Nobody wants to hear about anyone else's RPG character, but I've never had a character to talk about before now!

I’ve been gaming since I was 16 (yes, I got a bit of a late start) and have been the GM in almost every session I've played over the last 25 years.  Prior to this year, I could count the number of times I was a player on one hand – and pretty much all of those campaigns imploded after a single session.  I had never actually played a PC for more than two consecutive sessions until this year, so I honestly had no idea what kind of player I was or what kind of characters I liked to play.

Well…  That’s not entirely true.  Since most of my gaming is duets with +Robin English-Bircher , a lot of the recurring NPCs are essentially GMPCs – and a lot of those characters are scoundrels.  Some of those quasi-GMPCs have included Elaith Craulnobur, a superspy version of Dorian Gray, and numerous, numerous pastiches of Lupin the Third.  If I’m going to be honest with myself, then I suppose it was inevitable that my first real player character was going to be a scoundrel of the first order.

The campaign in question -- GM'd by +Alan Vannes -- has an interesting conceit: it’s Ravenloft, but the outsiders trapped there are from the Old World of Darkness’ Dark Ages setting (needless to say, we’re using the Storyteller system).  A reluctant coalition of mages, werewolves, and Bastet was called upon to investigate an incursion by Ravenloft onto Earth, and now they’re all trapped beyond the Mists, theoretically trying to close the gate between dimensions and find a way home.

(For those that don’t know, Bastet are cat-people.  For those that know me, yes, I’m playing a sexy cat-man.)  

Catman as Catwoman by Zumaon
I say "theoretically" because I'm pretty sure my character (Ceilican rogue Tamlin Mackenzie) has pretty much no interest in returning to his role as Gaia's spy and defender of Nature, nor the usual sense of mission or angst that comes with being a World of Darkness character.  I'm pretty sure he's just interested in exploiting his relative uniqueness within Ravenloft to become rich and powerful.  He is, honestly, a pretty lousy Bastet.

(I say "relative uniqueness" because Robin is playing Tamlin's fraternal twin Tamsin, who is also a scoundrel but slightly more honest and good-hearted.)

The fact that Tamlin is such a grasping social climber is somewhat unfortunate, because he's stumbled into a position as the party leader.  This is not my fault; I created him to be the party's Haley Starshine or Belkar Bitterleaf, but the players whom I assumed would be playing Roy Greenhilt and Durkon Thundershield dropped out of the game after the first session.  As a GM, I am rather used to trying to drive the game; as a for all intents and purposes first-time player, I am of course indulging my id.  The result is a hot mess of moral ambiguity and self-serving behavior.

When we first got to Ravenloft, there was a portentous meeting with the local pseudo-Gypsies that didn't go nearly as well as Tamlin hoped because it didn't end with him sleeping with any Gypsy chicks.  This was then followed by an altercation with a ghost at a nearby inn; the party's disorganization and frequent cross-purposes during that encounter persuaded Tamlin (and me) that a stronger hand was needed.  The opportunity to exert that stronger hand was presented in the next session when we got to a nearby fishing village and discovered a lynch mob about to execute a deformed woman for a mysterious murder.

Tamlin took the opportunity to announce to the local sheriff that he was the :Inspector General" and would be taking over the investigation.

(I am apparently the only player in the group who has seen Danny Kaye's The Inspector General, which is odd because it's in the public domain and used to be on cable all the time.)


It turned out the deformed woman was guilty, but it was okay that we let her escape because the murder victims had been abusing her in a sex dungeon for years.  Tamlin blamed it on a demon named Zarathos and set about schmoozing his way into local society.  This raised the ire of the local burgomeister who called Tamlin and company out on Strahd appointing a new magistrate without telling anyone.

Which meant the burgomeister had to die.

Burgermeister Meisterburger and friend (Santa Claus is Comin' to Town)
So we tricked a rampaging black dragon into eating the burgomeister and the sheriff and Tamlin stole the burgomeister's fancy clothes (Tamsin looted his wine cellar).  Unfortunately, the dragon sat on the burgomeister's house, so we weren't able to set ourselves up as the town's new gentry.  Thankfully, Strahd finally sent his black carriage to summon us to Castle Ravenloft, so Tamlin can finally get down to implementing his master plan in the next session.  Hooray!

What I have learned through these precious few sessions of play is that I was born to play a murderhobo.

(Now I just have to somehow finagle escaping from Ravenloft to the Forgotten Realms so I can become a Lord of Waterdeep.)  

Tamlin's true ultimate ambition -- despite having technically never heard of Waterdeep.




2 comments:

  1. I do not mind listening to character stories when they are interesting and well told and this one is certainly fun.

    Good luck with your master plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it's doomed, but I'll have fun anyway. Thanks!

      Delete

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