Sharing Dreams | ODAM Publishing Blog
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is right around the corner and I couldn't be more excited. As soon as the first trailer released, I sent a text to John and asked "Dude (yeah, I still call people dude), would you please write another Sci-Fi story for us?" He laughed and responded "Leave me alone. I'm writing ODAM material." The next month, I'll ask for a high fantasy campaign, and the week after that, I want to play a hard boiled detective story. The poor guy has probably written the intro to a dozen stories in a dozen different worlds. Most, never to be played.
Tabletop roleplaying games are just that - games. They should be treated as such. Is it still better for the overall experience if everyone involved takes the roleplaying aspect seriously? I would answer, yes! Granted, not everyone participating in a tabletop RPG is an academy award winning actor/actress, nor do they need to be, but “staying in character” will improve the pacing of the session (and story), allow the characters to blossom, and allow the other players to stay in the moment.
My two cents: I believe the character sheet should give the player a sense of self. At my advanced age (early 30s), I tend to look back on my old character sheets with the fondness one would save for their favorite collectible comic book or something like that. I used to color designs onto the page and make my own subtle graphical enhancements and since those sheets would live with me for the life of the character, they became part of that character's mythos.
I’ve been dubbed with many nicknames, but perhaps my favorite is “Prince Linchpin.” Granted, it’s sort of a self assigned title but it has stuck. Let me explain. When creating a new fantasy based character, I wrote in that the elf was the prince of a forgotten house and roaming the land to blah, blah, blah. I then requested (half jokingly) that I be the focal point of the story. I wanted to be the linchpin. One of my fellow players did not take well to my request and began belly aching that he’s never the linchpin. Hence, “Prince Linchpin” was born.
The Storyteller for RPGs are like goaltenders in ice hockey. They have the load of the team's responsibility and they take on the job no one else seems to want to do. Whether they are forced to do it, enjoy controlling the events of a campaign, or are simply into that sort of thing; they are a rare breed (especially if you get a good one). Coming up with a compelling story is a monumental task. It requires a lot of man hours, especially when you consider that the players hold considerable weight in the pathing of a story. I’ve done my share over the years but always apprehensively.
RPG gamers are a superstitious lot. We “charge” or “power up” our dice by leaving them on a particular number for extended periods, we store consumables indefinitely because “if I use it now, I’ll definitely need it later”, and we usually check for traps and treasures in every room we enter (gaming or not). We deathly fear that moment the storyteller or errant roll of the dice will rip from us everything we hold dear. We cannot bear to think that the countless hours spent developing, upgrading, and dreaming about our character will end in utter heartache; so we take careful, precise measures to ensure luck is on our side. Ok, maybe it’s a little OCD.