Friday, July 20, 2012

Outside my comfort zone

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to play in a one shot game with a friend acting as Dungeons Master and some new people as other PCs. There were five of us all told.  My self, the DM, one other who was familiar with the game, and two newbies. Since the newbs were unfamiliar with Role Playing Games in general, the other player, Tom, and I decided we would take the more complicated and somewhat challenging characters to play. Specifically, The Magic User, The Cleric, and The Paladin.  I played the Magic User, a typical wizard character running around in robes and brandishing his staff.  Tom played a mace wielding Cleric who boosted the party with healing. The Paladin was played by both myself and Tom cooperatively in order to bring in another warrior in to the group.  

In my previous games I tended to stick the ranged fighting characters like the Ranger (in 3e and 3.5) and Sorcerers/Wizards (2e and Castles and Crusades). I like to play characters that I need to actually Role Play, rather than Roll Play.  I need to think what would my character decide to do in a real situation like this.  Would I stick in the background and lob volley after volley or spell after spell, or would I risk running up into the thick of battle. I believe that playing these types just play to my strengths and to my way of thinking. I am a scientific and logical thinker. I like to play characters who, while having depth and personality, think the same way. 

I am not a religious person. Never have been. In real life I do not follow any religion. So playing a religious character is needless to say, out of the norm. I do not understand religion simply because it is not a strictly logical or scientific thought process. So when I realized I would be playing a religious character I was a little apprehensive. I could have easily said I didn't want to play that character, but I knew how I think a religious character would act in a fantasy world such as the one we were playing. 

 The mage I was playing was similar to my normal characters.  He is a strong team player, trying to make sure the other characters are on equal footing, and looking forward to the magical knowledge he could learn. 

Where my normal characters tend to lean toward chaotic good, I thought I would play the Paladin as a stuffy and righteously indignant person who had nothing but contempt for the thief and mage. The Paladin is a lawful good character. Strict in his observance of his creed. At one point he even turned against the party when they tried to loot the sarcophagus of a deceased man whose tomb a necromancer had desecrated. 

I discovered that I really enjoyed playing a Paladin.  Since Paladins are followers of a strict code of conduct, their behavior is easy to dictate. I could focus on their personality rather than their decisions. While I do not think I would continue playing religious characters on a regular basis, I have found a new class I like. 

1 comment:

  1. It's very easy to fall into a comfort zone when creating characters, I know, i do it a lot. I share your religious views, but once had a great time playing against type when I spent a year playing D&D 3rd as a lawful Evil Dwarven Cleric. just so much fun it's hard to believe!

    The best way to get truly out of your comfort zone though is to so what you did, I'd suggest it to every gamer at some point; go and do a pick up game where you have no idea what character you'll play, and play to the character's strengths as opposed to your own.