sciolist: (Drow4)
[personal profile] sciolist
Yes, we finally rolled up to face the naughty draconic nemesis that was the cause of the Eberron campaign 2005-2011. We killed her, and her henchperson, with glorious tactics andhappening upon them separately. That's the correct way to fight 2 bad people, separately.

Then we had the appendices, and, as might be expected, elves and dwarves watch the humans die. Elves watch the dwarves die. Nations rise and fall, Wars begin and end. Eventually the elves die.

It was a wonderful game for the story and characterisation supplied by ankaret, the DM. It was wonderful for the tone and setting in Eberron with its hints of steampunky swashbuckly coolness. It was even better for the addition of backstory and racial politics to the recent war and current wars setting. It had some of the most excellent cosmology I've seen in ages. Best of all, for me was the meta-setting of the game with modern gamers being thrust into fantasyland setting as their characters.

Who wouldn't want the opportunity to explore how they might feel if dropped into another world? So Carl had many facets reminiscent of an earlier me - dead-end call-centre job, not many prospects, clinging onto the ex-student lifestyle as some of his friends move on. An exercise in lazy fecklessness, but not a bad person. Coupled initially with a wonderfully thin characterization of halfling barbarian without almost any reference to the gameworld mythos, beyond the advantageous exotic racial weaponry. So there was a great deal of learning for Carl, once it was obvious that Things were Very Odd in Navir, and it was likely to be ongoing.
So, he tried to be a hero, rescuing slaves, taming dinosaurs, doing good things and ultimately proved to be OK at that because when it came to a fight, he let the cookie-cutter psycho in the back of his head loose on it.

Which was fine, until he died. Milo the halfling nutter went onwards leaving Carl behind in a featureless void. The gods don't bother coming for you if you're an atheist in a place where gods *do* exist. That was quite sobering, and Carl was fortunately raised (in a different halfling body). Carl never was much good in a fight, and carried that proudly forward for the next several years, never laying bow or blade to anything bad. Ideal in a D+D party.

Fortunately for the life eternal, the party Cleric died at a similar time and reported meeting their god. That's pretty persuasive, so Carl dedicated himself, in a pretty casual fashion to doing Good, because when you can detect Evil, and Demons and Undead usually ping that way, it's a no-brainer to realise that they usually spoil things for people in general and deserve a bit of smiting. Pascal's wager, eat your heart out - Carl actually managed to test the nonbelief side of it and found it wanting. Fortunately the party cleric was of one of the Good gods, otherwise it could have been messier with all the Shadow Xxx spells available on the bard lists.

Romance ensued with locals, and ws doomed by Carl's fecklessness and a slightly nasty streak of pragmatism. We only really had the time to be saving 1 party-member's girlfriend while wanted by the Secret Police of undead-land, and the Dwarf had dibs on that. Maybe the party would have rallied to try and find or save Lizetta, but the point was Carl a) didn't think to ask that and b) as a commitment-phobic streak of uselessness was slightly glad of the excuse not to have to try saving her. Gain plus-points for rescuing her from slavery, only to have her turned into a vampire-spawn by a bad guy because (and probably solely because) of her links to the party.

The unfortunate sex-change body thing caused by another party-member was great, too. A whole bunch of 'this is what it's like to be a woman' education was insightful and scary both in and out of character. As a happy white male in England, I (and Carl) had honestly never considered many of those sorts of things and that pointed me at the Male Privilege Checklist and some other sorts of feminist equality issues. Because if you are going to have your gender changed in a roleplaying game, it's too easy to make it into 'playing with yourself in front of a mirror' or 'now it's a girl, but the stats don't change, so what' but the meta-framing of the campaign made it intensely more interesting to consider how this would affect Carl, and in a sense, how it might affect me. I've grown as a person directly because of things that've happened in a RPG. Scary stuff, eh?

But that's just my take on it - other players' characters either kind-of-fused with their fantasy persona, to become more the 'fictional' dwarf than their original 21st century character, others kind of learned skills from their fantasy-head-buddy so that once they moved on, they still functioned as a ranger or cleric. In short, it was great because we all invested a lot of time and effort into 6 years of game so that these were people, with stories and that's pretty much the epitome for me of why roleplaying is a wonderful hobby.

An excellent game, with excellent friends - I shall miss it and treasure it.
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sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)

December 2011


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