Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why do you play D&D?

Hey, still sick. I've got a post with some new Warlock pre-gens coming up, but it'll have to wait until I'm well enough to focus while using a tablet pen again.

Until then, if you haven't yet. GO READ ASHLEY BURCH'S NEW SITE! 'How Video Games Saved My Life' has become something very dear to me. This is mostly because I find it refreshing to see people focus on the positive reactions people have to video games that fall outside of the norm.

It has also gotten me thinking about D&D again.

Here's a question. Why do you play D&D? What do you derive from the game outside of just 'just having fun', if anything?

If you've never played before; no problem. Hopefully this post will pique your interest in the game and persuade you to give it a try. Believe me, after one game of D&D, you'll learn what your favourite things about the game are.

Because the game is flexible enough to accommodate hundreds, if not thousands, of viewpoints on how it can and should be played, it makes for a very, VERY diverse fan base.

Roleplayers, story tellers, power gamers, min-maxers, rules-lawyers, instigators, observers, thespians, hack'n'slashers, grognards. All colourful titles with varied origins. All of them signifying a different kind of D&D player, based on what they want out of the game.

It's no secret that, as both a player and a dungeon master, I love me some characters and character development. The thing I love most about the game is being able to have or play with a collection of fantasy personae, all of them with different motivations, drives, and interests. I love running or playing in a game where I can accommodate these personae, challenge them, and play off them as much as possible.

Also, I love me some funny accents and voices. Any excuse to ham it up is one I'll take.

For example, the last home game I ran and played in, I played a tiefling wizard named Ink (full name = Reita Medina Belacova). She (I) spoke in a fairly thick Russian accent and generally presented herself as a walking tome of arcane knowledge and history (sort of a cross between Natasha Fatale and Egon Spengler...but with horns). Also, she was the straight 'woman' of the party, playing off of the eccentricities of her comrades (a plucky female dwarven rogue with mommy-issues, and a stoic male half-elf druid who rode a giant wolf).

Originally, Ink was just supposed to be added 'DPS' for the party. She was an NPC I ran alongside the party in order to assist them with fighting. But over time she grew to have more and more character, and in turn became better and better liked by the party.

So much so that when she was killed by giant spiders while the party was in a climactic battle with half-elf druid's evil uncle, the players were truly upset that she was gone and would no longer be able to play with them.

In other words, what started out as a goofy accent and ability to cast magic missiles, had grown to become a real character that my players cared about and would miss.

THAT'S why I play D&D. That's what I enjoy most about the game. Making and playing characters that the other players will enjoy and have fun with. Be they comrades, acquaintances, villains, despots, peddlers, monsters, heroes, or any combination of the above, I love filling the 'role' of a character in order to amuse, excite, and hopefully endear.

So my non-rhetorical question to you all is this: Why do YOU play D&D? What makes you want to roll polyhedrons with friends when you haven't done so in a long time? If you're an experienced player, what keeps you coming back to D&D after all these years? What do you truly hope to derive out of the game?

Answer below in comments, or hit me up on Google+

*NOTE: So, of course, faced with having killed off my player's favourite NPC, I fixed things up Aeofel Style right away.

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