Sixth Chapter – Character Development

As I may have noted, the Star Wars game, Earthdawn, and even the Mage game, were good introductions for me into the tabletop world.  I truly had a patient and experienced game master and the players were ever helpful, always encouraging and extremely understanding.  They weren’t afraid to make fun you you or each other, they weren’t shy about explaining things.  This mixture made for a well balanced immersion into getting into the tabletop realm.  Those first few games offered a good diversity of class and abilities and in those games I really was part of the group.

Around Halloween, Terry needed something to take his mind off of it.  So he planned a one off game that actually grew into something more.  While there is a group of people that lovingly refer to the game as the Tremere game, this was my game.  This was a campaign across Europe in the Dark Ages.  Me and Eric started it, where I was Vidicous (yes the name that has been adopted for the main character of Seeds of Aether.  For me there is something about that name.), but here, a knight after the Norman invasion, half Irish, half English in heritage, after a regional meeting his carriage is attacked and he wakes in a room, unhindered, to learn that his family was murdered but he was brought here when the bandits were chased off.  He is offered the power to seek his vengeance which he does, forsaking the sun, and joining the Ventrue clan of the children of Caine.

Blue ran games in modern times and those adventures were founded upon the principal of have a backup character ready.  Terry ran stories where he didn’t like to kill off players and the character dev was the foundation. A story of a man/ventrue that was shrouded in vengeance, from the death of his family and his initial embrace, to the murder of his companion so that others could gain power.  A companion whom he traveled to hell to save her, even if he had to let go.  Months after that game, we had the one off the game should have been.  After a century in hiding, he returned, to finish what he started.

Regardless of how others may see a game in which they touched but a hair of the story.  It was really mine and Terry’s.  With supporting Steve and Eric and Blue.  The rest were insignificant.  Their participation was a one off.  This was the game here I learned the other portion of the craft.  The campaign.

While the game may have went stray of the white wolf lore and timeline, at the time it was a large part of my gaming history, if not, this game being one of the biggest.  Which led to the Arthur game which didn’t go as long, to another game I will talk about in its own post, the hunter game, where you learn quickly, that having people create themselves on a character sheet, is a ridiculous endeavor, that should never be attempted.  Luckily that didn’t kill it for me, but we’ll get there.

If I could wrap up what I learned from from the different game masters I got to experience, Terry was the campaign.  It was about having a story that tied together, was driven by character.  A small moment, grown by a choice, that escalates in scale.  Blue was the session.  Each game was not about the character except for keeping them alive.  There was a certain exhilaration that came from coming out of a session with a character still alive.  That mean you had one.  Until the next game.  Finally Maz had a gift.  Each scene, each event appeared to be meticulously crafted, like it took years to put together, even if it was done on the fly and improvised.

I think about this thinks, because I use them when I write.  I don’t game anymore, not because I hate it, but after 15 years, I burned myself out on it.  With other things in my life, it also didn’t take priority.  With writing I strive  for perfection in scene and nitpick the shit out of something that doesn’t measure up all the time.  To be honest I’m surprised I made it as far as i did that time.  This started with those games from Maz though.  My understanding of character as I currently write for them started with Terry, but the world I place those characters in, that comes from Maz.  But every story needs something that brings excitement and that was Blue.

 

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