I have touched on this briefly after I went to see Rogue One. As I started hanging out more with one, I was quickly introduced to all of the computer ferrets. Maz, Dal, Blue, Lear, Dav and the rest. I was A Complete, but right at that moment there was not an opening with the trade, but I was able to shadow. I spent a week in that trade, shadowing what others were doing and reading what I think was “How Computers Work.” I also remember, falling asleep at my desk briefly in the middle of the week, cause spending the better part of five days reading can actually wear on you more than days involving activity.
It wasn’t long before I was invited to the gaming session. I really was feeling my life change. I wasn’t just hanging out with new people, I was engaging with people that would in a very real sense, would be like brothers. I was a part of something in a way I had never been before. To be honest, you can’t spend eight hours a day with people, than the better part of five to six gaming over the course of two years and not develop a bond. Today, while we aren’t as closed and dotted around the middle of the country for the most part, there is and always will be a connection I think when we don’t see each other every day, and may only speak through social media. Or for those that have passed on.
I didn’t just jump in with no ideas, I basically shadowed a couple of their sessions, while reading the core West End Games Star Wars rulebook, asking questions as I went along for clarification. This was just a part though, as there were options, one of the biggest we played in, was White Wolf’s, World of Darkness: Vampire, Mage, and Werewolf. The Dark Ages. Kindred of the East. Earthdawn. The allure of these worlds were the logical next step for somebody who had spent many years, playing video games. Controlling characters, exploring fantastic worlds, saving the princess, killing the villain. There were so many wonderful adventures, but tabletop….. oh tabletop was a whole different story.
Video games were wonderful for their interaction, drawing you into a story to follow the plight of some would be hero. The down side was following in a given path, limitations set by the creators, their imagination and the hardware being the limit. Just like those games I had a character, which had abilities and attributes or stats. While there are games with more features now days, one of the big differences was character. There were templates yes, but I didn’t have to play a Jedi. No. I could play the scoundrel or the nerf herder. I could be an X Wing Pilot, with an affinity for Datasystems, or a nobleman who was a crack shot with a blaster pistol. The choice was mine. Character history was also my responsibility. Defining th characters and their roots, where they came from, their trials and tribulations, highs and lows, were only as much as I put into them. It was freedom.
Once the characters were done, the t’s crossed and i’s dotted, merits and flaws established, skill points distributed, primary attributes decided, it was time to play. The story was presented based on ideas presented by the Game/Dungeon Master. Much of the story, was established by one person. The NPC’s (Non player characters) as well as the villains, are all played out, their actions, their words, by this Master. Layout of the land, buildings, ships, towns, cities all done by this Master. There is no hard ware to limit the GM’s imagination. What there is, is players. Players are there to perform as their characters. We take the world presented by the GM and we act in it with no limitations except the limitations of our imagination. No limitations is in regards to choices, not possibilities. That did not however mean that there were no repercussions for actions we chose and a good gm, can react to you as quickly as a good player can react to them. This was part of my new life. A life that where I played fictional characters in a fictional world, I got to learn more about myself.
It’s not the hobby of many. Those that choose to watch sports, or soap operas or countless other places that many look down on gamers from. To them I feel pity. Pity for their judgment of something they don’t understand. Pity for the limitations they impose on themselves. Your team one today? Your favorite character was killed off? I helped raid an Imperial base on the outer rim. I survived a Sabbat raid in Seattle that were stalking around a night club ran by the city Ventrue Prince. I stabbed a dragon in his eye, to steal a jewel that could be used to seal an evil demi god away in the void. I did it with dice and imagination. The worlds played on based on my choices and misjudgments. It was my wit, against the GMs, and they had the entire world to throw at me. And the difference between life and death could come down to the bad throw of the dice.