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TehStu

How in to your characters do you get?

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I figure D&D fans would be best to approach with this question, although I'm coming at it from an MMORPG angle.

Yesterday, I posted a short story (in the Creative folder) I wrote for a WoW character I played back in 2007. Doing so reminded me how much I loved playing this Blood Elf, who was a rethink of a Night Elf priest I'd played perhaps a year prior. I got so into it I could just think as him, which made the play-by-post roleplay we did while waiting for the Blood Elf expansion to launch an awful lot of fun.

But that's all standard stuff, so here's the odd thing which happened. I felt such a connection with this character that he "told" me where he wanted to go, after things went a little less than stellar with a romantic interest (yeah, yeah...). I was on my own on, nobody could see where I was or what I was doing, but instead of going off to level, my character wanted to go visit the spot my romantic interest liked and... just sat there, brooding.

I know how daft that sounds, but it's the first time I've ever had that level of connection, and haven't had it since. Other roleplayers at the time congratulated me on finally getting it.

Anyway, thought I'd see if anyone else had experienced a close connection with their characters.

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How I play all of my RPG characters is driven by the character needs and motivations rather than the game mechanics. Dice rolling and stats are just the rules of the world my characters occupy, and largely irrelevant to how I play them. Although, I don't go out of my way to fly counter to the needs of the party or of telling a good story.

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...but instead of going off to level, my character wanted to go visit the spot my romantic interest liked and... just sat there, brooding.

Role playing doesn't describe that adequately as far as I'm concerned. That sounds pretty great.

I think people must be mad if they play RPGs as predominantly numbers games but I must admit to wanting to squeeze as much out of the stats as possible while not completely going against character. Sometimes I'll really want a certain item or reward but it's just too far over the line for my dude/ess.

Edited by danbot

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For me, the time spent in someone else's head IS the reward. My group of older gamers (38 - 55 year olds, amazingly) never play games where characters hunt "McGuffins", or seek better versions of their kit - basically no dungeon bashing. The only tangible reward is completing the story, or solving the problem, getting a few XP to drop on skills, but there's no "XP-grubbing" or "rules lawyering".

It's mostly mature storytelling in a variety of universes (not D&D), primarily based around character/NPC negotiation and conflict. So no miniatures, occasional hand-drawn maps to set out a rare combat area, but a lot of in-character talking (though not so much the silly voices), problem solving and humour.

I love my Monday night game.

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That sounds cool. Just to make it clear that I see the game as the end rather than the means. Just that it's sometimes a little hard to let something go because my character wouldn't massacre an orphanage or something. I'd definitely be that well meaning guy, hideously corrupted by my need for the power to do good. Tragic.

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