Thursday, May 12, 2005

You open the old wooden door into the inner temple of Chaos...mak e a Spot check...

So yeah, I admit it.  I'm a Roleplaying Nerd.  Not necessarily the kind that gets all dressed up and beats on people with foam bats, nor the kind that roleplays with a cliqueish, exclusionary group with no social skills.  Im just a guy with an overabundant imagination for whom the modern entertainment complex has lost a lot of luster.  Who wants to just watch a movie when you can make the movie you want, involve your friends, and have it play out in completely unexpected ways?  In the movies the good guys always win (unless it's Sin City, where Good and Evil are relative but then their not.), the black guy dies first in the horror flick, the girls are cute and resourceful but nonetheless trophies of different sorts, and the villains make the kind of mistakes that gnaw at your intelligence and make you sit up at night wondering to yourself that YOU Could have done it so much better and that you'd  have never set up some elaborate trap to kill the hero when a bullet to the face or explosive under the seat does just as well.
    So, if you dont roleplay, or have no interest in the realm of fantasty/fiction creation, you might want to skip down to the part where I discuss how my fiance almost murder our dog for biting and growling at our daughter.  But, if you do have an interes, listen up!  =0)
    My friends and I refer to ourselves as the Pantheon.  We're really just a bunch of guys with a bit too much imagination and intelligence to fit nicely anywhere but not necessarily enough naked ambition to carve out our own niche in the backsides of others.  RIght now I'm gamemastering them in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.  But instead of the standard hack & slash treasure romp through moldy dungeons and evil temples, I decided to go with a theme;  They're playing a campaign I like to Call City of Theives.  The basic goal is to set up a thriving theives guild in the middle of a massive port city (Garana Falls) after the dissolution of a heavily entrenched Crime ring known as the Family.  They're all playing basically evil or super-selfish characters and are trying to work together to amass wealth and power in the city, stomp out rivals, and stay two steps ahead of the city guard and Imperial Forces.  Whats interesting about it is two things;  If you're familiar at all with D&D you know that sometimes, you have to sacrifice roleplaying for powergaming.  People, when given the fact that, say, a Fire Giant is worth so many Experience points, and treasure is worth so many points, will simply forget that they are ROLE-playing and begin trying to slaughter everything in sight, in an effort to get more powerful, so that they can again slaughter everything in sight.  Pointless and boring in my opinion.  IF you have a 20th lvl character with all kinds of power, but you still dont have a clue what he LOOKS LIKE and there aren't any really intersting stories about your character that you and your friends tell about him and your playing him OUTSIDE OF GAME, then've got a piece of paper that signifiest that you've spent hours building something that doesnt matter.  And I wont even get into the whole MMORPG thing right now.  Im digressing.  The intersting thing with this City of Theives thing is that I've eliminated experience points.  Everybody levels at the same time, when I choose, and there really is no metagame reason for killing that orc in the room in front of the treasure chest except for the fact that the orc is standing there in front of a treasure chest.  So the group gets more into their characters and most of them try to build their particular character to the image that they have in their head.
    The Second interesting thing about this campaign is for it to be realistic, I had to let them be as evil as they want.  So I took alignments away, somewhat.  This means that the only rules are the ones they can enforce or the ones that they are forced by others to obey.  I realize that roleplaying can let you exhibit some noble qualities but it can also unleash the bastard in all of us.  Tambora's character isn't so much evil as he's just extremely self centered.  He's not the kind of person to just kill some guy hanging out at a bar for the thrill of it.  Of course, if the guy was an informant carrying a useful tidbit of information on a rival gang, well, thats all bets off.  Same with Adam's character, a true business man.  Sometimes you gotta cut losses and hurt people but usually, the honey gets the flies not the knife.  Then we hit Ahmed's character who is a Corrupt city Guard with some rank and clout.  He's also not evil but he is greedy and unapologetic about beating on the populace to get what he wants.  On the other end of the spectrum we have Ian's evil priestess who enjoys scarying children and eating the souls of her fallen victims and Chris's character, a Bloodsword who uses sacrifices to power up his abilities.  Thats pretty freaking evil if you ask me, but I let them play.  So far it's been going well, and they've done a good job sticking together and playing as a group although this past sunday, Ahmed almost instigated a Reservoir Dogs-type showdown with Tambora, Adam, Ian and Ed.
    In other news, like a said before, Daimushi got his new laptop and he's pretty excited about it.  He really doesnt have any clue about how to use the darn thing but I've been trying to teach him the joys and responsibilities of owning a computer.  It's funny how careful he is with it and how scared he is that he will break it or something.  Last night we got him all set up and tonight or tomorrow, we put spybots and adawares and some games on there.

Test 2: MAybe this will Work better

So, last night, My friend Daimushi brings over his brand-spanking new computer and, I helped to set him up.  I put some software on there and set up his virus protection and tried to explain to him that the laptop is more than just a portable porn machine.  But more on that later...