虎之助 (lordameth) wrote in roleplayers,
虎之助
lordameth
roleplayers

Everyone's Doing It!


Well, it seems like the thing to do, might as well see if I can form a coherent (and vaguely interesting to read) narrative about how I got into gaming.

I guess I have been playing for about 15 years.. which makes me feel old to think about it. Got my start at summer camp, when I was around eight or ten maybe. We would play D&D or the old Marvel Super Heroes games for like an hour a day at lunch time. We also played tabletop (Warhammer and the like) wargaming in the mornings - I rather miss that, as I've never really had the money to obtain my own armies etc.

So, yeah, I guess we started out with your typical hack-and-slash adventures, likely heavily laced with puzzles and traps and like this. Rather light on the role-playing, as I get the impression D tends to be. We also played a lot of Hero Quest and similar games like that, so...

I was introduced to Werewolf the Apocalypse some time in high school, again at summer camp. This was a sleepover deal, and we were much freer to spend our time as we chose. Anyway, looking back on it I still think it's kind of funny that I started with Werewolf - I got into Changeling and Mage not too long after, but was dead set against playing the undead, i.e. Vampire, for quite some time.

I don't recall that campaign too clearly, but I'm pretty sure it too was centered primarily on powers and fighting and like this. Over the course of only a few sessions (it was a three-week summer camp) we became the Chosen Pack or something like that, the greatest most important werewolves of all.

Over the course of the next few years, we played a bit more Werewolf/Mage/Changeling, usually if not always in a combined world, and I was introduced for real to Vampire in college. I'd been doing lots of different kinds of gaming for years, but I think this one campaign really changed my views on RPing and opened my eyes to what it means to play a role...

I've never been into the angsty stuff, and our games rarely dealt with truly serious or adult themes. I'm strongly against the opinion that WoD has to be (or is even meant to be) like that. But we do take it seriously to the extent of playing the role of a character with a defined personality, attitude, goals, who is defined by those things more than her powers and stats. Sure, we had tons of fighting, and tons of usage of magic and all sorts of crazy wacky stuff, but it was really about motivations, and a game that's centered around the characters and/or the plot, not around power-gaming, battles, puzzles, XP, gold/treasures, or any WoD/modern-setting equivalent of dungeon trawling.

I also got into LARPing at college, though I never played in anything longer than a weekend-long game once. I'm not really into LARPing I don't think as I'm too self-conscious and a poor actor - in tabletop it's a lot easier to roleplay out being a completely different person, not limited by your own appearance or behaviors. In any case, I do like LARPing for the social element; I've met a lot of people through LARPing conventions, and I think I'd like to give Camarilla or the like a try - maybe the Changeling games will be less angsty and gothy than the Vampire ones...

Overall, I guess I'd say I haven't played nearly as much as I imagine some people have. I've dabbled in a number of systems (D&D 1st through 3rd eds, GURPS, old WoD, three incarnations of Marvel Super Heroes, Star Wars, 7th Sea, Burning Wheel) over the last 15 or so years, but only once I think did I ever play a campaign that truly met regularly, flowed smoothly, and came to a proper planned ending. I've had a lot of fun dabbling, but this one campaign is also by far the one I enjoyed the most. I've never been successful at GMing, though I've often tried, and do have different and interesting ideas from my friends - it would be a very different experience to play with myself as a GM, is what I mean to say, rather than with my other friends as GM.

I've run into the problem too often that even when I do have people around to play with, we can never seem to get anything together to meet regularly and to not have a game fall apart. At this point, though I'd certainly still be interested in playing something, I haven't bought a new book or played in a game in at least two years I think. This comes partially from my moving all around the world - I'm hoping to go home in Fall '08, so maybe I'll reconnect with my old group, or with a new group, and get settled into a proper game again...

For me, RPing is a social thing, certainly, particularly as I'm now out of college, and it would take something like a regular weekly game session to actually see my friends on any regular basis. But I'm really all about the plot and the characters and the worlds. I've personally found in my experience that WoD seems to lend itself towards that kind of role-playing over the more magic and treasure driven style, but again I'm not at all into the kind of dark, serious, angsty, or adult themed gaming that many seem to associate with the system. Point of fact, I think I'm a bit more into historical fantasy type settings... Considering how obsessed my friends are with the L5R CCG I am amazed we haven't tried to get a L5R RPG campaign going. Then again, as a proper scholar of Japanese history, Rokugan might just make my head explode.

Good to be here on the forum with you all. Cheers.
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