I’ve spoken often about how Roleplaying Games have been valuable to me. There is something transformative about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and sharing an imaginative experience with others. I don’t know how I would have survived my teens without them. Systemless gaming (a little like scandanavian LARP, only not and with a long Australian history), and Phenomenon Roleplaying Convention will always be in my heart. There are so many characters I’ve played that have helped me look at different facets of myself, develop skills, explore who I could be, and embrace who I am. Here are just a few that will always have my heart.
The Cop (superpower: a rifle)
If you’ve ever seen a photo of me looking menacing with a plastic rifle, it’s from when I played this character. It was a game run by Mark Bruckard and company (sorry and company, I can’t remember who were players and who were GMs). Stromlo Observatory exploded in a supernatural event and everyone at the event became the manifestation of gods and supernatural entities. Except me, I stayed completely mortal, surrounded by people with hybrid personalities. People I knew were now X person and Thor, I think my CO became an Oni. The world fell into chaos and I stayed very mortal in a world of superpowers. I held my own in the world of gods, argued nose to nose with Zeus, because civilian lives mattered and I didn’t care that he could blast me to pieces with the twitch of a finger. It was a fun and cathartic character to play, even though as a character she suffered. Those who had turned supernatural seemed more inclined to treat mortal lives like tissue paper, while my character grieved deeply and tried to be a mortal advocate in a world of gods.
If memory serves, when the big bad tried to come through a portal (having primed the world with the earlier supernatural stuff) she teamed up with the gods and played a valuable role helping hold back the night. She didn’t have super powers, but she had strategy, tactics, higher ground and armor piercing bullets. I think she died by deliberately drawing the enemy onto her position so that other folks could do what they needed to.
The Unicorn (superpower: is a unicorn)
I played a unicorn in the Amber universe. In the mutliverse of Amber there is no greater entity! It was so much fun. My character knew he was awesome. He loved to gallop and be wild and did things because they interested him. When Amber politics became too much he somewhat derailed the plot by saying “your politics are stupid, I don’t know who is lying, so I am going now.” This led a Son of Corwin to say “yes, this whole thing gives me enui.” So we wandered away from the plot and went to the Seine, he drank wine and I dozed in a sunbeam. The plot had to come fetch us :-).
The Unicorn was so much fun and such a great lesson around being comfortable in your own skin. The most self validating character I’ve played, until very recently. Having played a lot of characters for catharsis purposes it was wonderful to play someone who didn’t even have a concept that you might have self doubt!
Astor Tennyson/Sailor Dionysus (superpower: wealth/nigh invulnerable)
Right now I’m only in one game, and I love it so much. We recently went to the Underworld and instead of the grim sort of sacrifices you might expect we turned it into friendship is magic! She might get some posts of her own. Once again she is a character of supreme confidence. She’s much more social than my unicorn, which does mean she finds more trouble. She has a tendency to try to have a conversation vampiric plants and really understand what their goals and needs are to see if a win win can be found. The vampiric plants have a tendency to bind her with vines and try to eat her. Fortunately she has friends who can construct molotov bongs in seconds and a friend with a really big gun. The number of times she has had to say “It’s ok if you set me on fire too, it’s better than this!” is somewhat unfortunate. Astor is so confident, you’d think she would stop trying, but she doesn’t. And, well the last time she had a conversation while being tied up and having her life’s blood sucked out of her (yes, it has happened multiple times) it turned out to be Demeter. A combination of violence and a nice chat means we rescued her! Thank you Seanan, for this amazing game. What a great group, and what a fun character.
And… well, I want to write more, but there are so many characters. I wanted to share a few with you. I wanted to do this to share my love… and also, if you happen to see a photo of me looking scary with a rifle, just remember it is plastic. It is also a cop who loves you and is fighting for humanity in a world of gods.