Dice and Stuff!

I just had a great session of Werewolf: The Forsaken with my friend/roommate Randy. He’s a great gamemaster and I love Werewolf ala. World of Darkness, so it was a recipe for success. I’m playing Tokoda Qochata, 18 years old, Pureblooded Multnomah Indian from a reservation in the Mount Hood, Oregon area. Randy’s been taking classes in theater and has been applying what he’d learned to his GMing skills, which left me amazed by the level of detail Randy put into the setting…One thing that’s nice about the World of Darkness (WoD): it’s based in real life so you have all the campaign setting information you could ever want. Even then, he went above and beyond. Randy described EVERYTHING just well enough but left plenty to the imagination as well so as not to slow down the game. For instance, he described the Umbral Realm my character experienced his First Change in in great detail, yet left the details of the Lodge my character lives in alone because it wasn’t integral to the story. I would have felt inclined to describe it, and slow the game a bit.

My character concept is titled "Burdened by Destiny." He’s being trained in the ways of his people, yet still feels the pull of the modern world, much to the chagrin of his father and the tribe, who see great things in his future. But Takoda is more interested in the Indie Rock scene of Portland and checking out a Trail Blazers game. The character I’m building will be a werewolf mystic and seer, but he’s just starting out. I wanted a powerful but believable character rather than "I’m just a starting character but hey, ghosts are no big deal, so says my knowledge roll!" So when my character forced his way past a police cordon and saw dismembered bodies being put into a body bag, I had him nearly vomit and turn away rather than start rolling Perception+Investigation rolls to look for "animal" tracks. And when the truck I was in got flipped, broke both legs and dislocated a shoulder and I had to RP barely surviving being a passenger in a car accident and being surrounded by wolves I had him freak the hell out, screaming for help and eventually throwing a busted radio at the wolves in a panic. I enjoyed it, but I think RPing more than just heroics doesn’t appeal to everyone.

I bring this up because I’m also going to be DMing a horror campaign bi-weekly for two of my good friends and I’ve tried to impress on them that I want them starting out fresh. But they tend to latch onto the heroic aspect far too much and I don’t think they’d be comfortable being vulnerable. I intend to throw a zombie at them. Now, in D&D terms, a zombie is laughable. But if you’re not an adventurer, a zombie should freak you the hell out! Your first instinct should be to run the hell away, not cast a spell at it. Unfortunately, they’re sort of grinders, and although I have ideas on coaxing some RP out of them that will appeal to their hack n slash instincts (Gestant chars, 1st level, half gestalt is a divine class and demanding a philosophy and code of ethics from each of them, taint, morale checks early on) I don’t want to have to force RP with dice rolls. I want them to take those decisions on for themselves and react in a realistic fashion…Any ideas from all the Gamemasters out there?

Quote of the night (as usual for gaming posts): "I mean, maybe the radio just got some extra juice from the battery…It’s not always about spirits and stuff, Dad…"

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  1. Man, if you find a way to make grinders RP please share your secret with the rest of the world; we will thank you. I’ve found that the best way to get good RP is to find good RPers. Seriously, even if it’s sad.

    I really miss having you as a player, as I’ve said before. You are one of the most awesome role players I’ve ever had in a game, and that helps to liven up all the other RP.

    I guess THAT would be my advice; get at least one good role player in the group and ask them to try to get the other people to RP at least a bit. That might help.

    Oh, also? If I saw a zombie in real life I don’t think my first reaction would be to freak out. At least not right away. I’d probably kill it, go about my zombie fortification plans, and once we were all safe, the internet notified (if it hasn’t become a big thing already) and my family called, THEN I would freak out.

    • *Laughs* I make special exception for you, as you’ve long since been ready and mentally hardened against the eventuality of zombies! Those of us who scorned your warnings, however, will probably be caught off-balance!

      Thanks for the complements; you were definitely an inspiration growing as a RP-er. If I break their instincts and get them RPing more, I will tell the world. But I fear you may be right; just a matter of preference..

      • Wait. You scorn my warnings? You mean you don’t have a ready-to-enact plan in case of zombies where you are right now?

        You realize this means I cannot come and visit you, right? I trust that my host knows the lay of the land, knows where to go, what to do, and how to survive in their own area.

        When the Outbreak happens, you have to be ready!

      • nonono…

        I’D never scorn your warnings! I was referring to the ignorant masses…I’m working on the moat as we speak. My roommates fit into the whole “ignorant mass” category, but they’ll thank me someday…Or else.

      • Re: nonono…

        They’ll thank you someday, or be on the other side of the moat, right? 🙂

      • Re: nonono…

        Pretty much, yea 😛

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