Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thousand Suns and other RPGs

I was re-reading some of Melanie McBride's posts and she mentioned that many people might not realize the impact Gary Gygax has had on MMOs if they have never heard of Dungeons & Dragons. I realized that most of my posts on this blog are centered around video game playing, but we do play other things as a family.

My husband writes a popular blog on old school role playing games (RPGs). We've had a "gaming group" come to our home to play regularly ever since we married in 1997. Occasionally, I play in some of these games. My favourite games were Wraith (a White Wolf product about ghosts - my character was named Cassandra Biggins), a one-off zombie game called All Flesh Must Be Eaten (I can't remember my character's name from that one, but our daughter had a minor role in it as an animal rights protester chanting "chimpanzees wanna be free" - that was one of the funniest games ever) and Star Trek (played at a friend's house in Cabbagetown - my character was Thurka Ambiganithy). I didn't play in some of my husband's other campaigns - sometimes it's good to let your spouse have interests and past times that don't include you. Membership in these gaming groups have changed based on the players' lives (people move to other cities, get busy with their jobs, etc.) but my husband has been flexible. His most recent D&D group is not longer meeting as regularly because one of the key characters can only come about once every month or so, which wouldn't be a big deal usually, but there's only two other people involved besides the game master (GM). That's why my husband decided to try running a Thousand Suns game. I felt like I hadn't played in a long time, so I expressed interest in joining.

My husband is the author of Thousand Suns and he's the GM of this campaign. There are three other adult players. We are shady characters traveling on a ship running cargo errands. My character, Leija Suleman, is a minor criminal and musical theatre performer who decided to try becoming a preacher. She has problems keeping the details of her made-up religion straight and enjoys riffling through the pockets of unsuspecting citizens and busking for extra money.

So, how do the children fit into RPGing at our house?

My daughter has played in my husband's Dwimmermount campaign (as Iriadessa, a fairy or elf or some sort of magic user). She stopped playing with the group and my husband wrote a post about why she no longer was an active member. I thought it was a well-written explanation - he IS a writer, after all - and demonstrated that the game, which was played by both adults and children, respected all the users (i.e. the GM did not "dumb down" the game just because there was a pre-teen playing). My son has no interest in the games his father plays, but we all played an RPG called Pokemon Jr. Adventure and he loved it, even though the only things he was interested in doing was finding wild Pokemon and catching them. I'll try and let you know how the Thousand Suns campaign is progressing, because it is part of our family gaming experience.

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