Wednesday, February 8, 2012

[Reverb Gamers 2012 Master List] Question #6 - Part 1

Atlas Games' "Reverb Gamers" group has published a list of questions. It is available from the Atlas Games site (http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/ReverbGamers2012MasterList.pdf).I am going to answer them, one at a time.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #6: Describe your all-time favorite character to play. What was it about
him/her/it that you enjoyed so much?

This question begs for a long and descriptive answer, so it will be presented in two parts. Here is part one.

Hands down my all-time favorite is also the one I remember the best. That would be Gareth the one-handed Thief. I played him in two playtest adventures for Goodman Games' DCC RPG (http://www.goodman-games.com/dccrpg.html) at a local Con (GenghisCon). He was a blast to play. First off, he was Chaotic Evil. Anything in the Evil alignment category can be difficult to play. You can't just be a bastardly prick to everyone and call your character evil. You have to be self centered to, or past, the point of being self obsessed. You have to be willing to sacrifice anything, even the other PCs to get what you want. You need to be willing to use and abuse all of the characters in the game to achieve your goals.

Playing an evil character is a signal to the GM that you intend to make the game be all about you.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It can make for some great stories. (In this case it did, and quite well in fact.) It can also really destroy a gaming session, or even a gaming group. DCCRPG encourages colorful characters. The description of the game from Goodman himself starts off with the line: "You're no hero." Gareth was colorful and fun to play. He was motivated by profit, personal profit. Thus, he followed a group of adventurers into a ruined temple to a dark, elder god. His hope was to use them to clear out any traps and monsters without revealing himself, but that plan quickly changed when the adventurers encountered a bunch of animated skeletons. He realized that there is definitely safety in numbers. Things didn't really get interesting for Gareth until he found the book. It was some sort of evil tome which the followers of said dark, elder god used in their rituals. It also happened to have a gilded cover which was jewel encrusted. After meeting some deformed and homicidal crusaders that had been living in the ruined temple for a century (they had sacked the temple in order to destroy this dark god and had become trapped) he decided to open the book. That didn't go well. The book retaliated and tried to suck Gareth into a dark abyss. Obviously that was not going to save him (and the other adventurers if necessary) from the homicidal cultists. The group eventually achieved its goal, to get the three jewels which were fabled to be in the depths of the ruins, but the crusaders weren't going to let them out alive. (Retrieving the jewels is how Gareth lost most of his left hand and became the one-handed thief.)

The highlight of the adventure, however, was the end battle. It was 24 cultists against 4 adventurers. 6-on-1 might be doable (probably not) in a system like Pathfinder, but is definitely not doable in a deadly system like DCCRPG. Seeing that he was probably going to die, and seeing no other way out, Gareth used what Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons called  "The last refuge of a scoundrel." For the first time in his life he prayed. However, he prayed not to the god of the monstrous crusaders. No. He prayed to the dark, elder god of the temple. A god that had been all but forgotten, without followers for a century. Using the powers of this evil deity he was able to vanquish the leader of the crusaders which allowed the rest of the adventurers to kill his followers. Thus was the group able to escape the ruins and profit from the adventure.

That was an amazingly fun and awesome adventure and Gareth turned out to be a very worthwhile PC. However, that was just part one.

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