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Blogging RPGs: Commitment Issues

Blogging RPGs: Commitment Issues

By Allison Emm

A few days ago, I sat down with my books and decided to make a character from scratch. Having played through only two D&D encounters, it was all still very intimidating. I tried, but there is only one thing I hate more than numbers and that’s decision-making.  Unfortunately, creating a character requires a lot of that.

Back in the days of WoW, I had serious commitment issues. I began, as many do, with a human something that only got to level 10 or so. There was a moment when I saw the first level 70 (that’s as high as one could level in ancient times) charging forth on his Felsteed, red eyes aflame. His robes gleamed with the light of a thousand buffs. N00b that I was, I couldn’t even figure out how to inspect his gear.

I did some of this: /bow, and a bit of this: /swoon, but all I ever got from him was this: /nod.

I decided then and there that I would have my own Level 70 one day, and that this human something-or-other was not what I wanted to level. Another thought occurred to me as I gazed upon that powerful warlock. There was a darkness in me, a darkness that the Alliance could not tame. Thus, I bid a tearful goodbye to my Night Elf guildie, and joined the Horde.

Perhaps it was the underdog camaraderie I found once I changed factions. Maybe it was the fact that I like being the only cute little Blood Elf amongst Orcs and Trolls. Now that I think about it, that’s probably a psychological complex… along with my fixation on roof-scaling men in dark cloaks and masks. Whatever the reason, I found a home among the Horde, but it still took me ages to settle on one character. Rogues were a favorite of course, but there was always the talent tree to figure out, and there were never enough points to spend. The highest level I ever reached was 61, and just as I was nearing the top, Blizzard increased the level cap.

Now here I am, staring at the mother of all RPGs, commitment issues still unresolved. That’s the beauty of encounters, however. Wednesday, my DM asked if I had created a character since last he saw me. I hung my head in shame.

“That’s ok,” he said. “With encounters you can essentially play a different character every week.”

I grinned and reached for the stack of pre-generated characters. Last time, I liked the pretty thief named Keira. Perhaps I’d enjoy that again?

Enjoy it I did! The night included storming a tower at the bidding of Elminster, Sage of Shadowdale. We took on a few drow, and I got down with my dark side throwing daggers from the dim. I even got to leap through a window all Batman style! Luck was on my side and I rolled a lot of 20s, so even though I’m still pretty clueless, the drow carnage was substantial.

I’m beginning to understand how people get crazy about this game. Some argue that 4E has some faults that hurt the game immersion, such as the fact that it requires you to play with a grid and miniatures instead of straight role-play. For a beginner such as myself, however, I’m plenty immersed when the encounter begins. Quiet and timid at the table, perhaps, but I’m just trying to slip into the shadows unnoticed. I’ve even developed some personality quirks, like obsessing over the minor action of picking up all my thrown daggers as soon as possible. What? I’ve just come to love them so much. Would you let your favorite pretty sharp things lie on the ground all night? I think not!

So, have I finally found my character class destiny? We shall see. I’ll continue to play this pre-generated rogue for the next week or two, and then try something else for good measure. One day, when the nuts and bolts of D&D are second nature, I will create my own. Maybe she’ll be a rogue, maybe not. Time will tell. But whatever she turns out to be, she’ll make Level 70 Warlocks look like Tauren toe jam!

Tags: games, dungeons and dragons, world of warcraft, wow, blogging rpgs

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About the Author
Allison Emm

Allison Emm is a writer, illustrator, and handmade soap enthusiast hailing from Boulder, CO. She is fond of bookish and ruggedly handsome mountain men, blue spruce trees, birds of prey, starships, and yarn. See more of her high jinks at www.AllisonEmm.com, and follow her on Twitter @Allison_Emm.

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