Monday, May 7, 2012
Great Characters, Part 6 of 6. Dynamism and Conclusion.
This last question is unlike the others. It asks not about the character, but a final consideration for you as the player of that character. This question is simpler than the others, but is no less important.
Do you want your character to change?
By change, of course, I mean as a person. Is your character going to stay who they are as a person through the ordeal of their adventure? Will they find redemption when they finally defeat the enemy?
Will the dragon slayer come to respect dragon kind, or will they remain an implacable enemy?
The answer to this question is something that you should share with your GM, so that together, a transformation can be created for the character. This can be a change of role, a character’s retirement, or “buying off” a certain hindering quality.
A character changing in this way is called metamorphosis or sometimes apotheosis. Those are fancy Greek words that mean your character has come full circle, and has reached the end of a journey.
That doesn’t mean that the game ends. It is the best time to do so, if that is your wish, but a hero can always embark on another journey.
Answering even some of these questions will improve the complexity of your character and make for a more enjoyable role playing experience. You will feel as though you know the character as a person, and you will care about what happens to them. More importantly, you will want to see them grow and improve.
As you guide your character to accomplish their goals and see their dreams fulfilled, you will experience a feeling of accomplishment much more fulfilling than adding up experience points or getting a bigger gun.
That feeling is called catharsis, another fancy Greek word (they were smart guys) that signifies an emotional or spiritual purging.
That is why we play role playing games. It is a rare board game or video game that can provide catharsis to a player, and if it does, it is still a lesser form of it, because it has occurred from observing someone else’s character.
By developing a complex, flawed character of your own, and playing them through their personal journey, you experience the second best catharsis that exists in this world.
The only way to experience a better catharsis is to do it yourself, in your own life. I can't help you do that, but I have hopefully helped you improve the quality of your role playing experience.