in the world of gaming we create characters to play as. be it video games or pen and paper games. there is always a character we create to play in these worlds that are created for or by us. To me; the best heroic journey is not the story of an incredible person doing incredible things. It is the story of a flawed, ordinary person who—when called upon—rises to an incredible challenge and finds within themselves something truly extraordinary. that is how it feels when i create a character to play in D&D or guild wars. so when i get asked why i play female characters? because i want too, but get told its wrong of me to play as a female character becasue they think i secretly want to be a female. that is not it at all my characters have a life of their own i just create the story they live in.
the very first character i ever created was Linwe, who died a rather horrible death in one of my old D&D campaigns – her story is as follows(from my old character sheets)
- Linwe born in neverwinter.
- she raised by non-relatives, who adopted her.
- They were part of a major trade guild.
- They are alive and well.
- she was an only child.
- she favored clothing that blends with the local styles, changing at need.
- she wore her hair long and flowing.
- she was given access to a private tutor, who built her knowledge.
- She made an enemy, a falling out with an old friend.
- they are both equally annoyed with each other.
- her enemy had ties to the criminal world and kept this from her.
- when Linwe stumbled upon this secret she vowed to stop her old friend.
- She spent some time with street performers, developing balance and agility.
One day Linwe was traveling when her party and was attacked by a monster. This attack knocked out several of those who would ordinarily take charge and defend, changing the Linwe’s fear to determination to protect the downed ones. With the help of another, she brought down the monster. This exposure to possible death left the her very aware of most people’s tenuous link to life. Now she is prepared for every eventuality or merely determined to allow everyone to have a chance to live. Linwe Met her end in the lower levels of Castle Whiterock where a trap was sprung and separated her from the party pitting her against terrible odds. she did not survive that day. through her sacrifice her party members went on to conquer Castle Whiterock.
with the introduction of Guild Wars it gave me the opportunity to bring my character back to life in the world of Tyria. she can not come back to life in the D&D universe she is forever dead. when this happened, when she was allowed to die it sucked. I let Linwe die. Linwe died saving the party, but I had such a sense of connection with this character that losing her felt deeply personal. Sure it is “just a game” however the fictional nature doesn’t make the loss insignificant. this was a character i had been playing for months. a character i had been developing, honing, and adventuring with for a very long time. Characters and their stories can become a way of learning how to face situations we can’t control, grapple with loss, and become resilient. If you spend hours every week for months developing a story and a character, you’re going to get attached to that character.
I have other characters, one in particular is Thodan Roaday
His name was Thodon Roaday. Powerfully built, he was just a hair shy of six feet tall with broad shoulders, black hair cropped close, a neatly trimmed goatee, and steely gray eyes. He wore a leather tunic, dyed to a deep forest green, with blackened metal studs, over fine linen garments in shades of brown, and green, and gray. A heavy black cloak kept the chill from reaching all but his hands and face. A slightly curved saber, with a silver-chased basket hilt hung from his left hip, balanced by a fine dagger with a small emerald set in the pommel on his right. The wolf was a blend of snowy white and grays ranging from near white to almost black with a deep black muzzle. She ghosted along next to Thodon, her boon companion. The name she responded to was Blizzard and, like Thodon, she hated orcs.
he is from a novella i wrote. I didn’t notice it at the time but when i finished and started to read back the story i had created much more than just a character but the character had a part of me in him. a lot of what i was going through life at the time all ended up as underlying themes through out that story. i am able to imagine life as this particular character. In other words, I am able to be in that character’s shoes. I know this character so well that i can know their habits, hobbies, talents, and personalities. our character have to be “real” people, with lives and souls and motivations, but we create those motivations.