The other side of the screen

Oh, what should I post about today?  I got nothing. Ok…<grabs a d10, rolls a 1>…thanks Zak.

So on a “1” I am supposed to blog about one of my players but the current group has not been together all that long.  So here’s a brief run down of them, without going into too much detail about anyone, but, I hope, capturing a little of their spirit, in the order of how well I think I know them.

  1. My brother Tom.  He’s a year and a half older than me and my best (often: only) friend and we argue viciously sometimes but are largely on the same page regarding games and gaming.  Tom used to always be the DM, and when he’s a player he tends to dominate the table — old habits I guess.  He sometimes projects an “I don’t really care that much and am barely paying attention” attitude, but he’s actually very observant and quick-witted.  Also people tend to be a little afraid of being the brunt of his ridicule.  I’ve seen him bring grown men to tears.  But he’s also a great sounding board for ideas and very helpful with rules and can be about as impartial as anyone I’ve known.  His characters tend to be fighter types, usually dwarves.  He is sometimes perceived as a bit of a munchkin but the fact is he can’t help but make his characters as effective as possible, it’s just in his blood as an engineer.  Since he was DM in more than 90% of the games I’ve played, I picked up a lot about DMing from him and he’s also been a good sounding board for ideas.
  2. Richard used to work with Tom and he’s the guy in your group who is a little “too cool” to be gaming but usually ends up getting way into his characters.  Richard and Tom are the two most likely to excuse their antics with “But it’s what my character would do.”  Richard also loves talking and joking around and if I let him he’d probably just chat up the table the whole night.  It’s nice to have someone who is genuinely outgoing in the group, since I tend to be pretty anti-social and am not very big on small talk.  Richard usually plays some kind of archer or ranger, or more rarely a thief, and is usually the cause or at least the catalyst of party discenssion.  It’s great to have someone at the table who will mix things up and make things happen.
  3. John. I knew John years ago in college, from living in the dorms and being in the “gaming club.”  He was a year or two ahead of me and very outgoing , and one of the very few people that I secretly feared might be smarter than me.  John is very funny and just as quick-witted as Tom & Richard, so the early days of the current campaign — when they were the only the above three players — were still a blast.  John also role-plays more than anyone else at the table. He bothered to make up a bit of back-story for his character, and speaks ‘in character’ more than anyone else.  That coupled with his fairly encyclopedic knowledge makes him a lot of fun to play with.  You can count on him to figure out puzzles and tricks, and keep the party on task, although he tends not to actually take a ‘leadership’ position.  He has usually been a DM/GM.  I know he played a cleric in one extended campaign in college, and in my game he’s playing a paladin, but I don’t know if he has a ‘typical’ character or not. He’s also the one who’s way into “indie” type games and I think he has some writing credits for “FUDGE”.
  4. Ross. I don’t really know Ross all that well but he seems like a very positive, happy-go-lucky guy.  He is in a good mood all the time and never complains about the antics and drama at the table.  It could be he is smiling uncomfortably, I guess, but he’s been a pretty dependable player, only bowing out when he’s sick or stuck in the snow.  Like Matt, he has to travel pretty far to get to my house for the game so I give him a lot of credit for that too.  He’s fairly new to roleplaying but took it pretty stoically when his cleric was killed ignominiously and could not be Raised. He has not played a lot of D&D prior to joining this group so I don’t know if he has a “typical” character either; he’s plays a cleric in my game.
  5. Matt is the youngest player at the table, and probably the most enthusiastic.  He’d play all day long if he could, I think.  He’s taken some ribbing from the rest of us and does not lose his cool, which tells me he’s actually pretty mature — possibly more so than some of us grognards.  He is still uncomfortable with the whole “role playing social interactions” thing, which is kind of ironic because his character has the most baggage with NPCs due to carousing mishaps.  He’s also a very generous guy, volunteering to help out when Tom’s car was stuck, running out for dinner at the Con, and so on.  Maybe he doesn’t realize he can say “no.”  (Shit, I probably just blew it!)  Anyway he brings a lot of enthusiasm to the table, and being (along with Ross) the least knowledgeable about the tropes of ‘old school’ D&D makes it fun to pull out what would be tired cliches to a long-time player. I know he’s only played with one other group, so while he plays a fighter, I don’t know what his “typical” character will be.  Unfortunately he’ll be on hiatus for the summer due to the fact that he lives an hour away and drives a gas-guzzler.  In the fall he’ll be back in school and close enough to come play again.
  6. (Adam). Adam is no longer with us, working the night shift now.  He joined along with Ross at the same time — they were already friends.  He tended to play a more devious, trouble-making role, and you can’t have too much of that in old school D&D.  He was maybe a little more outgoing than Ross but I never got to know him very well.  His Elf, Sparky, was the character that pulls every lever, reads every rune, and is too curious for his own, or the party’s, good.
  7. (Bob). Bob has actually only played with us twice, I think, although I don’t think he means to snub us!  He brings an even deeper sense of history to the table, since he’s been deep into the hobby for over 30 years.  As a player he balanced caution and carpe diem risk-taking which fit in well with the group.  I doubt he has a “typical” character. He has done a lot of GMing.
  8. Marc. Our newest player (having only attended three games as of this writing, although this won’t get published for a week or so, by then it will be four sessions…), Marc is also very enthusiastic and has been fun so far.  He is the ‘team player’ so far, demanding very little attention and agreeing immediately to play a magic-user as the party needed one.  He’s been out of gaming for quite some time before now but I get the sense he’s plunging feet first into the whole ‘OSR,’ listening to podcasts and enjoying the nostalgia.  He’s playing a magic user, and has been pretty patient about being the soft underbelly of the the party (he’s died twice so far, but at least they keep Raising him).

I have found it interesting that although I keep wanting to call Telengard “my game” or “my campaign”, each of the players has contributed something to the game and there would be no Telengard without the players.  Thanks guys!

Published in: on June 12, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “…and there would be no Telengard with the players.”

    • Corrected. I guess I just can’t see my own typos if they are at the end of a post.

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