Saturday 23 August 2014

#RPGaDay Day one - First Game

I’ve come a bit late to the game (various pathetic excuses), but now going to start on the rather lovely RPGaDAY. I did consider waiting to September, but that only has 30 days and I’ll be too busy come October, so I’m starting mid-month instead. To be fair, some of my responses are going to be so short that they’ll be joined together in blog posts. Others will require one all of their own.

Day One – First Game Played

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve mentioned this briefly before, but will go into a bit more detail now.

I was a gangly, spotty, 16 or 17 year old and the only girl regular at my local Games Workshop. I’d been going down for 2 or 3 years, since my little brother had got into the hobby because Dad wanted someone to accompany him to the store. Through this, I became close friends with the staff and other regulars and when my brother lost interest I didn’t.

One day, one of the full-time staff members, Andy, asked if I wanted to stay behind and join their Buffy game. I was a huge fan of the show (still am, actually. It got me through my teenage years) and he thought I might like roleplay. It sounded like fun and it was a massive confidence boost (something I badly needed) to be invited to something outside of GW. My Dad was a little wary: he’d known students (he claimed) who’d become so involved in roleplay games that they missed exams. I’m not certain I believe him now, although I absolutely did at the time and that may have been the point of the lie – to appeal to my need to achieve academically to keep me from taking a game too seriously.

Anyway, however it ended up, one evening after the shop was closed I helped tidy up (a few of us most trusted regulars would from time to time, in return for lifts home or just cos it meant we could carry on chatting. The staff would probably have been in serious trouble if Head Office ever knew, but it was one of many ways the staff made us feel important and helped us through the hell’s highway that is puberty) and we went upstairs to the stockroom.

Andy sat me down and we created a character based on me – with a few alterations. Oz was my favourite character (I still secretly imagine he and Willow get together again. Willow and Tara are probably my other favourite characters. But it's close), so I wanted to take the werewolf flaw, and Andy said that would work as a way to bring me into the game (but ultimately we never used the flaw and it was more like I got free character gen points. A bit of a shame, but never mind). And I wanted to have magic because, well, magic is cool! So a few points there. But otherwise, I was playing me, living in my home town with my friends and my family.

The other players joined us and the game began with their Watcher introducing me and saying he was going to be keeping an eye on me (what I knew but the others didn’t was that he’d saved me from a werewolf attack). They were surprised to see me but quickly caught me up on what they’d been doing and the ways the world was ending (which was why the Watcher was in town even though there was no Slayer locally).

It was fun! Andy played himself in the game from time to time, but his character knew nothing of the supernatural world so it could be interesting to try to keep him innocent, as it were (Andy as GM was keen that Andy as NPC didn’t get too involved because it would be complicated for him). I learned more about the neighbouring town (the one with the nightclubs and, actually, where I now live) from the game than from going in real life – and my first clubbing experience was so that I would know what they were talking about because the local metal nightclub – The Villa – was the venue for a lot of the action. (It’s probably part of why I ended up working there, actually. It was a brilliant job, so I’m pleased.)

Playing ourselves meant I didn’t have to get into character, but using lateral thinking and working inside the game lead one of the other players, Tom, to invite me to his ShadowRun game “for something a bit more serious – I think you’ll enjoy it” and the rest, as they say, is history.

 With thanks to Autocratik for the idea. You can check out his response to Day One here.

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