Friday 3 August 2018

#RPGaDay2018: Day 3 - What gives a game staying power?

RPGaDay2018 colour graphic (it's purple!)

The most important thing to keep me engaged in and committed to a game is my character. I need to be playing someone I'm interested in and can relate to on some level. Recently I've done this well with Solomon in Deadlands, Taji in Exalted (which surprised me) and Svetlana in Pathfinder (which didn't), and badly with Jvala in Pathfinder (I ended up talking to the GM about it: he hadn't realised I was playing my last choice of character from the 4 I'd toyed with, because vocal members of the group vetoed my preferences, and it explained a lot about how I was struggling to engage. He offered to let me switch my character, but we're pretty near the end of their story so I think it's easier to stick with her and save the 2 I really want to play for longer games. We're going back to that game soon so we can finish it and get back to our main Pathfinder story and I can play Svetlana again!)

I like to have a storyline to follow. In Exalted, Taji and Kito are working towards ridding Creation of the Realm, the Wyld, the Shadowlands, and restore the Solar Deliberative, to return Creation to the idealised version of the First Age they hold (or at least, that's Taji's goal), but it doesn't need to be epic and world-saving (though I think all the games I'm currently playing in are...). The games I'm no  longer in I remember most fondly are the ones that had an ending, rather than drifting into the ether as people ran out of time or interest or whatever.

I like to feel that the game world exists independently of my character, though I also like to feel that she's part of the world, and I think that relates to the storyline thing.

Having good relationships with other player characters is wonderful for me. Returning again to Exalted, that incredibly tight bond Taji shares with her twin brother is wonderful - even if she takes him for granted more than I'd like to admit. Similarly (and with the same player), the close friendship cemented by their psychic link that ties Adam and Chrissie is something I enjoy playing - we'll be coming back to Aberrant soon and out of game I know some of Adam's recent decisions will really hurt Chrissie when they come to light, and I'm really looking forward to playing that! Our Mage characters aren't as close, but there's still a connection that feels real; it feels like they'd ask each other for help and advice and support each other and work together, whereas I sometimes struggle to see why our Pathfinder characters (Svetlana or Jvala's group) work together at all.

I also like to have connections with NPC's: a love interest as Svetlana has with Noleski or Taji with (hey, did I give this spoiler yet?) or Chrissie and Steve; family as Svetlana and her mother, Ragna and her mormor, Chrissie and Holly (her effective step-daughter), Chrissie and her parents (in a less positive light); mentor/mentee as Taji and the Emissary or Azure Titan or Meredith or ..., or Solomon would like to build with Lacy (if he ever stays still long enough!); or just close friends, like Chrissie and Jean; or rivals or enemies, like Svetlana and Irrevetti. I think that goes back to feeling tied to the world, invested in it.

If you're taking part, don't forget to add a link to your response in the comments :) 

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