Ten things I’ve learned from role-playing games

Note: my knowledge only extends to AD&D, and while I dabbled in university, I really only played consistently up until I was about 14 or 15. Interestingly, I also wore sweatpants to school up until I was about 14 or 15. Coincidence?

  1. Once you roll for your statistics, your character classes are limited by how good your stats are. You can’t be a paladin unless you have some pretty high numbers for charisma, for instance. In my case, a short Jewish kid, I’ll never play basketball in the NBA. But I think I have a pretty high charisma and a half-decent intelligence. Maybe I could be a wizard?
  2. You never fully understand how weird something that you consider normal is until you begin to spend time with people who have never done that thing.
  3. Hobbies can take up inordinate amounts of time.
  4. The great thing about fantasy is that it allows for a space where the most unlucky, awkward outcast in every other part of their life can be the greatest, sexiest hero for a brief period of time. That’s important for many people. It’s also why I like improv…you can be anything on stage.
  5. Learning how to map and understand directions is a surprisingly useful skill. One I have yet to master.
  6. You don’t get from level 1 to level 20 instantly. The first few levels are pretty quick, but it takes longer and longer to move up, and there is a lot of time spent wandering about, having small encounters, slowly gaining experience.
  7. There are worlds where people follow strict moral principles. They are free-spirited Chaotic Good characters, living by their own rules but living justly. Or they are neutral evil, doing only bad and destructive things. But these worlds are fantasy; they have nothing to do with our nuanced and morally grey world. Even Hitler loved his cat (reportedly), and Ghandi was probably a dick to people once in a while.
  8. Cool is relative.
  9. Acronyms are fun no matter what you are doing! They make it seem like you are part of an exclusive in-crowd!
  10. My favourite part of role-playing was the acting. Being a character, inhabiting a role.

1 Comment

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

One response to “Ten things I’ve learned from role-playing games

  1. Me

    So I’m not sure how true this story is, but I was told that when Ghandi’s wife became ill he told her that if it was her time to die then she had to die and wouldn’t let her take any medicine. Not totally evil or anythign but here’s where is gets questionable. When, later in life, he became ill and people told him he needed medicine or he would die… he took the medicine and lived. Which, personally, I find deplorable. Also Paladin’s are just never woth it because you have to act in accordance to your alignment which has to be lawful good so you just spend the whole game finding loopholes to explain any unlawful behavior. I prefer fighters and rangers. I don’t have the patience to be a mage. Waay too much time to actually be useful. Plus fighters get, like, a thousand feats. Which is badass.

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