Monday, February 6, 2012

What Dungeons and Dragons Has Taught Me (About Myself)

It might sound silly, but lately one of my main methods of examining myself and the changes I'm undergoing is through my D&D characters, who I've found end up exemplifying at least some things about the type of person I am/am striving to be at the time. So, let me introduce you.

Malachi and Kazak
In my freshman year of college I created Malachi, a quiet, ordinary elven girl with a thirst for knowledge and a soft spot for creatures of any sort. Her class was a combination between druid and the prestige class "dragon rider." She had a companion, Kazak, a young brass dragon who was indebted to her for saving his life. He accompanied her everywhere, his chattiness making up for her silence, and occasionally took the form of a cat to maintain a low profile.
I think this character was a fine expression of  my high aspirations and my desire to become a vet, as well as a desire to be the "quiet one." At some point during high school, I realized I was attractive and became an obnoxious attention whore, trying to make up for all the years I was an ugly duckling in doubletime. Sometime later I'd realized what I'd become, and thusly I'd consciously try to not be that. This character was also probably influenced by desire for a dog, which I did not have yet. I held onto this character for a long time, trying to play her for multiple failed campaigns. Similarly, I was still resistant to change in my life and holding on dearly to my past self.

Birthed in the spring of my sophomore year, this was simply a result of me going back and watching some episodes of one of my favorite childhood TV shows. My friend wanted to start a campaign and I was more than happy to join, but also completely lacking creativity, so I just said "I basically want to be Xena." She ended up being an uncouth pit fighter that liked to party and drink, a star in her hometown, with her own mansion and a servant to boot. She may have in part been inspired by a little bit of restlessness, and a desire to change things up for the sake of it.

This character just came to be this fall, the start of my junior year. I left her rather ambiguous and open-ended, intending to develop her through the course of the campaign, which never really went very far. she was dexterity-based fighter. I attempted to play her in such a way that her sex was disguised and people assumed she was a man, but this proved more difficult than I thought. If you know me in the slightest then this doesn't require much explanation. She, like the character before her, was also influenced by out-of-game restlessness and wanderlust.

Part of a campaign I am currently playing, Vittoria is a woman of gypsy decent, attempting to rise through the ranks in a hierarchical society where the idea itself is ludicrous. She is the member of a crew of smugglers gone pirates, with levels as a bard and "swashbuckler."  She thirsts for power and prestige. And for once, I'm hamming up the fact that my character is a woman, who essentially gets places by being seductive and manipulative. This character is largely influenced by some recent self-hate and brooding about the fact that I'm a woman, which I hate, in case you didn't know. I suppose I'm just trying to take out my resentment in a different way. Think of it as a sort of therapy. Or not, given the fact that the world of this campaign is sexist. Maybe I'm just that much of a masochist.
She may also reflect my recent realization that my desire to be a vet is nothing more than a desire for prestige, but that's a story for another blog.

A brand new character, just weeks old, I threw this idea together for my boyfriend's Scorched Earth campaign. He is the "tropiest of tropes:" the assassin with amnesia. I am playing him in such a manner that I have not seen my character sheet, most of my "checks" are made for me, and I have to feel things out for myself. At present, he is covered head to toe in one enormous, elaborate, magical tattoo, and anyone he touches receives a lethal dose of poison. He does not remember his name, but shadows and thoughts of predatory animals in the back of his mind have spurred him to temporarily refer to himself as "Hunter." Curiosity about his origins is currently what unites our party.
This character is a fine example of my lack of creativity. What else I have to learn from both him and Vittoria, only time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. You are something... Very self reflective and very eloquent write-ups.

    I will be reading more of your postings :)