Well, that’s really a pretty self-explanatory title, but I’m the kind of person who loves to explain. Since the beginning of my roleplaying career a couple years ago, I’ve played nothing but characters that piss everyone off. I can’t help it! It’s so fun! I can’t imagine munchkining my characters like my old group used to do. I always have such a good time playing characters with glaring flaws. I’m not saying it’s not fun to hit the monster every time and kill dragons in one hit (or in the case of a mutant I once played, hock a bunch of acid spit into a vial and melt two guys’ faces off with one throw), but what makes the really epic roleplaying stories is always overcoming obscene odds where the party was almost vanquished but came out fighting.
My first character was a huge slut in a campaign full of tank-women. I look back fondly on my days as Io Ganymede, holovid star and rebel face. She was cunning, sexy, and incredibly easy. You need a crate of guns? I’ll sleep with a weapons dealer. Negotiations not going great? Give me a go; I’ve got a 22 charisma, bitches! And when an in-character fight escalated and I knew I couldn’t stop it by in-character pulling out my boobs without out-of-character pulling out my boobs, a good punch to the face stopped everyone for long enough to sedate Josh, the bastard. (Side note about Josh: He once called Lando Calrissian African-American and I would like to note that he lives on Bespin a long time ago in a galaxy far away and is therefore neither African nor American.) Beauty and brains. She was a dangerous combination and all the older women playing with us were consistently enraged by her seduction-tactics. “I pull everyone out of bed one by one to train!” “Io Ganymede sleeps naked.”
In a later Shadowrun game, I made an uncouth black elf named Spook who I loved to play so much that I wanted to immediately change every one of my other characters into her. The idea of a completely uncouth character was put into my head by a friend who ran a game that included a dwarf with a charisma of 2. Any time that character would speak, the GM would tell him, “Well that’s how it sounded in your head. What actually happened was this…” Spook was chubby, had bad breath, and tended to inadvertently offend and alienate everyone she met. Everything she did was an affront to good manners and decent society, but as a technomancer, she was an indispensable part of the team, despite her constant sexual harassment claims and her horrendous hygiene. A character who is terrible at social contact is so much more fun to play because you can talk pretty much constantly. “I take the glass of water he offers, then swish the water around in my mouth and spit it back into the glass. I attempt to put it on the table in front of me but I set it down sideways and accidentally knock it onto the floor without even noticing. While the Johnson is talking, I pick my nose in what I think is a discreet way and wipe it, just as ‘discreetly’ on the couch and as we’re leaving I fart really loudly and blame it on the filthy troll.” The Shadowrun GM probably hates me because another member of the group heard about my character and came in with another character who was just as disgusting and socially inept. When he switched to Earthdawn, I made a windling who was basically a Terry Pratchett Nac Mac Feegle. When we were all given a wish from a dragon, she wished that it would rain donuts every Wednesday and from there on out, I can’t draw her without donuts.
And most recently, I’ve picked back up a brother-sister combo for D&D. It was so hard to play both that I switched the brother out for one of my boyfriend’s characters so that I wasn’t talking to myself the whole game. The brother is a stock protective brother/monk, but the sister is a sorceress who has such a low intelligence and wisdom that she can’t cast spells tied to those attributes. Her familiar will be smarter than she is in a level and then he will have to be the voice of reason. Charity Sanskrit lives in a fantasy world of sparkles and nice people and places where kobolds can be friends and goblins are probably just misunderstood. It’s not in her nature to kill, so she was almost completely useless in a fight for the first couple of encounters, which made the half-orc tank we played the first adventure with SO mad, heh.
I guess what I’m getting at, fellow roleplayers, is roleplay, I beg you. Don’t rollplay. The game is so much more fun when everyone relaxes and plays characters with character. Get up and act it out! Don’t just swing a sword. Think up a really cool way to swing a sword! And GMs, accommodate that kind of play. If someone thinks of a really interesting way to do something, figure out a way to make it happen. If it advances the story and makes the game more fun and they make the roll, don’t shoot it down with arbitrary rules-lawyering. And again, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be rules, but ever since I played Feng Shui, I feel like every game could benefit from more epic players doing more epic things. I love roleplaying and I love it even more when I’m not the only person being a jackass.