Friday, July 15, 2011

I have Zero Emotional Investment in my Character

I am not sure I grasp the emotional investment in characters people talk about occasionally. Its not that I do not enjoy playing my current character, its not that I do not like him, its not that I would no be remiss if the character were to die. Its just I would lose no sleep over it. I don't think I would even blink.

When starting out a campaign or with low level characters, I carry a wad of 3x5 index cards with me. These are replacement characters. When a character dies, I just whip on of these bad boys out and kick him to the table. I remember a couple of years ago I kept wishing I could go through several characters to get one on the index card because he had such high stats. I did.

He died in his first combat.

I don't carry the index cards to the game now since I my character reached 6th level a bit ago and his chances of dying have diminished - though not by much apparently. He got knocked down to two hit points the last night. I was one boulder throw away from being killed. Had he died, I would have had a new character whipped out in minutes and went roaring back with renewed vigor. I know I would. I have literally lost many hundreds of characters. 

So, I really don't get the depression (that's too strong a word) associated with character loss or, you know that blah feeling, giving up the game feeling etc. I don't the emotional investment thing. Maybe I am psychopath.

I know, its like milk. Don't cry over spilled milk. You know, you can always go to the store and get more. Hmm, but what if it were beer?

Thinking on it, I'll go with the psychopath.

Not this kind                                                                           

Maybe this kind


Ronin78 (Gaming Ronin) said...

I'm not sure about emotional investment. But I know my players hate loosing all the work they did getting the character to the current level. Loosing gear and other items earned.

Like playing a computer game with no save points. Starting all over after beating many levels already does suck.

John said...

@Ronin78 - I thought that was part of the fun of the game; getting a character to a high level and collection loot and gear. And if said character gets to a high enough level, said character gets to retire and the player starts all over again.

Anonymous said...

I've lost a character with a couple years invested in him. What bummed me out was the loss of all that story potential ahead of him. When you have that much game-time in a character, synergy between character and game world can kick in to provide a wonderfully rich experience.


Stacey said...

Yeah, I think part of it is how long the campaign is. I played a thief in a 2nd edition D&D game for four years. I cared more for that character than I do some people i knoew.

Ronin78 (Gaming Ronin) said...

@John - Exactly, and that is why it sucks when they die off. A retired character is not the same as a dead one around here. =)