The Gift of RoleplayingbyManusNigrumPoet©
Hello all. Usually I post random poems or rants, but I would just like to take the time to post something about roleplaying.
Ever had that situation come up, where you watched your character grow up from a simple youth to a full grown adult? You've seen him or her fight; you cried when they cried, you felt what they felt you saw them bleed and then started bleeding too. You knew him or her like the back of your hand. From the first adventure you went on to the last one, you fought your way up hard roads, fought monsters, ghouls, goblin armies, destroyed dragons, and helped save villages. You watched them grow up, like a child you gave birth to. Your heart, your soul is within that character. You remember that one character that you used to live out an adventure with, your imagination guided by the storyteller. You flew on the wings of the eagle like Rocs. You used magic spells, you stopped illness, solved enigmas, and you trekked through mysterious mazes.
Then, your people call on you. They need you to go on a mission because the world is going to end up for the worst. Let's say that you are the last best hope you and the others who share the same mission. But you chose something that was different than the mission requested. You chose to make a list of all the names, all the ages, and all the levels of powers of your kind. For years you have built up the list, and you had finally finished it. You knew who was dead, who was alive, and who was newly born. You spent years running and making sure your race was staying in hiding. Bringing together all the people of your own blood. Then you realize you are in an ambush; your friends your troupe, they are different races and yet you know they will try to defend you and the list.
Although they try to defend you, one by one they fall. You see one of the two women of your troupe fall in a gush of blood. After a year and a half of playing, your character had fallen in love with her. This woman, who was the archer of the group, falls at the hands of a blade to her throat. Her knees buckle as she staggers, trying to breathe. Then you see her turn blue. Surely the strong man would come to aide you.
The muscle of the group lunges and attacks. He is cut short by arrows from the woods. His battle cry dies down, as his sword, that sword he bled to get, is stabbed, not into flesh, but dirt. As he grips the hilt, trying to stay upright, arrows, more of them fly swiftly and he falls back screaming in pain. His tears of pain imbedded in your memory fear creeping up your spine. You take off running with the healer of the troupe. She falls and lands a blood-curdling scream exiting her lips; you turn to try and help but you can see the blade of a dark knight pierce her back. Blood spews from her torn lungs and it spills out like drool before she passes on.
The list in hand, you feel the last other member of your group, the thief, taking you in his arms. He tugs you back, away from the fray, telling you to keep running and to hide. He screams at you to move it now or else the mission will fail. The last remaining images of him are of him lifting his daggers to the air and calling out to his god for aid and power. He's granted his wish and he begins to strike the adversaries back. However, they quickly overwhelm him. They attack him with fierce numbers and you see the fresh warm blood from his gut sprays out like an explosion. He screams, "Fly dear friend fly!!" A fear strikes you and a shiver creeps up your spine. The tingle devours your body and gives you that burst of energy you need to run. You don't see him fall but you hear his blood gurgle, his god granted him his wish. Unfortunately, the wish was the wrong one...
And then you hear your heart beats like they are your footsteps that pound the earth, as you run like you never have before. The list which was a list that carried the names, the ages of all those in your bloodline and of your race of people, the race of people who asked you to protect them is clutched to your chest. You begin to dodge trees like the cones set up at driver's education. You jump lengths you never knew you could. But it doesn't matter how fast you run or how far you jump, because you hear them on steed, you hear them on wings. You see them surround you now. Your last bit of hope lies in your use of your power, your magic...
You begin to cast spells like there is no tomorrow, spell after spell, ritual after ritual. Then you feel a prick behind your back. You look up to see one of them staring down at you with a hateful glare. Then you begin to tear up. Your head is getting heavy and the place becomes silent. That prick in your back was a huge sword, now it's twisting and you can hear it spreading the wound. The pain is so unbearable yet you still feel it in its horrid glory. You're frozen in the terror that you lost. And what about the list, that fifty page list you build up of the dead and the living? The list falls from your hand as you lay there, shivering. Scared and in pure terror, you fall down and you know that you will die. You know that you failed. Your tears begin to flow as the blade is ripped from your body that acted as its sheath for a moment. A jerk and you are dropped to die. You want to scream but you can't. You want to die and you will, so will the race of people you tried to save. All of them, the people who called you brother, uncle, godfather, nephew, they will die. The sky is bright but it's grim and your left unburied. You're left to rot as a reminder that you are the one that lost. You are the hero that failed.
Roleplaying sets itself apart from today's games. It brings you back to a world where magic flows free. Roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons, The World of Darkness, and the others are those games that lift your imagination to new heights. They also keep that old saying true, "Law by some and truth by others."
There are no winners and there are no losers.
This is the gift of roleplaying.