Player vs. character: a D&D tale Sep28

Player vs. character: a D&D tale...

After several months of playing my character, Aravahn—a human fighter who hates goblinoids and searches tirelessly for his long-lost love, Kaitlynn—I made a drastic decision during a turning point of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Reflecting upon this decision later, I began to wonder: Does a player more deeply influence their character, or does the character have a more profound impact on the player? At first, the answer seems quite simple. Of course I influence my character more—I created him so therefore he must think what I think and do what I say. It is true that a character is, at the very heart, a work of fiction. However, all fiction is based on some fact. It would be intellectually dishonest not to recognize the facets of a character I’ve created without recognizing the influence of my own personality upon it. I don’t believe I can breathe life into a new character without some part of me going with it. Even if the designed back story, race, features, traits, class, and skills would otherwise create a character devoid of any trace of their creator, once they begin to actually role-play, evidence of the creator becomes obvious for all to see. I played him for so long that the part of me that went into him became him. For example, one of my D&D buddies plays a paladin (an expedient choice for any Christian role-player) in one game and a rogue in another. However, his mannerisms come through in both. The biggest one is his propensity for ending sentences with the phrase, “so yeah.” He does this whether he is speaking in-character or out-of-character, which I find incredibly amusing. It should be noted that this individual is fairly new to role-playing, but even for veteran role-players,...