#RPGaDay 2017 – Day 13

Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

Playing mostly one-shot convention games for the last decade, I’ve run with a much wider range of pre-generated characters than might have been the case had I always created my own. I no longer have a preferred type of character. Instead, I focus more on playing to character rather than class.

I’ve become comfortable playing most characters that are put in front of a random group of players in a convention game. Often I’ll leave it to other players to have first pick, and I’m happy to sweep up what’s left and run with it.

I trust that all prepared characters presented have more than a little something useful about them that they’ll be able to use in the scenario. It doesn’t always happen (even with published scenarios), and that would have left me stuck in the past. Previously I would have defaulted to class stereotypes or tropes. My characterisation would be wooden or parody, and frankly less satisfying.

Now I’m much better at finding elements with pre-generated characters that I want to work with. I’m more confident about bringing what may have been throwaway traits, underpowered abilities and filler skills to the foreground. Where necessary, I’m also more confident about inventing and improvising backstory details that bring something interesting to the character and that can support the scenario goals.

I feel that there are other changes to how I play as a result of accumulated one-shot and convention game experiences. As well as playing to character rather than class (for my enjoyment of the game), I am more focused on the group fiction (within the game), I’m more consciously inclusive of other, especially new, players (at the game), and I’m more interested in supporting and working with the GM (for the good of the game).

Of course, results can vary. Just because (I think) I can, doesn’t mean it always works. Nobody has told me if I have been a sociopath player, so it can’t be going too bad.

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