Thursday, July 4, 2013

What My Wife Thinks About RPGs

Some of you may know this already, but my wife is a lapsed gamer. She was even part of my last live D&D group, but got bored with it and decided she was done. Actually, according to her, she prefers it when games aren't campaigns, but rather when they're episodes, when, in her words "there's a beginning and an end, and not a lot of time in between." Obviously, this is a bit different from how I look at gaming. It works for her, and that's what counts. (Also, knowing that, to get my wife gaming ever again, I have to make sure it's a short, one-shot something that's she's interested in; she's already thinking that an all-day megadungeon romp like we used to do in the old days would be a fun Sunday for us sometime.)

"I become relevant later, honest."
"I don't want to talk, I want to fight some fucking creatures and act goofy." That about sums her up. She actually dictated that part. That's where this is going. She adds "It's really act goofy as we divvy up the treasure." Yeah, like that makes a difference.

Anyway, I've picked up quite a few new (to me) RPGs lately, and she's had some interesting thoughts about them. Interesting enough that I decided that I should share them with the internet.

Traveller5

"It makes my husband grumpy and I don't like when my husband is grumpy. So fuck that game."

Warhammer Fantasy RP 1e

"My dwarf pit fighter was way cooler than your stupid jailer."

She learned to use her percentile dice for this one (she didn't know what they were for before).

"I like the idea of playing a male dwarf. My dwarf would kick everyone's asses."

"I like most of the art, but some of it is awkward. Awkward as in... like... it reminds of the liger drawing in Napoleon Dynamite. A little too nerdy for me."

FATE Core

"I'm drawn cracked-out on the cover of FATE Core."
"Oh no! It's so fucking dumb! Except for the monkey. Creepy cracked out Uma Thurman lady looks dumb and so does this cop guy with fire coming out of his finger tips. Fire shouldn't come out of your fingertips; if it came out of anywhere, it should come out of your palm. That's just stupid."

"Awww! You get a bookmark? Pfft! <Snort> Wow, that's pretty... yeah... Bookmark's pretty cool I guess."

"I like all these gorillas. And it's awesome that they have a fat guy with a pony tail [as a depiction of a gamer]."

"I think [the game rules] are good for someone like you who's good at describing stuff right off the bat. For someone like me, I... like I need to know things [about the character] before I can say how awesome [my character] is. I need to know the options. It sounds like a test. I don't want to take that test."

"The art inside is much better than the cover. What were they thinking. Except there she is again! They must know her [Uma Thurman] in real life. I appreciate all the gorillas. Gorillas are cool as shit. That's really the redeeming quality [of FATE Core] for me."

RuneQuestII (Mongoose Edition; the cool leather bound one I just got)

"I like this one. It looks neat. It's fancy in the 'fan-cy' kind of way."

"My characters are cooler than yours in this one, too. You're always squishy. I kick your ass."

Not the fancy dancing she's talking about. 
"I really like how this is put together, it's nice. Is he fancy dancing? He's fancy dancing! [Page 37; he is in fact, fancy dancing.] I guess that could be really fun, I like being goofy. I like the artwork, I like the word 'encumbrance.' I like the font."

Then she launched into a diatribe about people being sensitive and how it shouldn't be offensive when she calls something gay because it's just a word. I'm pretty sure this had something to do with the "fancy dancing" guy.

"So, gods wear thigh-highs and pilot hats? That looks like a pilot hat, right?" No, it didn't.

She still doesn't understand why there's a Dance skill. She just can't get over it. "It's just stupid. Let me smile and entertain you and get +10 to my Dancing skill. [She's referring to the Entertainer's Smile common magic spell.]"

"Creatures! That's a pretty awesome picture right there... but no gorillas. It's important to have unicorns. It's not a very gender-neutral character sheet."

If you somehow didn't get that my wife is some sort of mad genius with stunning powers of super-humor, well, that's pretty much who she be. She helps with the gaming stuff all the time, particularly in brain-storming new plots and creatures and characters, but almost never in naming them. God no, names and the wife don't work out well. She just names everything after characters in Star Trek. But whacked-out crazy ideas for stuff? Yup, right up her alley. The whole "mashing up one thing with another and throwing something else in for spice before mixing it all up one more time and baking for an hour to see what comes out" is her bailiwick as much as it is mine, it's just her things tend to be different things than mine. She picks up my RPG books, flips through them and starts talking shit. You've got to love that. She'll mash it all up with some Miyazaki, throw in some Doug Adams, deliberately misinterpret the results and then throw all that away and make up something else entirely. As long as it has gorillas. "That's really the redeeming quality [of gaming] for me."