Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Not Being the Main Character

Last night we had our usually Monday night game session.  Rob Conley at the helm directing our fate through a home made adventure.  While we were playing one of the other players IMed me,

Tim do you find it hard sometimes to play a character that isn't solving the problems, interested in figuring out stuff like the demon etc?
Yeah it is.  Its fun to get into those things, but I like to play different kind of characters and the one I am playing now is named Durgo, a young villager who grew up working as a forester with his father.  But because of a choice he made was kicked out of the village.  The party is made of ex-knights, wizards and scholars so he feels most of the time he should be seen not heard.  His only real expertise is tracking and to a lesser extent is combat.  So when the adventure turns to demons and mystical elements he pretty much stands watch. 

When there are six players there are times when each is going to have their moment.  Some more than others depending on their build and/or personality type they play.  Durgo is quiet and doesn't say too much, but when he's right he's right.  He doesn't back down from that.  But as the party stands, Durgo would be considered a secondary character.  Things don't revolve around him or impact him directly.  He is just learning the ways of the wider world.

Would I like being the guy who solves puzzles all the time?  Yeah, but I've played that guy a bunch of times.  Right now I am playing a guy who knows the forest, can track things down and has a big dog named Red.  So if I don't say much during the session its because I'm making sure nothing jumps out of the walls or floors or trees without one of my arrows or axe blows to greet it.


  1. I've been that guy myself. In a high seas adventure game, that was going to drift quite far into the supernatural, I just wanted to play a Privateer. So I did just that, I was great sailor, had some abilities in combat and command, and knew nothing about the supernatural. It meant that there were plenty of times when I had little to do, and it would look like I was bored. but instead I was running through things in my head that would need to be done on the ship so that we could get away from whatever problem the rest were dealing with.

    I had a great time, and actually learnt a bunch of cool stuff about the age of sail that I wouldn't have done if I was just another monster hunter type.

  2. I've done this at times, and I have a buddy that seems to like playing the sidekick/support character.

    As a GM, I try to look for ways to make sure every character has a little time to shine. Maybe not always equal time, but I try to make sure nobody is just a spear-carrier. Even if they use spears.