Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Road Less Traveled Moment

I read an editorial in Knights of the Dinner Table about how a person rolled up bad stats for a character in a D&D game and was about to reroll, when he had what he called a "road less traveled" moment. Instead of rerolling, he kept the character and wrote in his biography "He is a coward". In his words, his character was mortal and damn well knew it. When a fight happened, he would drop his sword and run away, and would only come back when the fight was over and the spoils would be divided. Despite this, the other players liked this character. 

I had a similar moment in Skyrim. I installed a mod that changed the standard beginning of the game (you're a prisoner about to be executed) into just dropping you into a random spot in the world and beginning the game from there. Well, after choosing my character, I was dropped into a dungeon with no way out. I was trapped, and had to go through the dungeon to get out. Along the way I saw the body of a woman. I started my character's backstory there. I was the last survivor of an expedition through the dungeon. After fighting some undead, I found about 10 to 15 bottles of wine. Right there, I had my road less traveled moment. My character was traumatized from his experience and became an alcoholic. He will pick up every wine bottle and, after going through each main and side quest, go home, read through the books he collects, and drink himself into a stupor every night. 

I told this to my girlfriend, and she asked me a good question: After learning how important he is as the Dragonborn, will my character shake off the alcoholism right away, or do I, as a player, personally hope my character will shake off his alcoholism as part of his character development? 

I am choosing option 2. I hope he will shake it off eventually, but I will roleplay him as honestly and realistically as I can, and if he can't shake it off eventually, he probably never will. 

We'll see. If anyone is interested as to how this plays out, ask me in the comments below.

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