Saturday, August 11, 2007

BabelCon Installment 4: Role Playing Clubs

Or, Why I Would Never be a Novelist if They Existed in My Area

I discovered something new this weekend—role playing clubs. At least, that’s what I call them. BabelCon had a group called NERO (New England Roleplaying Organization— featured.

One of the leaders of the NERO club came into the dealer room when he was hot from sword fighting demonstrations outside, and we talked about roleplaying games. (He was dressed similar to Elrond. His wife made the costume, and I must say that I was impressed.) Basically, if you join the group, you get to create your own character and dress like the character when the group gets together. They have a plot master (I think that’s why they are called.) who is the only one who knows what is going on. The rest of the members all are like real characters in a story—they have no idea about the challenges that might be thrown their way. For instance, you might have to open a chest, but if you don’t have the key to the chest or a lock picker, you might be out of luck, and the plot master isn’t going to help. (My husband said he would break the chest, and I think that is allowed.) The twist on the whole thing is that they often have to fight each other, and the plot masters don’t know who is going to win. I love it. It reminds me of writing.

What makes the roleplaying club so intriguing? A number of things. First, the plot masters can carry on secrets about stuff for years—just like a novelist. (A bunch of you probably think that I just chose the color sky-blue for the gnomes who were begin taken to the Dungeon of Enbed in A Prophecy Forgotten. You don’t know that the color is important, as well as the color burgundy that Gimp wears. It is important, ha ha!) Second, it’s a lot like the reality TV programs that we see, except no cameras, and you don’t have to look like a toothpick to play. Anyone can join, and it’s a really great release! Third, it’s a great way to bond with likeminded friends. I noticed at BabelCon that most people were with a group--very few loners. Fouth, Dude! You get to hit people with foam covered PVC pipes and learn how to use swords. That's AWESOME! I'm so there already.

Anyway, I’ve decided that if one of these groups existed in my area, I probably would ever get any work done. It sounds kind of fun!

This is Karl showing a two boys the fine art of not getting hit buy a sword. (They actually use foam covered PVC pipe for safety reasons.) Bear in mind that it is probably over 95 degrees outside.

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