Role playing games are full of weapons. Swords, guns, baseball bats, rocket launchers, lawn jarts, you name it. But this blog post isn’t about that…
RPG’s are full of conflict. F of challenges. Full of… Problems. Just like life, role-playing games are full of problems. our characters have motivations and desires. They make choices. They encounter scenarios. It really is just like real life. Unless they were content to let the world roll over them and sit by passively they’re going to have problems.
Problems need solutions. Solutions don’t just materialize out of thin air… Usually anyhow. in order to solve the problems and overcome the challenges that face them our characters need to use various strategies and skills and abilities. In a sense these are all weapons that we use to gain the advantage or to slay the metaphorical dragons that stand in our way. Occasionally they aren’t quite so metaphorical but usually they are.
Sometimes many of these weapons are in the hands of the player themselves and we might end up using our own intellect and creativity to solve the problems we encounter in the game. Other times the weapons are squarely in the hands of the character and releasing more upon their abilities and talents as expressed in the game’s mechanics or other methods of expressing the competence and ability of a particular character. And occasionally they have a highly modified spaceship which can be used as a weapon to solve all kinds of problems like getting the hell out of Dodge.
Some of my favorite moments in role-playing games have been when the players or their characters use approaches or abilities other than the obvious in order to solve the problems that they encounter. Whether this is the 10 year old kid in the game at the library deciding to bargain with the Wights in the ruins on Witch Island rather than fight them or the aged professor using his intellect and oratory skills to confuse a would-be assassin, it’s always nice to see somebody reaching into the armory and using a different weapon than you anticipated in order to vanquish their foe.
There are a lot of ways to skin a cat, or a Venusian dragon for that matter.