We played Exalted sunday morning, slaying a second circle demon before nightfall, and Dresden Files (FATE) till 2 o'clock in the night. We had a cross in the room, though: It was screwed tightly into the wall, so we could not get rid of it without damaging the wall, so it stayed there…
Well, playing solar and lunar exalted (warriors of the gods) and a renegate dragonblooded (normally weaker exalted, but slayers of solars and lunas, because those are prone to go mad) and burning glowing pillars of light into the night sky after finishing off the bambi-faced, brown-skinned, fan-armed demon directly after she was reborn from hell might account as serving the gods, don’t you think ;)
Seeing my characters mother dead on the field of battle was a major blow, though. She died in this battle because I betrayed my kin to help the solar, who had become my friend before his exaltation and whom I had been sent to kill. My family was disgraced, so it is my fault that she got sent on this mission against a huge demon. I removed her armor and burned her in my anima’s fire on a funeral pyre made from her 11 dead companions in full armor. When nothing was left but the dark-red glowing armor of her companions, I took her armor and moved back to the tavern where we had lived, while the other exalted where invited to a huge festival given by tale spinner and dream weaver, two of the towns three most powerful gods.
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@Anonymous This is not about pixels. We play Pen-and-Paper, so we sit around the table and spin the tale ourselves. 12 people in two groups, 2 game masters, 5 players each. The game masters describe the world and we describe what we do and act out what our characters say - like improvisation theater with self-created characters and longer play-time; and more creative worlds, since we don’t need to show the worlds to anyone else: They only need to be alive in our own heads.
But yes: I burned in passionate anger myself, when I saw my mother dead on the battlefield. And when we shouted at each other when talking about the best strategy, our emotions flared up - after making sure that it’s OK for everyone who was involved in the shouting to let them flare up. You can live the emotions of your character and know that they are from your character - and even though you were close from slitting each others throats (“I throw my swords on the ground and call up to you: ‘I betrayed my own kin to save your damn live! Don’t you throw it away now! Calling our enemies to us is idiocy!’” - Chireka, renegate dragonblooded, to Bright Arrow, dawn-caste solar exalted).
That’s better than anything you can experience in the movies or in books, because it is you experiencing it and acting it out and deciding what you do. And the one I shouted with and me really enjoyed ourselves doing so: Our eyes glowed brightly when we talked about it afterwards: The intensity was awesome: „Chireka so wants to kill your character - that was great!“
The game master asked me afterwards about the death of my mother if that wasn’t over the top, but I could wholeheartedly deny that: It was exactly the right thing to make my character burn with anger in the final battle. And as fire aspected dragonblooded that meant that she literally burned.
The only problem we have now is that Chireka is not that sure anymore if betraying her kin to save the solar was the right thing to do. But that is a tale for another day :)
The important point is: Even though you live your character while you play, it’s still just description and numbers on a piece of paper, just like characters in a book. When the play is finished, the character becomes a treasured memory, like other heroes of fiction do - but you know that it was you who created him/her/it, and you shared a part of his/her/its life for a few hours.
PS: The rules of the game create a safety net against submerging completely: When your character acts to change something, you roll dice to see what happens, so there is always a level of abstraction behind which you can step, if the intensity grows too high - just like you can take a break when reading a book or watching a video-tape.
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