Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dads & Dungeons & Dragons

I was raised by my grandparents. Most of my values I learned from them, or I should have. I'm of a nature that I will not learn the meaning of flames until I've been burned. Nevertheless, I had a prime example of what it means to be a man, in the form of my grandfather. He is a thoroughly pragmatic fellow, not in any amoral sense, but rather he faces reality head-on under its terms. Life would have been much easier for me had I learned to do so much earlier. Happy Father's Day, grandpa.

Why would I mention this in an RPG blog?

Oh so many player characters are orphans. They ain't never had no moms nor dads since they can remember. They raised themselves:
a) on the mean streets.
b) in the deep wilds .
c) somewhere even more unlikely.

It's understandable that this happens so often because:
a) it's lazier.
b) being orphaned is a common trope.
c) people are subconsciously channeling the Hero's Journey.
d) everybody secretly (or openly) wants to be Wolverine.
e) All of the above.

The reality is that almost everyone is raised by someone. Ain't got no dad? You've still probably got one or a dozen role models for masculinity anyway. Ain't got no nobody? Really were raised on the streets? Well that older kid down the block and his plucky little youth gang probably served the same role as family.

If you've got a clear picture of who raised your character, you've got a deeper insight into who your character is, what makes him/her tick. It's something you should probably consider for any character you're going to inhabit for a while. Unless you're gonna be the Honey Badger. He don't give a shit.

Happy Father's Day, e'ry body.