Men with a Mission: Brother Gromp
By: Wouter van de Zandschulp

Us, role-playing people, are constantly in the habit of creating new life forms. Not so much things like frogs with five legs (though I saw someone play a big clock once), but more like people. Well, sort of people.

People that often show some extreme side we really sort of wish to explore. Some unknown desire to go to the very edge of our possibilities and come back. This may be triggered by some sort of sick power-happy part of ourselves, but well, it is fun.

So we create characters. Though some are not very good at this. I, for instance, may be about the worst character-creator in history. I don't quite care for all the statistics about it. And spending gold and stuff... well...

As I recall I was invited along once. Perhaps the people I role-play with had good hope I would learn eventually. But well, things like 'ranged touch attack', I just don't really know what it's all about. And I don't know how to keep myself from losing dice or character sheets. The thing I came to consider the most fun, was getting into a character that was fun to be.

So I was lucky to have a friend of mine do most of the work in creating the latest character: brother Gromp. A barbarian who has some problem keeping his temper. One who's guilt drove him to find enlightenment inside a monastery where he learned patience and giving all of his money to the poor.

Now it's just wait and see how this will work out. Character and player need to get along and find some sort of 'groove' together. They need time to really get to know each other, even when never being in the same world together. They must be more than just friends; the player must be able to be the character. This takes some freedom of movement, some space granted by DM and other players, some acceptance of his personality. If these things work out, the player can start to get used to or even sort of love the character and be able to walk an unknown world in his footsteps. Then the magical journey can start, with demons to be slain and treasures to be collected. And perhaps granting the biggest treasure of them all: the experience.

That would be the kind of magic that keeps people coming together, stealing chips, spilling coke, laughing at dumb stuff and badgering the DM about experience-points.

And of course, not to forget, hitting each other over the head with empty cola bottles.

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