Playing Characters You Hate

I noticed at Dreamation, that I had a tendency to create characters that I didn’t really like when the story started, and yet I really bought into and liked those characters at the end of the story. I think it may be subconscious with me. I think that I start with a character that I hate, and I begin to plan out how I can make the character do things that I like. As I do this, I find myself becoming more sympathetic towards the character. So my characters tend to undergo a change from someone that I don’t like into someone that I do.

In the carry game, I played the snotty little shit new guy of the unit and he ended up an important member and went on to become a Congressman. As soon as I ran out of dice and got to refresh and switch personality profiles, I immediately moved to Soldier. Almost getting shot in the first firefight, led my character to reassess his role in the unit and start following orders. My next shift was to Accuser, which reinforced the shithead aspect of the character, but when I got an opportunity, I jumped him to Warrior as he developed into an honorable and more than capable soldier.

In Shock: Canny Row, I played a religious missionary trying to form a congregation. I intended that the guy had to go door to door or in this game can to can spreading his religion. Now I really have a problem with people coming to my door and impressing their religion upon me. I wanted him to fail, and yet he succeeded (at the cost of his own life, but still). Not only did he succeed, but I was incredibly satisfied with the result, because the things that he did within the story made the character very sympathetic.

In the HeroQuest game that I play on Monday nights, my character Teodric started as a stuck up, snotty noble (I’m sensing a theme). Within the first few sessions of the game, I had him realize that there’s a lot more to the world than he had previously imagined, and he started to amend his ways. We then jumped the timeline quite a bit, so I quickly accelerated him into a capable diplomat and important member of the community, because it seemed like the natural progression of his story.

All in all this is a technique that I will keep trying, and perhaps I can harness it later.

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