08 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Eight - Favorite Character

An old sketch of Deadeye.
I'm a career game master. What this means is that I rarely do anything but run games for my friends. I'm pretty well open if my players want to run something, but I've tended to be the one behind the screen for the majority of my gaming life. I used to say, "I've been riding the GM horse so long I'm practically a centaur," for a reason.

I did a lot more playing in my youth, but I guess I liked being behind the screen too much. Players are more than happy with that arrangement, for the most part. Not everyone's made to run RPGs, and that's perfectly okay. I tend to get good marks from my players, so I assume I'm doing just fine. That's not to say I don't miss playing once in a while. I do. It's strange feeling when you don't have to worry about more than one character.

After I was introduced to the Cyberpunk RPG by a good friend, he and I ended up playing it a lot. I'd run games for him, and he'd run games for me. The character I eventually settled on playing was patterned after a dime store Billy the Kid. I went in all the way, too. He had no cyberware outside of his optics (one of them black and "dead"), and all his weapons were analog--an old .45 Peacemaker, a Winchester repeater, and a Bowie knife.

I remember my friend's declaration that I'd never survive the first game with a load-out like that. Either he went easy on me, or I proved him wrong. Whatever the case, I ended up playing Deadeye for a long, long time. It's the one character I've gotten the most mileage out of, and I've even let him make cameos in some of the games I've run in the past (and not as a dreaded "GMPC," either).

As the sessions went by, Deadeye changed. He got somewhat deeper as a character, more than just a sociopathic cowboy-punk with a chip on his shoulder. He lost three out of four limbs--Cyberpunk was kind of brutal that way--but that was sort of par for the course. His "outfit" (CP2020 slang for "gear") upgraded, too. The chronology is somewhat complicated at times, but like any character you play for a long time, it makes sense that it would be that way.

I don't know how many years it's been since I sat in a player's chair and played Deadeye. Maybe twenty years? A little less, maybe? But I'll always remember him and the fun I had playing him. I'll let him show up in any future CP2020 games I run if it's appropriate to do so, but I won't let him overshadow the PCs. After all, he's had his time in the spotlight. It's time to let someone else save the day.

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