Until last week, I had never played a role-playing game before. Not that kind, you dirty, dirty reader. I’m talking about the kind with a rule book and a character sheet. The kind with ten-sided die and a +1 dagger. The kind that you earn experience points as you play and then can add to your abilities with the points.
Last week, it was date night. (I told you I’m not very good at dating.) Brett was the GameMaster, and I played a journeyman mage just out on my own for the first time in Mage: The Sorcerer’s Crusade. I picked a White Wolf book because I liked the idea that the rules are pretty consistent from game to game. I like the idea that I only have to learn one system in order to play again. I did not realize that I picked a story that was very open-ended and a little bit overwhelming because it is not as clearly defined as some others.
The verdict? I enjoyed it. I liked the process of trying to think through my limitations to get where I was going. It wasn’t that very different from writing, particularly writing fantasy. It was fun. I do wish we had actual die to role instead of an app on Brett’s phone, but you take what you can get.
My geek-cred is sprawled across reading, writing, films, television, fandom, cons and comics. I didn’t specialize in writing until far later. So the aspects like gaming and cosplay are still a little rarified to me. I have by no means gotten as far as LARPing, but I thought it was fun. Brett said I’d leveled up as a nerd after we played (hence the title). I asked him whether I was at the same level as he was. He said no – because he specialized in fewer areas he was able to max out his experience points to reach the higher levels of geekery.
What do you think? Did I level-up?