Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Game Wednesday - Dougal: From Face to Heel

So I haven't updated about our current game in a while, and thought I'd throw out a little update (which is kind of silly, since most of the people who read the blog are people who are already playing in the game--oh well...).

Dougal has gone through several transitions in the game, and has emerged as a rather contradictory character. He started out as an engineer with a healthy skepticism for claims of "magic"--a giant Scully with man-boobs. That opinion has obviously had to go through a few revisions over time, since like Jack Burton, he's experienced some very unreasonable things. Some of it he has explained to himself in terms of Christian faith (a seer with visions of the future being analogous to a Biblical prophet, or of course, the whole "we're in Hell" episode which still gets some mileage) and others in terms of scientific principles that have been lost (alchemy and monsters, for instance).

Interestingly, though, the Hell that is Atlantis has morphed from a place of punishment to a Purgatory designed to tempt and corrupt him so completely that he might finally be consigned to the flames of an even worse Hell. He has been tempted by money (vast riches carted out of an ancient city), violence (he's done a lot of killing), pagan worship (an ancient evil goddess with whom he had to bargain to escape said ancient city alive), lust (the Princess with whom he has fallen in love has some very... flexible morals when it comes to sexuality), and power (his prowess with a mighty flaming sword having helped him defeat demons and sorcerers, drawing him into intrigues surrounding the throne of Atlantis and the vice-regal government of the British colony).

Though he has fallen short in most areas, he had always remained a loyal British citizen. Until he learned that the Princess Leda (one of the contenders for the Atlantean throne whose death was faked following the attack of a demon foretold in visions) was carrying his child. Dougal is smart enough to know that his child would be perceived as a threat by both the boy-emperor and the viceroy, so he has decided to ally himself with the supremely dangerous Amice Belden, descendant of the most reviled sorcerer in the history of Atlantis, the man responsible for the cataclysm which sank the island originally.

So Dougal has now transformed almost completely into someone that he would have reviled had he met him at the start of the game: a brutal killer allied with witches and a traitor to the Empire. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on his behavior in the future.

I'm of two minds about the whole thing, myself. On the one hand, the roleplaying is a lot of fun, and as I've said, light-years beyond most of the gaming I've done. On the other hand, this is not a game in which any kind of long-term planning is rewarded, because circumstances can change completely from one week to the next. I feel as if I'm somehow not contributing if I'm not trying to help shape the story, assert some kind of positive control over my actions rather than simply reacting from week to week. But then, so much happens that simply must be reacted to.

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