Home > Player Blogs, Tadpol's Blog > RPGenius: Rolling your toon

RPGenius: Rolling your toon


I pity the fool who ain't rollin with the Mohawks!

In the beginning, the Old Gods created the toons, and it was good.

Then they created the stamina, to sustain the toons, and it too was good.

After this, the Old Gods created the boars to allow the toons to use their stamina and skill, and it was good.

Then they created the rogues, and everything went to hell.

I don’t remember the exact date when I started living life as a game, and I don’t remember the exact event that caused this part of my soul to awaken.  What I do know is that my dad is probably to thank/blame for this.

When I was young, I was raised to learn things, to constantly gain knowledge.  My family gave me the tools I needed, teaching me to read at age 2, letting me take apart electronics in my room at age 4…except for that coffee pot I stole off the counter and “took apart” with my little kid’s hacksaw…that one did not end well for me.  But during this time, I didn’t feel an urge to complete these tasks quickly and efficiently, and I didn’t have this burning desire to seek out more and more items to break or read.  I just did it, and I enjoyed it.  When I got the opportunity to use the skills, it was good, but I was just as content sitting and daydreaming while staring up in my room.  I distinctly remember the popcorn ceiling, and tracing a path between the divots and peaks with my eyes, not worrying about anything, not aching to do anything.

Now just as a preface, my dad was not a techie person growing up.  He was born in the 50’s in a small town in West Virginia.  Instead of video games and internet, he had hunting and hiking.  So, to an outsider, it is very surprising if you’d look at him today and see him browsing Netflix on his PS3 or spending hours kicking the crap out of opponents on Madden games at the hardest difficulty.  But upon closer inspection (/inspect), you’d see dad was always a tinkerer.  In terms of WoW, he’d definitely have Engineering as a profession.  He’d sit and tell stories of his love of cars and expertise in construction of everything from a small shed to a major sporting arena.  So when this new field of tinkering came about, video games, and namely the Magnavox Odyssey.  When this system was first placed in front of our television, which looked something like the picture below, I think he was more excited than I was for this opportunity.


Bunny ears antenna sold separately

With that system, we had a few games: Centipede, Pickaxe Pete, Monkeyshines, and a couple more.

But the game that immediately immersed me was a primitive RPG called Quest for the Rings.  The whole premise of the game is you and a teammate fight on boards of random enemies (determined by die rolls on a separate physical board (D&D style).  The point of the game was to steal the ring on each board, which is guarded by a large dragon that would put Onyxia to shame.  You can see the epic-ness of this game here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ll_bbzRHKQ

My dad and I would play that game for hours upon hours on end, striving to finish all the locations on the board, amassing our rings, and shouting obscenities (or what would be considered obscenities to a pre-elementary school age child) when we rolled the damn spider level.  I couldn’t stop wanting to get one more ring, then another, then another.  Then, we’d put the game away, and do the whole thing again a day or two later.  I feel like in these days, something deep within my body and mind was transformed.  The loot addiction, the progression craze, the cursing of RNG’s; they were all embedded into my soul.  This mindset was first about a video game, but I fully believe that this outlook on accomplishment and life engrained itself into my brain and made me the real-life RPG’er I am today.   And Monkeyshines still ticks me off.

Monkeyshines vs. MC

Blizzard isn't as original as we think

Side note: In Quest for the Rings, if you ever find this game, pick warrior/phantom combo, kill enough mobs to give a little room, then use the warrior to draw agro on the dragon and pull him a couple steps then have the phantom use his ability to walk through walls to grab the ring.  Yes, I do remember this strategy from 20 years ago; no, I didn’t look it up online to remember; and yes, I do have an almost photographic memory =).

So, to sum it up, my father is to blame for me modeling, or rolling, myself as an RPG character.  Not that this is a bad thing, but it is definitely a major event in my life.

That got me to thinking…what would my real-life original race/class combination have been?  I’ve been mulling this one over in my mind for a few days, thinking about actions and reactions in my early childhood.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I would have been an Orc Shaman.

First of all, why an Orc?  As a child, I was always socially awkward, very different from the others…almost as if I were some sort of alien race to a foreign land.  Some people would communicate with me, maybe out of jest, pity, or true compassion, but for the most part I did not belong.  I stayed in my own little comfort zone with my “own kind” (family and brother) for the most part.  Most times when I wasn’t with the energies that entertained me, such as books, video games, sports, or family, I would feel sapped, much as the residents Draenor felt when separated from their energies after passing through the Dark Portal.  People didn’t really understand the way my mind worked, with my odd sense of humor, weird perspective on the information I would consume/books I read/events I witnessed, and my ability to remember the most inane details of anything that others or myself would do or say (see, I mentioned the memory thing for a reason, not to brag).  It would make for very awkward situations when I’d try to start a conversation with, “Hey, remember that time when you…,” and the other person would stare at me like I was insane and had no idea what I was talking about.

This intellectual side originally made me lean toward the Dreaenei, but my actual physical stature/height does not lend itself well to picturing myself as an 8 foot tall goat.  While I swayed to Orc originally for this reason of physical nature, I reconcile the choice of Orc intellect with the fact that many wise orcs existed before the Burning Legion corrupted them, and many, such as Thrall, still exist today.

That…and I’m just Horde at heart.  I’ve always loved the underdog story of Thrall leading his people from under the subservience to humans into the de facto leaders of a mighty nation, consisting of many races in Azeroth.

This divergence from the norm in my mannerisms and actions led me to rely mainly on my own intellect and wits to entertain myself.  For this reason, I spent some time thinking I would have been a Priest, since I also care for others, sometimes to a fault.  Then I felt I needed to widen the scope of my musings.  I started pondering how the lack of social interaction with my peers forced me to find other areas of stimulation, which, outside of games (which I did have a time limit on as a child) and the family dog, I spent outside playing, picking up insects, and plants I’d find, and generally enjoying nature.  I didn’t need a ton of fancy toys to have fun, just an imagination and some open area.  Hence my beginnings as a shaman, totally in tune with nature and the elements, conjuring entertainment from the ether.  This would manifest itself further when I furthered my shamanistic environmental trainings in a way that is at least somewhat socially acceptable in mainstream society: The Boy Scouts.  And yes, I still remember all our slogans, signs, and sayings…

So, in the beginning, I was a totem-wielding green-skinned monster that left my home planet through an arcane portal into northeast Ohio.  Since then, life and my own outlook have caused me to undergo a few re-rolls, but that is a story for another time.

Oh yeah, I am definitely Neutral Good.


The universe according to WoW

What would you consider your race and class to be?

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