A Writer’s Guide to Roleplaying: Developing Character at the Table

I started a new campaign and could barely contain my excitement about the character I spent weeks developing. My background is filled with detailed NPCs, an arch nemesis, a dark family secret, and an origin story that makes me tear up whenever I think about it. The brutal experiences of my PC’s life have made him a bit of a loner; I say “a bit” only because it’s a roleplaying game, right? I need to work with other people, so I’ll try to be open to whatever excuse the GM uses to bring our group together. Of course, once the other players figure out what it takes to break through my rough exterior and earn my trust, things will be perfect! I don’t know what that would take, but that’s their puzzle to solve. Besides, when they hear the details of my backstory they will jump at the chance to join me!

Unfortunately, when I sat down for the first game there were two other players with backgrounds even more detailed than mine and two people who made characters an hour before and named them Captain Needaname and Billy-Bob the Black and their only motivation seems to be to burn off the stress of work by killing everything in sight. Then the GM starts in with some storyline about an invading extra-dimensional army that has nothing to do with the man who murdered my sister.

All that work I’ve put in has gone to waste and now showing up at the table every week is more frustration than fun.