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Gary Gygax, one of the founders of Dungeons and Dragons, and by extension the role playing genre of gaming, wrote a book, Role Playing Mastery, published in 1987, to help players enhance their experience of role playing. Among all kinds of tactical and strategic hints, he encouraged players to use game playing to broaden their knowledge base; to read history, culture, etc. He believed this would enrich the playing experience, and one's life in general.

As an aside, many years ago I played a round of Dungeons and Dragons at Gencon in which Gary Gygax was the DM. I never saw anyone take as much pleasure in nuking the players with traps and poisons and such. I'm proud to say my PC actually survived the session.

Anyway, I took his pearl of wisdom to heart, and have tried to use my PCs to draw me into worlds and viewpoints foreign to me. So, for example when I created a Shadowrun PC named Yazata, who believed himself to be an angel in the host of Ahura Mazda, but fallen to Earth and out of favour of his Lord for some unknown reason, I had to at least skim some writings about Zoroastrian religion to be able to play the guy correctly. To help him earn his way back to Heaven. Of course, I left it up to the GM to decide whether this was the Amnesia quality and the truth, or a delusion.

Just so, I am now playing on Dumpshock an SR3 PC named Blue. He is an Owl shaman who studied a double major in university, philosophy and thaumaturgy. Literally a night owl and loner. I built him with a high Willpower. Naively, I went: philosophy + willpower -- will to power -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Blue will have a special interest in that philosopher's work, and will believe himself to be one of those people destined to lead/guide humanity to a greater state.

Right. I haven't read Nietzsche in about 40 years. and my GM is not about to let me get away with ignoring a PC background that cool. Or so easily turned against a lazy player. So, I have to do homework. Now, a reader might find Nietzsche's work a little off-putting, or it might inspire. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground in the literature. But I did find a piece that does actually fit my PC's thinking, and training. It kind of does inspire me/Blue. So here it is, section 125 283 from Nietzsche's The Gay Science.

Preparatory human beings. - I welcome all the signs of a more virile,
warlike age approaching that will above all restore honour to bravery!
For it shall pave the way for a still higher age and gather the strength
that the latter will need one day - the age that will carry heroism into
the search for knowledge and wage wars for the sake of thoughts and
their consequences. To this end we now need many preparatory brave
human beings who surely cannot spring from nothingness any more
than from the sand and slime of present-day civilization and urbaniza-
tion: human beings who know how to be silent, lonely, determined, and
satisfied and steadfast in invisible activities; human beings profoundly
predisposed to look, in all things, for what must be overcome; human
beings whose cheerfulness, patience, modesty, and contempt for great
vanities is just as distinctive as their magnanimity in victory and
patience with the small vanities of the defeated; human beings with a
sharp and free judgement concerning all victors and the share of chance
in every victory and glory; human beings with their own festivals, their
own working days, their own periods of mourning, accustomed to
command with assurance and equally prepared, when called for, to obey
- in each case, equally proud, equally serving their own cause; more
endangered, more fruitful, happier human beings! For - believe me -
the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the
greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously! Build your cities on the
slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war
with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as
you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon
the time will be past in which you had to be content living hidden in
forests like shy deer! Finally the search for knowledge will reach for its
due; it will want to rule and possess, and you with it!

EDIT: I fixed the reference to the correct section of the book.
Nice find, and very, very fitting for our setting. Thanks for sharing.
Your GM also studied philosophy, and has been watching your decisions.

Not to make you nervous, or anything.
QUOTE (Koekepan @ May 18 2022, 11:14 AM) *
Your GM also studied philosophy, and has been watching your decisions.

Not to make you nervous, or anything.

No, no. Not nervous. Motivated. It's easy to create a PC and then slip into habits that ignore some of the cool characteristics of her. A vigilant GM doesn't punish. He rewards.

Right? Right?
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