Saturday, May 12, 2007

Learning New Things About The Missus

Sometimes you learn new things about your significant other in the most unexpected ways.

Sunny likes roleplaying games. Well, that’s wrong, she likes the idea of roleplaying games, because up until yesterday, she’d never played one.

So, glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to try and teach her to play Oblivion, in my opinion the best role playing game ever created. This is where things started to get a little weird.

“Ok.” I said as I sat her down in front of the computer. “You have to start by creating a character. All you do at this point is pick your race, so go through them, think what you want your character to be like, weigh the pros and cons and pick the one that feels right. This is important because whatever you pick now, you’re stuck with for the entire game.”

Now, if you’ve never played an RPG, let me explain that this is important. All the races have different attributes. You might have one that’s pre-disposed to magic and stealth, but will absolutely suck at hand to hand and sword fighting. In other words, if you pick a race, then later decide that you want to be a rogue/thief type character…you’re screwed if you’re playing as an Orc.

I explain this to Sunny, and she flips through and decides to play as a Nord female…because that character looks the prettiest. Then she spends longer on picking a hairstyle than she did on picking her race.

So then she plays through the first part of the tutorial and gets to the part where she picks her star-sign and class. Again, this is a big decision because this is where you pick your major and minor skills and the ‘power’ assigned by your star-sign. In RPG’s you really do have to specialize.

So, she browses for a while, then sighs.

At this point, I should point out one of Sunny’s favorite things to say is: “But I’m a delicate flower!”…usually said when she’s faced with something she doesn’t want to do, and wants me to do it for her.

So, you can imagine my reaction when she says: “Which one do I pick if I just wanna whack people with swords?”

My wife…the ‘Delicate Flower’, ultimate girly-girl is all “I don’t wanna do this crap! When do I get to hurt people???”

Then I started to realize that Sunny was probably not the best person to entrust the future of Cyrodil to. Not that she’s not capable, but because she’s really, really easily distracted.

You see, at that point in the story, the Emperor Uriel Septim has just been assassinated along with all of his sons. The Emperor, with his dying breath, tells Sunny’s character that he has another son, and gives her the Amulet of Kings…which she has to take to Jauffre, the former head of the Blades in order to give to his son.

Unless a member of the Septim Bloodline is coronated and uses the Amulet of Kings to light the Dragon-fires…the magial barriers between Cyrodil and the demonic realm of Oblivion will fall.

In other words, unless she gets the Amulet to Jauffre immediately, the entire world is in deep, deep shit.

Now…try explaining that to Sunny.

She’s off on her quest, running along the road towards Weynon Priory, all shining armor and purpose…and then suddenly goes “Oooooh WOW!!!!!” and heads off in completely the opposite direction because she’s spotted a deer or butterfly. “Oooohhh, PuuuuuRRRTY!”

Then I’d hear “Hey, what’s this thing? What am I meant to do with it?” Then walk over to the computer to see her getting slowly eaten by some vicious creature. It took a while to convince her that if something attacks her on sight, she can assume it’s not friendly and should probably kill it.

I can imagine the Headline in ‘The Black Horse Courier’, Cyrodil’s newspaper.

Imperial City Over-run by Daedra! Hero Nowhere to be Found!

- “I saw purdy butterflies!” says Hero, after being discovered in the Jeral Moutains, trying to pet a rabid mountain wolf. “Ooooh, where did you get your shoes???”


Kato said...

You're a brave man, Paulius, trying to bring a new person into the RPG-fold. Of all genres, RPG's might be the most difficult for the inexperienced to just pick up and play, since there are so many conventions that we take for granted (classes, might vs. magic, local fauna often wants to kill you, gnomes suck, elf women are hot, etc.)

Good luck to Sunny in her mighty quest!

Paulius said...

She's actually doing well. Luckily, all the dice rolling etc is "under the hood' in Oblivion.

I think her biggest problem now is that she just keeps getting lost. Other than "The Sims" and Zelda (well, the fishing mini game in Zelda), she's a complete newbie.

Don't ask me WHY I'm teaching her though...I have a hard enough time getting her off the computer as it is.

Kato said...

I'm not surprised she gets lost... Oblivion (from what I've heard--I didn't play because I was afraid it would suck up all my time) is huge. But, that's a strength too, it sounds like if you want to wander around and find butterflies, there's nothing preventing you from doing that.

You're teaching her so that one day, in the future, you can make a joke about your Charisma score, and she'll actually know what you are talking about and think you're only slightly less of a dork that she'd normally think.