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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Character creation and music

I love writing character sketches for our assorted games. At the moment we're playing GURPS, and my character is a skinny, blonde, shy young gryphon-rider with no self-esteem to speak of because her mother is emotionally abusive and her father is emotionally and physically absent. This is a challenge for me to write - much less play - because while I have my moments, shy is not an adjective I'd use to describe myself under most circumstances. The rest of it does not apply either; about the only thing this character and I have in common is bookishness. So it's a stretch, and that's fun.

But to do the stretch, I need music to get me in the appropriate mood. In other games this has been simple; I've played a Life Mage (Rhiannon and a number of other "witchy" tunes), a vampire (Died in Your Arms Tonight, People Are Strange, etc.) and a Spirit Mage (Riders in the Sky was a particular favorite). But these were all characters in a modern setting, so contemporary music was appropriate to get me there. Or old folk tunes that were appropriate on a topical level. But this game is set in what amounts to a medieval European city. And while my character is complex and has a number of neuroses (Disadvantages like Shyness and Low Self-Image and Nightmares), she's not crazy enough to use, say, Bedlam Boys as inspiration. A puzzlement.

So I had musical themes on the brain while driving Abby to her dad's this weekend. And I realized afresh how eclectic her musical tastes are. We listened to, sang along with, and danced as well as possible on the freeway at 60MPH to such varied genres as ballet, punk, rock, pop, disco, filk, folk, children's, Broadway, hip-hop, and J-pop. Abby can segue straight from Swan Lake to Dead Man's Party without missing a beat. Chubby Checker to ABBA to Puffy Ami-Yumi? No problem. Her latest craze is Yuna's dance to The Hymn of the Fayth from Final Fantasy X. Sometime this weekend I'll have to write down the lyrics (they can be found on the web in Romanji) in "words I can read" (aka "phonetically") so she can "pretend to be a Summoner".

What else are gamer moms for, if it's not transliteration of Japanese lyrics (written in Romanji) to a video game theme into American English phonetics?