During my senior in college I participated in a role-playing game called Spycraft. It was much like D&D, but instead of the typical fantasy setting, dungeons and dragons, the scene was based in the near future, and our characters assumed the roles of various characters that might appear in a James Bond or Bourne film. My character, Vincent Dashing (codename: Hawk), fulfilled the driver (Wheelman) and social (Faceman) character roles.
Hawk’s primary responsibility was to be the most skilled character behind the wheel. As the charcter evolved, however, it became obvious that I was interested in the narrative aspects of role-playing, and my character took every opportunity to talk his way into or out of situations, manipulate people, and seduce the lady NPCs.
For a few months, this worked out well. I had a great time playing my character; I was an imaginary playboy, spending money I didn’t have and living large while I had but pennies to my name and no vitality to back up my words if it came to throwing punches. Eventually, I secured a job (in real life) that was to take me away from my role-playing companions, which means I would not be around to play my character. Suddenly, I was confronted with a conundrum: I didn’t want my character to simply disappear from the story, but how could I stay involved? Or, at least, how could my character exit in a blaze of glory? And then, the night that I walked into our final session, I realized what I must do. I must kill everyone in my party.
Alas, even the best last-minute plans don’t always go as intended. Despite his best efforts, my character was unable to kill any of the other party members. Fortunately, he escaped at the last minute, jettisoning his helicopter cockpit and disappearing into the African savannah. But, what happened to Vincent Dashing after that last session? Why did he try to kill the party? Where did he go and what did he do? Would any resolution ever be reached?
I didn’t think I would be given the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions until Colin, our game master, contacted me and asked me if I had any interest in reprising the role of Hawk in a new campaign. I still loved my character and jumped at the opportunity to dive once again into the immersive world I enjoyed so much the first time around, eager to continue writing the incomplete narrative of the first campaign. Now that I was given the opportunity to explore what happened to Hawk after the last session, I had to make some decisions…