Thursday, September 3, 2009

If Gamers Were American Founding Fathers

A few months ago, I wrote a an article entitled “If Gamers Were Civil War Generals”. Clearly, the history nerd in me has not subsided, so I now bring you:

If Gamers Were American Founding Fathers

See if you can find anyone in your group (or yourself!) below:

The John Adams--This guy is self-admittedly “obnoxious and disliked”, but he comes up with tons of source material and does lots of cool stuff for your games. That’s about the only reason you've probably kept him around.

The Sam Adams--This guy is all rah-rah for you to run some new campaign and does a great job selling it, but once it actually happens, he’s either a total stiff at the table or fails to show up.

The Ben Franklin--The gamer we all wish we could be. Creative, inspired, and experienced. Always seems to have the best quote of the game, and some crazy invention for an in-game challenge.

The George Washington--This guy gets his butt handed to him weekly. You think he’s run through a dozen level 1 characters in as many sessions. But at the end of the campaign, you realize he’s the only one who made it to every single session, and got to the endgame by sheer persistence.

The Benedict Arnold--This guy was fantastic, and an asset to your game. You’re not sure what happened—maybe someone in the group swiped his Monster Manual—but you wake up one day to find him slagging on your group at your gaming store, in email, and on Facebook. Sad thing is, he’s a great gamer, but you hear he never really found another campaign.

The Horatio Gates—This guy is supposedly an expert, the master of hundreds of RPGs, an adept GM and player with hours upon hours under his belt. He decides to honor you with his presence. The funny thing is, you can’t think of a single session he’s run (except maybe that one he co-DM’d) that went well at all.

The Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion—This guy always plays a rogue. Or thief. Or ninja. Basically, anything that can hide and then pop out and whack bad guys. He won’t stay in town, and isn’t much socially. But he’s probably half the reason your group is still alive.

The John Dickinson—This guy really, really didn’t want to swap editions or change games. When it came to a vote and he was on the losing end, he felt so strongly about it he left the group.

The Ethan Allen—You are not sure about his guy. You’re pretty sure he has weapons buried somewhere under his lawn, and his anti-government tirades are epic. Also, you’re fairly certain he has some manner of criminal record. Yet here is, inexplicably gaming with your group. Come to think of it, who actually invited him?

The Von Steuben—This is one no-nonsense Game Master. He sometimes doesn’t even seem to speak English (“chits?” “referee?”). He doesn’t take any crap, and if you don’t know how to fight, it isn’t for a lack of instruction on his part. You guys go through the gauntlet, but you know you’ve earned everything you get.

The Thomas Jefferson—Eloquent, great backstories for his characters, really plays them up well, but also wants to change characters every 3 weeks.

The Lafayette—Who does this punk kid think he is anyways? Coming in here, taking Horatio’s spot, and….hey! He brought cookies! And he’ll play the cleric! Welcome, kid!

(I shared this with a friend, a fellow history buff, and he replied: “Is Wizards of the Coast George III? A generally benevolent monarch stricken with unfortunate bouts of insanity?” I simply replied WotC wasn’t a gamer).


Nikolas said...

This is awesome!

Beth said...

Loved this post. Lol, the Swamp Fox! My hero as a kid (grew up in SC)

Christian said...

Quality post, man. I think we've all played with most, or all, of the Founding Fathers at some point.

Avatar said...

Those who brings cookies and play as cleric are always welcome :)

Joseph said...

Been watching "1776", have we?

Zachary The First said...

Joseph: I’ll do you one better—Zachary the Younger was IN 1776, once upon a time. ;)

Ameron said...

Even as a Canadian who has only a passing familiarity with who America’s Founding Fathers are, I really enjoyed this article. I laughed when I realized the 5 guys in my current game all fall neatly under a different Founding Father. It clearly take all types of people to make a good party.

Narmer said...

Great article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.