Freaky Friday’s Player & Character Superstitions

Commentary Character Creation Culture and History Nerds Player

We gamers are an interesting bunch, prone to eccentric quirks, foibles, and… well, weirdness.  As such, we’re also prone to some odd superstitions that a non-gamer wouldn’t experience.  Now loyal readers may remember some past posts about using superstitions in-game to build up an interesting character, but I’m betting you also know of some odd superstitions held by fellow players too.  What better day to discuss some of those peculiar behaviors than on Friday the 13th?  Hockey mask not included.

CHARACTER SUPERSTITIONS

Many of my past Intwischa contributions have drawn from my personal experience when it comes to ‘real life’ superstitions.  In “Grandma MD’s D12 Rules for Mannerly Living” readers got a glimpse into the intricate social workings of my paternal grandmother.  Some of her superstitious behaviors have stuck; I still avoid walking under ladders, throw spilled salt over my shoulder, and I never open an umbrella in the house.  Some others have been left behind; I’m not worried about killing spiders, I frequently sing at the table, and I have no fear at all of the number 13.  (Take that Friday!)

Many common superstitions have also found their way into our “Random Character Flaw Generator”, where a roll of the dice decides your character’s quirky customs, and a companion piece called “Making Friends…”, in which I make the case that characters with weird traits and behaviors are much more interesting and fun to play than those without them.  Check out the links at the end of this post if you want to get more ideas about how to use superstition in a game!

PLAYER SUPERSTITIONS

I’ve been part of many groups throughout my gaming career, so the list that follows of player superstitions has been collected throughout that time.  The effectiveness of these unique gaming codes may be a matter of debate, but you can be sure the fellow players who originated them still believe.  I’ve known at least one gamer who…

  • …would never get rid of any dice he purchased, whether he used them or not.  This resulted in over five pounds of D-somethings in his collection!
  • …must have all of his dice laid out with the maximum value facing up during a game (the D20 always shows ’20′ and so on), so as to invoke that number more often when rolling.
  • …would only respond in games when addressed by his character name.  Even if the conversation was “Hey Warduke, you wanna Mountain Dew?”.
  • …has routinely ‘sacrificed’ uncooperative dice by smashing them with a hammer, impaling them with nails, and throwing them out the window of a moving car.
  • …will only roll dice if they are a certain color.  Yes, I’m friends with a ‘dice racist.’
  • …stores his dice in a protective case, so they won’t be contaminated while not gaming.
  • …does not allow anyone else to touch his dice, which has led to more than one tense moment when another gamer forgot this rule.
  • …cannot play a character until he has a painted mini as its physical avatar- even if we’re not using the battle mat.
  • …gives all his characters some variation of the same name, no matter the system.
  • …when rolling to cast spells, insists on holding some kind of physical component associated with said spell to boost his roll.
  • …kisses his dice every time they roll a maximum result.  Thankfully, not with tongue however.
  • …for a time would only use a series of tiny dice in a clear glass Christmas tree bulb, so he wouldn’t waste any good rolls that ended up on the floor.
  • …refuses to read his RPG books in the bathroom.  Madness!

RELATED POSTS

Ok readers, you must have more crazy stories about eccentric player behavior.  Maybe it’s even your own!  Use the Comments section to tell the rest of Intwischa about all the gamer superstitions that make your group unique!