It always strikes me as strange that some gamers play every race, character class, and minute variation that their favorite system has to offer, yet never dare vary the gender of their character from their own. There's nothing wrong with having a favored character gender, any more than there is with having a favorite race or class, but there's nothing wrong with branching out either.

No one could ever accuse RPG characters of having boring lives. They go on quests, slay dragons, save entire kingdoms, win treasure and other fabulous prizes, and (usually) live to regale their friends with the tale over a pint or three at the local inn. But if you look a little closer you'll find that the lives of most gaming characters lack something that is a major (and some would say essential) part of the average person's life: love.

My early role playing characters embarrass me. At the time, they were fun to play, but they were so one dimensional that a monkey could have role played with them. My perfect example of the stereotypical character was Thunk the Barbarian. Thunk was a fighter with high strength and constitution, and low intelligence and wisdom. He spoke in broken English, carried a gnarled wooden club, and tried to solve every problem by bashing it over the head, always with the battle cry, "Thunk Smash!"

There comes a point in every gamer's life when he thinks back on all the roleplaying groups he's been a part of since he first picked up a d20 and a character sheet. He recalls great campaigns, beloved characters, favorite stories, and fellow players who became his friends for life. But when he considers those players more closely, he wonders "why is it that so few women get involved in what I know is a great hobby?"

It's been said that everything has already been written, that every movie has been made, that all everyone can do now is recycle old plots and characters. I don't know whether or not this is true for the rest of the entertainment world, but it's certainly true when it comes to the world of role-playing. Everyone thinks they're a Star Wars character...

Having just started up gaming again after a 5-year hiatus, I've learned two things in just three weeks. First, 3rd Edition isn't as bad as some people say, nor is it as good as some people say. It's as good or as bad as you make it. And secondly, it's the people you game with who make the game as good or as bad as it can get. With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to share this humorous email I got with the Gamegrene readers.

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