Amtgard Rules of Play.

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A Message to Veterans
[09/25/2006] [Tanath]

Hey, I’m pretty damn good. I’ve owned a ditch field. I’ve made impossible arrow shots. I’ve landed spell balls in people’s pockets 70 feet away. I’ve clanked around in 7-point full plate, with a wounds-kill 6-point pole arm in one hand, a warrior-improved shield in the other, and laid waste around me. I’m sixth level in 5 classes. Yea, I’m pretty dangerous.

I’m going to stop my feast of self-love for a second, and analyze what that looks like from the other guy’s shoes. No, not yours. The “other” other guy. That guy standing about 20 feet behind you. It’s his first month out here. He’s got some sappy loaner weapon, or maybe some PVC side of beef he made in his parents garage. He is really unsure of himself; this game is kind of weird, but he seems to fit in. He gets picked last, but that’s ok. He will get better soon.

Of course, that’s assuming he stays, which he probably won’t. He might get screamed at by someone about taking his shots. Somebody’s errant arrow might hurt him. He might move away. He might get sucked into WoW, and forget this crappy larp thing that took away from his raiding time. Or, he might, just might (Wait for it….) get discouraged because I’m pretty damn good, and he’s not, and it’s not fun to always lose.

People are in this life for themselves. They want to feel important. They want to win, or at least savor moments when they are accomplishing something other than a death count in Nirvana. I don’t play Amtgard because I like the cooking; I play because I want to kick someone’s ass on Sunday! Sure, I’ll take losses in stride, and have a great time getting smoked by my betters, but if I felt like a bitch every time I took the field, I think at some point, I would stop taking the field.

What does this mean for us, the veteran players? Should we stop playing to the best of our ability? Of course not! We have to have fun too. However, we can have fun fairly. So your six level in a few classes, like me, right? Play something else for a change. Play a 1st level monk, instead of your wizard. See how long you last. See how many kills you can get, if you can get any. Take a single short sword out into the ditch, instead of your 10-foot pole arm. If team noobie owns you, that’s OK! Congratulate him on his hard fought victory, and keep fighting. Hell, you might learn something.

In closing, it is suggested in the movie “Spider Man” that “With great power, comes great responsibility.” That phrase holds true in Amtgard, as well. I can certainly be a powerhouse on the field with all my abilities and powers that time and travel points have earned me. But maybe, just maybe, the truer test of character is to be a powerhouse without them. And the next time some 15-year-old kid backstabs you, instead of calling him a Fagholer, you should smile, and say “Good Job”. He might stick around for a while.

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