Sunday, October 5, 2008

Je suis un geek!

It's official. I am now a geek!

While you may have suspected this already, I've passed my final initiation. I've now played Dungeons and Dragons!

Ok, not technically D&D, but the French version, jeu de rôle.

I signed-up for this class at the Alliance Française de Berkeley thinking we would be doing role-playing using extracts from theater pieces. But this is fun in its own way.

Unlike D&D, the French version does not usually take place in a dungeon and there aren't any dragons. Our game takes place in Paris in April, 1900, at the time of the Exposition Universelle.

I am Paul de Mori-Sophrat, a 19-year old student of Egyptology at the Sorbonne. (The prof even drew me a picture.)

The game leader provided a little back-story that I am a the teachers pet of my Prof. The dice provided my relative abilities. I get to fill-in the rest.

So far I have decided to play him as an arrogant suck-up with no real talent other than sweet-talking the professor. I haven't quite decided whether I'm supplying him with opium or the other way around. I'm probably blackmailing him so his wife won't know what really goes on between us.

Anyway, Paris in 1900 was an exciting time. They finally had a semi-functional government, money was starting to flow again, there were exciting new inventions (like moving sidewalks!), and construction was going on all over the city. The city was also host to the 2nd Olympic Games at the same time as the expo.

The story so far: the professor left me a note with a librarian telling me that his life was in danger and I should go to his office and burn all his papers. I went there and found that someone had already ransacked the place. I decided not to destroy the papers. Then I took my bike over to the professor's house. There, I found the concièrge dead in her apt., and someone chased me with a gun. I reported all this to the police and they locked me up! The nerve! And with a boozing bum to boot.

My character doesn't know it yet, but the professer is hiding-out in a hotel, where there are also two experienced adventuresses who have come to Paris for some mysterious purpose, along with their majordom. An apparently insignificant painting was stolen from the Egyptian pavillion. The only clue is a mysterious insignia on what remains of the frame.

I fear that I may get stuck in that jail cell for the rest of the game if I don't stage a break-out. Good thing I've got some congac to bribe the bum to help me. (Lesson: never go anywhere without booze.)


Anonymous said...

This sounds more like "World of Warcraft" than D&D.

Ed said...

I'm sure I wouldn't know about World of Warcraft! Can we discuss Spore instead?

But the story on wikipedia about jeu de rôle in France is remarkably similar to the history of D&D in America. It likewise got accused of connections to Satanism in the 90's after an incident of vandalism of gravestones was falsely linked to role-players, and has never shaken that link.

Daniel said...

I'm really looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventures, M. Mori-Sophrat. I will try to take your lesson re: cognac, to heart. Salut!

Ed said...

That's M. de Mori-Sophrat! And don't you forget it.