Have you ever played a pen and paper RPG (no, I live in the modern era; there are video games, now)?
The first task is always the character sheet. Some of my friend would take hours writing a backstory while others would just flip through the stat sheets and were ready to go in five minutes. Sure, immersing yourself into your character is great, but why the disparity? Why does one person take hours and another minutes? Is it lack of creativity? Lack of interest? Or just a competitive spirit driving them to dive into the game?
It hardly matters. Your first encounter is a goblin horde that makes quick work of your team: A level 1 Human Paladin wielding a rusty longsword, a level 1 Elf Cleric wielding a simple mace, a level 1 Dark Elf Thief welding a nicked dagger, and a level 1 Dwarf Warrior wielding an axe. And why? Because the Dungeon Master likes to think he’s superior.
Really, he’s just unimaginative and wants to play video games (or, the pizza’s gone). There’s no use complaining, either. You have yet to reach the main town–the skirmish always happens on the outskirts, just as you see the walls; yet no one comes to your aid (because you’re the heroes, duh, the heroes cannot be saved by mere patrol guards)–so you cannot buy new equipment. Of course, the DM always laments, “Oh, if only you had killed one goblin, each carried a resurrection vial”. Thanks, that would have helped…except they were also carried +1 throwing knives. We couldn’t even get within range of our melee weapons.
Then we switch from AD&D to Star Wars. That has to be better, right? Wrong. We can’t start off as Jedi because we haven’t accrued enough XP from another character, so we have to start off from scratch when everyone just wants to be a lightsaber-wielding badass. Well, too bad (at this point, why not just take your ball-point pen and go home?).
But, you grind out creating your character sheet, picking attributes and skills that will mesh well with your path to Knighthood. Then you play. And run into a pack of Trandoshan slavers. Great. Of course they kill you (clearly you need to learn how to roll dice better). You’re only weapon is a blaster pistol. It barely packs enough punch to stun a slaver.
Then, the DM, grins and asks if you want to play Magic: The Gathering. You sigh and reach into your pocket for your trusty White Mana deck. At least now you may have a chance. Until he pulls out a Horde of Boggarts… -.-