Contains minor spoilers for The Walking Dead. You have been warned.
Recently I’ve been watching The Walking Dead with my girlfriend – who isn’t a roleplayer, although she listens with some enthusiasm to the wackier stories that I tell – and I have come to the conclusion that Rick Grimes, the series’ main protagonist, is a player character:
- He benefits from statistically improbable events to ‘get the plot started’.
- He’s really good in a fight. Guns, knives, fists, whatever.
- His arrival in a situation turns everything straight to shit, while leaving him untouched.
- Five minutes after his arrival, previously independent people defer to his leadership. Within a week “he holds this group together” in direct contradiction of the chaos he brings in his wake.
- NPCs let him and his group hang around despite the fact that he causes nothing but trouble, eats their limited supplies, and contravenes every value they hold dear.
- He’s heroic right up to the point where it becomes a problem for him, whereupon he switches to pragmatism of the most brutal kind.
- Surrounded by implacable enemies, he sets fire to the building he’s in.
Does this remind you of anyone? I mean, he also loots the corpses of his enemies and steals everything in sight, but that’s just natural in a zombie apocalypse.