Everybody knows a player like Wizard. These are the guys that will turn in a 20-page term paper when you ask, “Does your character have any family?” They’ll invent nations on a whim, keep cabinets full of fat 3-ring binders for “a few campaign notes,” and stop the adventure to talk to every…single…minor…NPC. (Especially the cabbage farmers.) My father-in-law is one such player.

Don’t get me wrong, the guy is something of an RPG mentor for me. I’ve learned a lot gaming with him over the years, from the proper method for setting up an ambush to the lyrics of authentic pirate chanteys. I’ve also enjoyed the living crap out of his characters’ letters home. (Reverend Sir. The wizard and the bard have discovered a means of creating bacon-scented fog. I once again request that you find some new assignment for my ministry….) But sometimes, perhaps around hour two of his peasant yeoman’s in-character debate with Random Nobleman #3 about the merits of democracy, I’ll find myself sitting there channeling the spirit of King Arthur.

I dunno, maybe I’ve grown too used to hack and slash in my years of dungeon delving. Maybe I’m an impatient millennial with video game sensibilities and a low tolerance for drawn out “talky scenes.” But as fun as a fully fleshed out character history can be, I tend to want that stuff to recede into the background. I like that it’s there, but I’d rather get on to the next scene than dwell on it, you know? Of course, that’s just my preference as a player.

How about the rest of you guys? Do you like to devote a lot game time to exploring your character notes, or are you more a kick down the door and kill the monster type? And if you’ve got the opposite kind of player at the same table, how do you find the balance?