So, I realized I hadn't written anything for RWBY yet, despite having been a big fan since, well, the Red Trailer. So part of the reason this fic exists is because I wanted to rectify that. Another reason is because I finally got around to reading The Gamer and loved it, had what I thought was an amazing, unique idea for it. Turns out it's not that unique, because, like, three other people had the idea before I did—but thankfully not what I wanted to write, so I can try my own take on it. I don't own RWBY or the Gamer.
The Games We Play
"Hey, mom?" I said, joining my mother in the kitchen as she watched the sun set outside the window.
"Hm?" My mother, Isabella, turned towards me slightly, lifting an eyebrow as she made the sound in the back of her throat. "What is it, sweetie?"
"I, uh…" I scratched my cheek as I frowned slightly. "Well, I guess I'm just unsure about something and I figured you'd know?"
"Is it…Mom, which would you say is more important, Intelligence or Wisdom?"
My mom put down the dish she'd been washing, turning to face me fully with her head tilted to the side.
"I'm not sure I understand the question?" She said questioningly. "Where'd this come from?"
"Well," I said, wondering about that a bit myself, if for different reasons. "I was playing a game, I guess. You know, an RPG, right? And it had the usual stats: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Luck. And I never thought about it until a few days ago, but its like, all the others are obviously different, right? I wondered why Intelligence and Wisdom seem to be the exception and I started thinking about whether they were different in real life, too, and how."
Mom seemed to ponder that for a minute.
"Well, I'd say that it's ideal to have both intelligence and Wisdom," She said. "Just how it's better to be strong and fast and tough and lucky, rather than just one in particular, but that's very rarely possible, is it? If I had to say which was most important…I suppose I'd say Wisdom."
"Why?" I asked.
"Well…If I was to differentiate between Intelligence and Wisdom, I'd say that the former was power and the latter the awareness of how to use that power. I'd say that Wisdom was the ability to make good choices and Intelligence a way to give you more choices. If you're smart and have a thousand ideas, wisdom would tell you which was the best choice to make and what the long term effects would be."
I nodded at her seriously.
"Then it would be better for me to become wise then become smart, right?" I asked, just to double check.
Mom put a hand to my cheek and smiled.
"Oh, Jaune. You're still young," She said. "You have time enough to become whatever you want."
"Thanks, mom," I said, smiling honestly. "Then…I promise I'll become someone great. And, uh, why don't I handle the dishes?"
At that, her eyebrows went up again before she chuckled and nodded.
"I'll leave it to you then." She said, patting my cheek again as she turned away. I stared after her for a moment.
I sighed and turned to the dishes, washing them one by one.
A skill has been created through a special action! Continuously washing dishes has created the skill 'Dish Washing' to quickly clean dishes!
I just sort of…stared at the blue box that appeared before my eyes for a moment and then exhaled slowly, shaking my head.
So even stuff like this…
How do I explain this? I can't, honestly, which is my I don't. I didn't even tell my mom or dad. But if I had to, I guess I could describe this as my special ability. I haven't had it for very long—just a week, really—but…well, you see, the game I'd told my mom about, that made me wonder about all this? Well…
"Status," I muttered.
Name: Jaune Arc
Class: The Gamer
MONEY: 100 Lien
This window appeared in front of me at the sound of my voice. I'd confirmed I was the only one who could see it by opening it repeatedly in a crowd and not drawing any attention. Initially, I'd wondered if I was just seeing things, but…well, I had an Inventory, too, and I could literally store stuff inside of it and they'd, well, vanish until I could take them out. Hell, I could store more stuff in there then I could physically carry. I could even go on quests and stuff, though most of them were stuff like 'Set the table,' 'Take out the trash,' and 'Go get groceries.' Despite that, they gave me experience points and yesterday I'd even leveled up and gotten points. Given the circumstances, I was willing to operate under the assumption that would work like in a game, too.
Which had led me to the question I'd asked my mom. My stats were…average. Perfectly so—I wasn't good or bad at anything, for someone of my level, but I had figured out pretty quickly that I was low leveled. Most of the people in my class had levels like three or four, but I'd started at level one with completely normal stats. It had been kind of depressing to have that thrown in my face, especially since I'd gotten the ability something like a day after I'd failed to get into Signal. Again. And it had hurt. The knowledge, the reminder, the proof right before my eyes hammering in what I already knew—that I was a…
I'd gone to sleep, woken up, and I'd been like this, which had mainly enabled me to see for myself how weak I was.
But now, if I had this ability, if it worked how I thought it did, then maybe I could change that. I was sure of it, now—I could do things no one else could do. I had five points right now and I could put them anywhere I wanted. I could make myself stronger, faster, or anything else. Given the raw potential held in these little numbers on my, well, character sheet, it was only a matter of choosing properly to gain strength.
I had no idea how to do that. I'd considered all my options. I wasn't sure exactly how the numbers worked, but I could become the strongest in my class in a snap of my fingers by putting them in strength or the fastest by placing them in dexterity. But which was most important? Being strong? Fast? Tough? I'd considered it but after sleeping on it, I realized I just didn't know. What's the best choice? Where do I even start?
And then I realized, if I didn't know that, wouldn't making myself smarter and wiser be the best choice? And if Wisdom is the ability to make good choices, then…
I pressed the arrow beside Wisdom five times and raised it to fifteen. Taking a deep breath, I nodded and closed the window.
"I'm done with the dishes, mom!" I shouted. "I'm going out for a bit!"
I organized my thoughts, putting what I already knew in context. I was, essentially, a video game character. I could grow stronger by leveling up—whether that was my own, personal level or the levels of my skills. From what I'd seen, doing one didn't affect the other, so I had to improve them separately. I already knew how to do both, I'd just been uncertain as to how to go about it.
Improving my skills was as simple as using them. That in mind, I moved into the forest, took my sword out of my Inventory, and started whacking trees while I was busy thinking. I'd done this a little lately, once I'd developed my 'Sword Mastery' skill after practicing for a while. I'd figured out quickly that my skills could be either active or passive, but the method of improvement was the same. What I needed to do then was focus on two things: Leveling up important skills and finding new skills that would be useful.
I'd gotten 'Power Strike' around the same time I'd gotten 'Sword Mastery.' I could use the former about fifteen times before I ran out of mp, after which it took about an hour to regain it. It had taken me about two hours to increase it to level two and longer to raise it to level three, entirely because of how long it took to regain my mp. In comparison, I'd been able to raise my Sword Mastery to level five in a single day because I didn't need mp to use it. From that I could assume that passive abilities were easier to improve then active ones, as well as easier to use—but on the other hand, they were weaker individually and active skills got both stronger and cheaper as they grew more powerful. I needed to get many passive abilities that worked well together but also train my active abilities.
On the other hand, raising my own level was just as important, because it gave me points to improve my stats. Unfortunately, there were only a few ways to do that—doing quests was the only big one I'd done, though I could get a small bit of experience by studying and working out. But if I thought of the world as a game then presumably I could also do it by killing monsters and defeating enemies. Generally, quests gave more experience than individual monsters in return for taking more time and being more complicated. That all depended on the difficulty; I assumed that taking out the trash gave less experience then killing a Grimm would.
If I could do it, finding an area full of Grimm and killing them all would probably be the faster way to level up and places like that were easy to find. I could just leave the city boundaries and I'd find them eventually, though the forests close to the residential district were safe. But…I was still only level two and there was no way of knowing what I'd find. Getting stronger first was probably the wiser choice, as was sticking to quests for now.
Then…could I manufacture quests? If I could get five hundred experience from just doing things like doing chores for my mom, could I volunteer for tasks and do things around the neighborhood? Or did someone have to explicitly ask before I could do something? I'd have to find out. Even if I couldn't, there had to be a fair number of people who needed stuff done around town.
Then, that's where I should start, at least in terms of leveling myself up. For my skills…I should probably make a schedule.
Besides Power Strike and Sword Mastery, I didn't have many other skills. I'd gotten 'Observe' while watching the higher-level people I'd seen around town and the fights I occasionally saw. And, of course, I'd gotten 'Dish Washing' just a while ago, but I think I could exclude that from my list of 'Important skills to grind.'
Observe, however, seemed like the type of thing that could be extraordinarily useful. Even at level one, it showed me a lot about whatever I used it on. It was an active skill, but…it didn't seem to drain mp. Then, if I were to use it on every person I met—no, on everything I saw—I should be able to improve it at a decent rate, right? Did the level or value of the object matter? If it did, I could use it in stores and stuff, and places like that would also have lots of stuff to use it on. A library might be a good place to use it, too, if every single book counted. I could use that whenever I was in the city and I could spend a few hours wandering every day, maybe doing some quests in the process. My Sword Mastery and Power Strike I could train later one, like I was doing now. That would serve to level my existing abilities. As for acquiring new ones…
Dish Washing served as a reminder of how broad 'Skills' could be. If I could get a skill by doing chores, what else would count? Sword Mastery implied that I could get a similar ability with other weapons. It might be more efficient to stick with swords for now, at least in terms of melee, since I'd already put some work into it—but it might be smart to get a longer-range option at some point and maybe see if my hands counted as weapons, just in case. In fact, was there a Shield Mastery? I hadn't gotten one just by wearing a shield, but then I hadn't gotten Sword Mastery until I started using my sword. There wasn't anything nearby to attack me, but…would it count if I bashed something with my shield? I'd bring try it out in a bit.
Besides that, there were a bunch of things that probably counted. Sneaking around probably counted and if I wanted to reach the Grimm later, I'd need to get past the border guard, to say nothing of any of the other reasons I might need to hide. Something to help me run away, just in case. Ways to defend myself, though my shield might count if that worked, and I could try my armor. I'd focus on them for now and see what other skills I discovered and what came to me. I'd hopefully have some time before anything dangerous happened.
But what should I focus on, one I leveled up?
I closed my eyes and frowned. If I was right, then…it should get harder to level up as time went on, so early on I should focus on things I didn't want to wait for. My mom was completely right—I had time to become whatever I wanted. I could become strong and fast and tough and anything else. But while I could do it easily, I should focus on…
"Intelligence and Wisdom, huh?" I muttered before nodding to myself. If I was smart and wise, I could figure out how to get stronger or come up with solutions to things I couldn't face with strength alone. I could make up for weakness with intelligence, but could I make up for being stupid by being strong? Maybe, but it'd probably be harder and I might regret it.
"It's a plan, then," I said, smiling to myself as I drew my shield out of my inventory. "Just watch me—I'm gonna be great someday."
I then proceeded to start my path to greatness by repeatedly whacking a tree with a blunt object.