I learned how to use Direct3D for 2D graphics, and was able to make a "tech demo" of my main character running around. I'm having a really hard time deciding which vein to write the RPG story in... I can see why so many devs take the lighthearted parody route.
Deciding on a theme is my favorite part. You and I are opposites in a way. I hate fiddling around with the technical parts of game design. I want a very simple set of tools with limited flexibility that I can wring the most out of. I work best with strict limitations and I enjoy conceptualizing much more than tinkering.
That being said, parody is such a cop out. It's too easy to be funny - there's no risk of facing adversity if you make something dumb. Whatever theme you choose, avoid the sword and sorcery cliches.