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Old 05-09-2013, 12:26 AM   #223
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Advantages Are Not Utility Priced

Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
I look at it as being two separate games entirely. There's the character creation game, and then there's the actual roleplaying game.

The goal of the character creation game is to get a character you'll enjoy playing in the roleplaying game. You either win that game or you lose that game, and the stakes are pretty high, since you won't find out which you've done until after you've devoted quite a lot of everyone's time to it, and if you lose it could end up seriously jeopardizing the roleplaying game.
Yeah; I tend to agree. And that's why I usually dispense with the character creation game entirely and just let the players make the characters that they want (within the context of the game I plan on running).

Character creation should ultimately be about getting the essentials of a concept down on paper, and making sure that said concept fits into the group of PCs and the game the GM intends to run. Point-buy systems are intended to be a tool to facilitate these goals; but all too often, they become part of the problem. And once the point-buy system is complex enough that it's a game in and of itself, they've almost certainly crossed that line: players are more concerned about what choices will "win" the character creation game instead of what choices best represent the concept they ultimately want to play.

Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
I want players to be able to understand what sorts of characters they'll be allowed to play in the game, so they can take that into account when thinking up a concept.
The best way I've found to do that has been to put together a few "benchmark NPCs" that are typical of what the PCs are going to encounter in the game, and then make those NPCs available to the players when they're making their characters. I have to make the NPCs anyway, so I'm not doing extra work; and they give the players a sense of what the world is going to be like and what levels of competence are appropriate. The only extra work is the fact that the PC sheets need to be reviewed to catch oversights and/or deliberate abuse; and I use a peer review process among the players to catch that sort of stuff.

In short, don't try to design characters in a vacuum; always provide some sort of context that they players can use to get their character to fit into the game.

Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
My players usually put a lot of work into their characters and their backstories and stuff. They usually show up with a concept that we discuss and flesh out before the game. I'm not sure how that would work out if the player didn't know what the traits would cost. "I had a cool character idea for a baron, but it turned out I didn't have enough points.
Yeah; I used to have exactly the same issue.

Last edited by dataweaver; 05-09-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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