Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Creating Player Characters and Non Player Characters

There is nothing I like better than creating a (Player) character (PC) for games. The way I go about it is to be unique with each one or fall back to a version of previously played PC...

I ran Fighter, thieves and clerics mostly for many adventures with an occasional Magic User....

There is always something to said for trying new things
Each PC I create, I tried to find something different that I have never done before. From a hint of insanity to
a personal quirk. I am not big on back stories or spending time on details because the PC could get killed in the first part of the game.  AD&D and other Role playing games are meant to be spontaneous. The PC should be driven by their actions and experiences while playing, not some elaborate back story
  • I have 2 Favorite Characters that I have run for many years, they are retired to the life of an NPC now
    • Cassiodania, a Female Assassin
    • Tornal, the Druid
Cassi likes to pretend she is a fighter, carries 2 swords and 6 daggers
One is a short sword of Speed, the other is a life stealing blade
Of course she is proficient at killing and very cunning.

It is very tough to play a female in a game dominates by men, but there usually was another guy playing a female in our group. It made for some really intense roll playing while bartering with the other female for a Jewel she acquired that I wanted.

Tornal is very quiet, he has ambition and sets goals and will not let anything get in his way.
He carries a Spear (Gungir) given to him from the Gods because he protected a temple from destruction and made an incredible roll to win a boon

Some Examples of concepts

  • I have played a fighter who was full of bravado that he got the party in all sorts of trouble
  • Priest who would take every chance to challenge you to convert to his God.. gung ho to the point of being distracted from the goal they are on.
  • Wizard who wanted to fight, but knew his limits... 
  • Thief who felt the adventure was a waste if he did not collect something from everyone
  • A Paladin with a hint of insanity named Hamlet
  • A Priest of Dionysus who is quiet until he has an idea.... In a dungeon, the thief had failed to pick the lock, one of the PCs ask "Is there anyone good at opening doors?" So my Priest goes "I am good at opening doors." I proceed to the door and tell the DM in great detail that I am pouring oil oil over the door (the party is discussing something else as I am doin this... I walk back to them and ask for a torch, then announce "I am lighting the door on fire with the torch"... then the entire party goes "NOOOOOOO !! do not do that" the DM informs that it is done because I had said plainly what I was doing... (ahhhh, good times)

When I play, I can be everything from the party Leader, to the one directing the action with subtle hints.  I always try to bring my A game... 

At Conventions when playing, I look at the Pre generated sheet if there is one and try to see what my objectives are.. Without a pre generated, I spend the first 10 minutes asking what people look like, what I can use and how I can direct them. 

For instance, In a game, we went into a tent with a fairy circle, the party consisted of a Paladin, Mage, Theif, 2 Fighters, Cleric and a Ranger. I knew from earlier in the game that one of the players was using magic to change their appearance... In this case, a Drow Elf masquerading as a Human... As he went to examine the fairy circle, I kicked him into the circle where all the magic was dropped... this led to a great fight between the Paladin and the Drow... 

There are many ways to prep for being a character in a game... For example, I love to play TOON.. my primary character is a rabbit, Benjamin B. Bunny... His Idol is Bugs... He has a set of exploding dice as his primary gag... before a game, he list what the other players are and then sets up running gags to mess with other players... 

For instance, if you are playing a seas urchin, he may try to make a sea salad out of you... pulling a blender from the bag of many things and fast talking you to hop in with the mayonnaise and other seasoning... then there are other running gags and double takes......

My Advice:

  1. Dig deep, be unique
  2. Find something that makes the character stand out
  3. Don't be afraid to try it
  4. Don't Dream It, BE IT !!!!!

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