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What's Your Process in Creating a Character?

Started by Senkusha, Thursday, February 29, 2024, 12:09

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I've played using a number of different systems.  And one thing that I've noticed is that most character sheets have your STATs block at the top.  But I find that to be counter-intuitive.  Think about it.  Before we enter a game as Players, we have a general idea about the type of character that we want to play.  Like what's the character's role?  What does he/she DO.  Therefore, I think rather than filling out a character sheet in the order most books present (which is usually thinking about the STATs first), wouldn't it make more sense to begin the process thinking about the personality type?  The skills?  And answering the STATs at the end, last.

I would think using this process would also ensure that the various peices that make up the character would fit well together, and that you could identify any conflicts with the character build, allowing the character to maximize the role playing system's nature with minimum effort.  (Yeah, this is also called Min/Maxing, and while I generally frown on it, it is logical to assume that most people will want to do this, even subconsciously.

So, when I go to build my character, I have a general concept.  Now for this example, I'm currently working on a character in a brand new system (to me).  I don't even have a campaign or a setting established yet for the game.  I don't even have any other players lined up either.  But the first thing I know is that I want a funky character.  I really enjoyed playing an Uncouth character while in ShadowRun, so I want to duplicate that attitude in the new system, bu it doesn't have Uncouth.  I also know that I want inner tension with this character, and as much of a limitation that Neoteny caused another character I played, it was really fun with all the trouble that character was able to get into.  Again, this new system doesn't have Neoteny, so I'll have to recreate it using it's mechanics.  But then I'm sure somebody is going to ask, "Why not use create the character using ShadowRun?", and that's a great question.  I love the setting, but I hate the dice pooling mechanic.  I also want to expand upon my general gaming repertoire.

I also decided that since I love the various racial benefits that cat-girls enjoy (Nekojin from Big Eyes Small Mouth), that I'd choose to be a race other than human, but I don't want something totally foriegn to me as a player.  Cat-girls are seen as playful and spunky, and often can get into trouble just because they are Easily Distracted, one of the Defects from BESM.  And you know that my character is going to be more anime-like, instead of more realistic.  So why not play using BESM?  (See my above response to ShadowRun.)

So, I have an uncouth cat-girl anarchist.  I love the setting of sci-fi, and while looking through the book of my new game systems, I discovered there's abilities for Teleportation.  In fact, time-jumping is a thing that I've never really played with, but it sounds fun.  Having this lady being from the future, perhaps she's a member of some Elite Special Forces that regulates history, would give me the ability to play with high technology.  Just imagine how much trouble I could get into mucking around with the (present day) history to save the future?

Now I have a basic framework about what I want to play.  And so I'd pick out other skills that sound interesting.  Notice that as I'm building this character concept, I'm not accounting for the cost of everything.  I think this is something that intimidates some newer players to role playing is "I have to fit my character concept into a point maximum."  Right now, I'm just working on the character concept and I'll slowly piece together the system mechanics after I've looked through the System book.

After I've completed my character and wrote everything I want down, and I calculate how much this character will cost, then it's time to start working on an Advancement plan, so that I can eventually become the character that I'm creating right now.  Then I'll trim what I can live with and put some things on the back burner to get for a level up.

What's you're process?