The Elements of Roleplaying Characters -preview-

20 07 2008

With my next article I’d like to explore what I consider to be certain essential elements that need to be developed in order to have a working character at a roleplaying game. The idea is not to talk about what good or bad character creation is, but rather to present my personal thoughts on what ‘efficient’ character creation is for me, and to present them in a practical way that you can apply to your own story entertainments (RPGs.)

I will be working on the assumption that the goal is to create leads that:

Are dramatic. These will be leads with strong emotional elements that tie them to the world around them, to the past and the things they were and to the future and the things they desire.

Are rich without being unmanageable. The method will have to provide ways to create depth in the leads without being complicated to do so and without taking a long time.

Are efficient. I am looking for a method that will give the players the tools that will allow them to play their lead (or leads) in a confident way. I want these tools to be a roleplaying guide not only for the player and his character, but also for all the players involved in the game.

Hopefully I will be able to achieve these goals to a greater or lesser degree. As with everything else these methods are a permanent work in progress and I sincerely appreciate your input and your presence in this website.

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3 responses

23 07 2008
jatori

Hmmm, seems like it would be an interesting article. I notice that you haven’t mentioned anything regarding the mechanical parts of character creation. Is this intentional? Can’t wait to read the actual thing.

Keep up the good work.

23 07 2008
theblunderbuss

Thank you once again for your support jatori. I’d like to briefly address your question here.

On the one hand, what I want is, once again, a method. As with my last article, what I’m trying to do is to create a number of steps that the players (or GMs) can follow and that will produce good results with the least amount of time invested in doing them. On the other hand, the article will most likely not deal with any particular roleplaying system.

I have two reasons for this. The first, that I feel that if the group has achieved a working level of shared principles, the rules should support rather than filter the narrative play (which includes character creation.)* The second, that I really don’t care that much about rules in the first place. That doesn’t mean I don’t use them or I don’t think that they are extremely useful (the can be), but that for now I don’t think I’d be able to write something interesting about something that I don’t feel strongly about.

*I have practically butchered what I wanted to say. But there was really no way to write it shortly … so you’ve given me the topic for yet another article!

PS: From what I’ve read on your blog, you seem to know your way around the mechanical aspects of the game. I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts on (the mechanics of) character creation, you seem to be more fit than me to do so.

23 08 2008
Gorilla Jam! ep2: Good Vibrations! « drop the dice

[…] idea game, a text that touches upon that is sitting on my computer as an unfinished “Elements of Role-Playing Characters” article. The following sections are very good and provide some useful pointers and tips (both for […]

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