One of the things I excel in when playing role-playing games is the process of character creation. In fact, I was going to start working on a character for D&D should my sorceress snuff it, which she almost did during a random encounter with a dragon. Specifically, after taking a full blast of electricity, the dragong went for the claw-claw-bite. The claws knocked me to 1hp, and that was before the bite. The GM rolled a 20 (which is REALLY BAD, as it’s a critical hit in game terms). The bite is the strongest attack and probably, with the minimum double damage, would have killed the shit out of me until I was dead as the dragon bit me in two and sprayed my entrails on my companions. The GM had mercy though ,as I was knocked down by the claws and the bite miraculously missed me (because dying in a random encounter is bullshit). Had I died though, it would have been awesome to create new character, but would have made the night real short, and led to me missing most of the action, including scoring some weed and sex with another party member, which led to pregnancy until I broke out rules and successfully argued my way out of a pregnant character (which would have also led to a character change).
Luckily, I remembered I needed to write a post, so here I am. My potential warlock can wait.
The simplest character creation is filling out the character sheet and running with it. Not that I take the easy route. But I’ll get to that.
Most systems use die rolls to generate your basic stats, then you fill in your general characteristics with templates. For example, in D&D, you roll for 6 basic stats and your hit points, pick a race (human, elf, dwarf, etc) and class (fighter, wizard, rogue, cleric, and many, many, many more), then plug in weapons, armor, equipment, skills, feats, and anything else that is race and class-specific (like spells for wizards, sneak attacks for rogues, weapon feats for fighters, etc.). Slap a name, and some technically unimportant descriptive statistics and you have a character.
In other game, like the Demon Hunters RPG I’ll be running in under two weeks (fuck, I’d better get to work on hammering out a scenario one of these years), the character process is more organic, as there are no dice rolls. There are dice assigned based on the strength of the skills and the approach to the skills, and almost everything is made up to create a pulp-style character with odd traits. It’s a little harder to explain how the creation process works if you haven’t gone through it, but you don’t have to have a complete character to play, so yay. I’m thinking the adventure will require at least a little knowledge of the reboot version of Ghostbusters, which despite all the lackluster things in the movie does have the better ghost fights. As in it’s not four guys pointing sticks as shit, and that’s it.
For me, the real fun in character creation (as I may have mentioned in a few posts) is creating the story. In the case of this warlock I’m looking to build, I know he’ll be a human male. The Warlock backstory is that some kind of dark influence in the past (or past generation) infuses the character with wild magical talent that is channeled as energy (called eldritch blast) or a spell-like ability (rather than traditional wizard-style spells like fireball or magic missile (pew pew)). Alignment (which determines how the character interacts with the world is either chaotic or evil (or maybe both). I’m thinking chaotic neutral/borderline evil, although not evil because we have a paladin in the group (unless she dies AGAIN!), and they really don’t like evil. I mean REALLY. DON’T. LIKE. EVIL. because they’re lawful
So with this, I’m suspecting he has a dark past he’s trying to run away from. As in he killed a few (hundred) people in a spectacular way. And while he will never be a good person, he’s definitely feeling a little guilt over such an act (which fueled his power in the beginning). I can hear him speaking in a dark, threatening voice on a good day. And maybe going throat cancer Batman when he’s pissed off.
That probably means I’ll write in someone who may come one day hunting him, and let the GM tuck that away to surprise the party with later when they get to trust this shadowy and dark leather-clad bastard who shoots raw energy at shit, or even shoots that energy through weapons he stabs things with (one of the cool things the character can do).
Now I won’t be able to finish the character, as I have to get approval for the class (our original character creation only allowed for use of the basic character classes, and Warlock is not a basic class), roll my starting stats and HP, determine what level the character will start (as the average party level is between 4 and 5 currently, which makes a level 1 character an easy target), and find a way to introduce the character to the party that is appropriate for his backstory and the story the party is involved in.
It’s still better than the alternate characters I have in mind for Castles & Crusades. I have a horny bard (just to annoy the GM) and a monk who may be part of an order that is likely to stab a paladin to death if given the opportunity (and we have one of those in the party), with the specific goal of trying to break the story narrative. I don’t want to give too much away as I already have the order’s backstory and vows created. The world we inhabit is very much a hardcore good vs evil world, and this character breaks that mold with a vengeance.
Either way, a character, once created does evolve, and that’s one of the reason it’s fun to create them.
In other news, while gaming, sometimes you just gotta punch a whore.
(Yes, this was uttered in game after the character/player that uttered it did indeed punch out a whore. It was awesome.)