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Comments: To my favorite radio show,
I am trying to create a character for my new group and I am wanting to know what is the best way to create a character?
Should I focus on his skills or feat?
How should I place my ability scores? What equipment should I start with? And then what are good classes to play?
Gamer Forge Response:
Seeing as the details were scarce, DCR had to come up with an answer that everyone can live by. No pressure! When a player is stumped on what character to make, DCR says:
1. Well, what do YOU like to do? Start with something you already know you like to do. Do you like archery? Spell-tossing? Dueling? Raging? Kung-fu? Singing? It's all good. This is a question that only the player can answer, and must answer honestly. Best case scenario, the player will be this character for a long time, and should be comfortable with the idea before moving forward. On that note...
2. Use generators. The internet is full of character generators and templates that players post just for "lulz". Scan around on Google and see what others have done before you and gather some ideas. Chances are in your favor that something will jump out at you. There's a good reason why Flagoon is always proclaiming our love for the internet. Check player forums on the company websites to work out the kinks and clarify the what's-what. Character generators often compile all the game's options into one database and sorted for easy browsing. Try using the "random" feature and see what pops up. The answers may be something unexpected.
3. If all else fails, try "Fighter". This generic descriptor can be tailored to match most fighting styles and archetypes to fit your liking. While not as specialized as some other archetypes, a common bond between game mechanics is "fighter" is the simplest to begin a character in. It often has the fewest nuances and subtleties of all classes and is still flexible enough to allow for a wide array of ideas to fit in.
Bonus XP: The question, "What kind of character do you think I should make?" is a moot one. The answer will always be subjective to the people that are asked. Nobody can tell you what sort of things you like. If you are still stumped, try attending a hosted game night at your local gaming or hobby stores. (i.e. Epic Puzzles and Games, located in West Valley City and Lehi, Utah) This will give you a chance to try a sample of different combinations and "test drive" the game before you commit to one character idea. Game nights are usually free of charge and take only 1-3 hours, so risk to the player is minimal.
This week, DCR takes a look at playing with large, powerful, and oversized weapons. When it comes to pulling out the "big guns", DCR says:
1. If your game's setting allows for ridiculous sizes, then don't fight it. If your game has anime, action movie, or comic book inspired themes, let your players have those large weapons without fuss. These settings have large weapons all over in their episodes and issues, and it doesn't make any sense to deny players access to them, especially when it heightens enjoyment of the game. As always, players should at least have a reason why their knight has an oversized great sword, or their power armor should have a giant cannon mounted on it's back. It's just extra flavor and builds connection to the character they play.
2. Speed it up! If your game DOES have huge cannons and massive damages, don't slog your game by rolling more dice. Roll less whenever possible. Figure out a system of multipliers when more than three dice are involved. (example: 3d6x10, or 1d8x4). Yes, its funny to think that your character's laser sword does 60d10 damage with each successful hit. But when it comes to keeping the pace of your game exciting, that's a sure fire way to kill the mood. To establish the devastating power of the weapon, try NOT rolling dice. Have that giant gun just vaporize its target (with good description, of course) if you feel it does that kind of damage anyway. This will build a sense of just what the character has in his/her hands, and create some great dramatic moments for your story.
3. It works both ways. If the characters get big guns, then so do your enemies. Surprise the player characters by having them face an opponent with equal firepower. If the players have a warship equipped with ballistas, then have them face another ship with some ballistas. This establishes the scale within which they work. It's not about keeping them low on the food chain, it's about keeping the food chain moving so they don't become complacent at the top. This also helps prevent the game from becoming unbalanced on one side because the players shouldn't need to feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed by their opposition. If the players want a big scale battle, then facilitate that.
Bonus XP: Macross, Voltron, and Invader ZIM are fine examples of television shows that feature oversized weapons. Final Fantasy VII, Wild Arms, and Front Mission are great video games to explore themes featuring large guns and large-scale warfare. The Iron Man, Hellboy, and any title featuring the character Lobo are excellent comics for researching giant weapons and big explosions.
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