Your rules for character creation?

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p_Clapham
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Your rules for character creation?

Postby p_Clapham » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:07 pm

What rules for character creation do you use for your games? Do you go with the base rules, or something else?

I use a point build system. I have bad memories of rolling subpar to crippled characters in AD&D, while my friends marched around with 18/00 strength. Rather than starting my players off with 80 points in attributes I generally go with 90-100. 80 points gives them a average score of 11.42 in each attribute, not exactly heroic. 90 points gives them a 12.85, and 100 points gives a 14.28 in each attribute. My games are very pulpy, and I like having more capable player characters.
Olaus Petrus
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:43 am

I use random roll, assign method, because I like some randomness. I use Elric of Melniboné setting's character creation rules (which is setting based variant of standard MRQII/Legend character creation rules). At the start of the campaign players created novice characters, but as many characters have died since then I have allowed players to use advanced adventurers character creation rules, so that new characters are almost as good as the other characters (my view is that it would be stupid to punish players if their character dies heroically saving the party and/or the Young Kingdoms and it doesn't do any good for the game to have one or two characters who have much lower skills than rest of the party. It just frustrates both players and GM).
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:10 pm

I use "Roll 4 dice take the best 3" and then assign to the desired characteristic.

Yes, there are times when the "best 3" are actually the lowest 3. Thieves might light to have a smaller SIZ score for example...

We also use common sense, if you roll really crappy, roll again. We try not to have any characters with a characteristic below about 8-9 unless the player wants that.

BTW the odds of ANY character having 18/00 strength are about 21,600: 1
But I too remember all those fighters out there with this strength.. sure it was random... :D
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby soltakss » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:33 pm

Roll randomly then assign the results to whichever stats you prefer, but always roll an extra D6 and ignore one die.
Players can invent their own Backgrounds/Professions, as long as they stay within the correct skill points.
PCs start at the same level, experience-wise.
Limits on skills are level-based.
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Olaus Petrus
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Thu May 01, 2014 2:19 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:We also use common sense, if you roll really crappy, roll again. We try not to have any characters with a characteristic below about 8-9 unless the player wants that.
This is a difficult question. You don't want to have totally crappy characters in the party, because few bad dice rolls in character creation can make character unenjoyable to play. Players usually want to see their characters as real heroes and not as incompetent wannabe heroes, like Joxer the Mighty from Xena. On the other hand as GM you don't want to have party full of Conans and Gandalfs, who have all of their characteristics above 16.

To minimize really bad stats I use optional rules from page 8 of Legend rules. However I allow player to completely re-roll the characteristics if he has several of those under 10. But then he has to re-roll all of them, not just the ones he threw badly. Some players have decided to keep the rolls even if there has been 2 or 3 characteristics which are between 7-9, because their other die rolls have been excellent.
pachristian
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby pachristian » Thu May 01, 2014 9:55 pm

I find that in a straight point-buy system, all characters tend to look alike.

I follow these steps:
1) players roll their characters (3d6 for most stats, 2d6+6 for INT and SIZ), appropriate dice for other races.

2) Female human characters have the option to take -2 to STR and -2 to SIZ. (Sexual dimorpohism is real).

3) After these modifiers, characters total their stats. If the total is less than 91 (yes, 91), then characters distribute the difference in points as evenly as possible among their stats. Players which stats to apply points to first. Exception: characters do not have to add points to SIZ.

4) Characters roll their "starting profession" on a D30, and then choose a culture appropriate to their profession.

Example:
A player decides she wants to create Belit; a Babylonian poet-swordswoman-explorer, roughly modeled after Sir Richard Francis Burton. She rolls:
STR = 13, CON = 13, SIZ = 16, INT = 9, POW = 12, DEX = 8, CHA = 12.
This is not really the roles she wanted, but she'll work with them.
She applies the "female dimorphism" rule - optional, but there.
STR = 11, CON = 13, SIZ = 14, INT = 9, POW = 12, DEX = 8, CHA = 12.
The total of these stats is 79.
91-79 - 12. The player gets to add 12 points, divided as evenly as possible. The player opts to not add any points to SIZ. This gives +2 points to each of the other characteristics

Belit's final stats are:
STR = 13, CON = 15, SIZ = 14, INT = 11, POW = 14, DEX = 10, CHA = 14.

The player rolls a d30, and gets an 8 for starting background: Belit comes from a Craftsman background. Because she wants to be Babylonian, the player chooses a "Civilized" background. As her randonly-rolled character is not quite what she had in mind, the player writes a background story that includes Belit fleeing from a "boring" life and an arranged marriage, and setting out to explore the world.
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sat May 03, 2014 2:56 pm

pachristian wrote:I find that in a straight point-buy system, all characters tend to look alike.

I follow these steps:
1) players roll their characters (3d6 for most stats, 2d6+6 for INT and SIZ), appropriate dice for other races.

2) Female human characters have the option to take -2 to STR and -2 to SIZ. (Sexual dimorpohism is real).

3) After these modifiers, characters total their stats. If the total is less than 91 (yes, 91), then characters distribute the difference in points as evenly as possible among their stats. Players which stats to apply points to first. Exception: characters do not have to add points to SIZ.

4) Characters roll their "starting profession" on a D30, and then choose a culture appropriate to their profession.

Example:
A player decides she wants to create Belit; a Babylonian poet-swordswoman-explorer, roughly modeled after Sir Richard Francis Burton. She rolls:
STR = 13, CON = 13, SIZ = 16, INT = 9, POW = 12, DEX = 8, CHA = 12.
This is not really the roles she wanted, but she'll work with them.
She applies the "female dimorphism" rule - optional, but there.
STR = 11, CON = 13, SIZ = 14, INT = 9, POW = 12, DEX = 8, CHA = 12.
The total of these stats is 79.
91-79 - 12. The player gets to add 12 points, divided as evenly as possible. The player opts to not add any points to SIZ. This gives +2 points to each of the other characteristics

Belit's final stats are:
STR = 13, CON = 15, SIZ = 14, INT = 11, POW = 14, DEX = 10, CHA = 14.

The player rolls a d30, and gets an 8 for starting background: Belit comes from a Craftsman background. Because she wants to be Babylonian, the player chooses a "Civilized" background. As her randonly-rolled character is not quite what she had in mind, the player writes a background story that includes Belit fleeing from a "boring" life and an arranged marriage, and setting out to explore the world.
While in most cases it doesn't matter what background profession character has, randomly assigned professions form a problem if you want to create magic user character, especially in settings where magic is very rare and requires special training since the childhood and you can't even gain access to magic skills and lores without specific profession or rare in-game events.
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sat May 03, 2014 8:10 pm

I've only ever used random background professions for NPCs (and not major ones at that). It's too limited in what it allows players... the amount of skill development necessary for them to get close to their "vision" of their character generally needles them too much.
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sat May 03, 2014 11:18 pm

Lord High Munchkin wrote:I've only ever used random background professions for NPCs (and not major ones at that). It's too limited in what it allows players... the amount of skill development necessary for them to get close to their "vision" of their character generally needles them too much.
Some groups prefer it that way and it should be allowed, although I don't understand why. If player has certain vision about a character, then he/she should pick his/her background accordingly. Players can pick handicaps for their characters if that's their thing, for example I have made a weaponthane character who had lost one of his arms, because it fitted to the character's story. It's lesser evil than forcing them to take skills, which don't fit with their character. I think that forcing people to roll their background is just cruel. For example if player wants to make civilized human necromancer, then I wouldn't force him/her to play as barbarian dwarf fisherman, just because the dices say so.
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sun May 04, 2014 12:11 am

Olaus Petrus wrote:
Lord High Munchkin wrote:I've only ever used random background professions for NPCs (and not major ones at that). It's too limited in what it allows players... the amount of skill development necessary for them to get close to their "vision" of their character generally needles them too much.
Some groups prefer it that way and it should be allowed, although I don't understand why. If player has certain vision about a character, then he/she should pick his/her background accordingly. Players can pick handicaps for their characters if that's their thing, for example I have made a weaponthane character who had lost one of his arms, because it fitted to the character's story. It's lesser evil than forcing them to take skills, which don't fit with their character. I think that forcing people to roll their background is just cruel. For example if player wants to make civilized human necromancer, then I wouldn't force him/her to play as barbarian dwarf fisherman, just because the dices say so.
I think you just agreed with me!
The desire for a "definitive, ultimate answer" is, in fact, classified by modern psychiatric medicine as a mental illness.
Olaus Petrus
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Re: Your rules for character creation?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sun May 04, 2014 2:18 pm

Lord High Munchkin wrote:
Olaus Petrus wrote:
Lord High Munchkin wrote:I've only ever used random background professions for NPCs (and not major ones at that). It's too limited in what it allows players... the amount of skill development necessary for them to get close to their "vision" of their character generally needles them too much.
Some groups prefer it that way and it should be allowed, although I don't understand why. If player has certain vision about a character, then he/she should pick his/her background accordingly. Players can pick handicaps for their characters if that's their thing, for example I have made a weaponthane character who had lost one of his arms, because it fitted to the character's story. It's lesser evil than forcing them to take skills, which don't fit with their character. I think that forcing people to roll their background is just cruel. For example if player wants to make civilized human necromancer, then I wouldn't force him/her to play as barbarian dwarf fisherman, just because the dices say so.
I think you just agreed with me!
Yep. Giving players freedom to customize their characters as they like (as long as they have first asked from GM if the character idea fits into the campaign) makes the gaming experience more pleasant for everyone. Some people however prefer randomly generated characters, where dices decide what background skills etc. characters have. While it makes min-maxing more difficult it can make creating desired character very difficult.

My own solution to min-maxing issue is to make all skills necessary. If you make warrior who completely lacks social skills, then you can expect troubles in everyday social situations, for example character's lack of knowledge in etiquette made him insult important nomad warrior during a feast, which did lead into a feud. And characters have had opportunities to win favours with their singing and dancing skills.

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