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RPGaDay in August – August 25th: What Makes A Good Character? August 25, 2016

Posted by jkahane in gaming hut, personal, rpg hut.
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We continue on with RPGaDay in August, this year hosted by BrigadeCon.

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Day 25 – What makes for a good character?

Good question, and one that I can offer an answer to that is just my opinion. I think that some other gamers may feel the same way I do about this, but that may just reflect their age. 🙂

It’s important to bear in mind that I very rarely get to play, so this is pretty much from the point of view of being the Gamemaster. While a big deal is made about the character’s game numbers (and lots of players seem to try to “optimise” said numbers), the character is much more than numbers and game statistics. Personally, what makes a good character is the personality and motivation (what some call the back story). As the GM, I create the game world around the characters, and a good character back story gives me both fodder (in a positive sense) that I can use for adventure ideas and the like (“My character is on the run from the Baron who slaughtered my family, but I don’t know who they are!”), but also allows me to shape stories and tailor them to a character’s personality traits (“I’m honest to a fault, and will never tell a falsehood” or “I have a terrible fear of snakes”) and other aspects of the player character that has been established in their background and history.

To me, this is the real meat of a character. The numbers are merely a means of turning an interesting character back story into a set of measurable, game mechanical turns that allow us to see what the character can do in the game world that is used by the specific ruleset.

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