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Random generation vs. Careful planning


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One of the things that have surprised me when meeting new roleplayers is how some people love the idea of randomly generating characters using lots of tables. Some developers seem to love it aswell, Lancelot games did it alot in the 80's and Neogames followed the trend in the early ninties by dedicating an entire chapter of the main rulebook to randomizing tables.

 

 

Personally, I hate the concept of randomizng characters and the few times Ive had the displeasure of being forced into it by pigheaded GMs have been the least enjoyable sessions Ive played. To me, playing a random character completely defeats the purpouse and concept of RPGs. You create a character of your OWN design and play it through an adventure, making your own choices. Its the freedom and beauty of RPGs.

 

 

I dislike randomisation to the point of frowning at games that roll characterisics instead of using a point buy system. I suppose its because I obsess over character much like a playwright and I demand complete control over the creation phase

 

 

 

Whats your opinion? Do think randomising has any merit?

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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The merit of randomising is in the value of experimentation. Often it's fun to just try to adapt and survive with a character over whose creation you don't have complete control over. Just try what you get and play with it.. That said, I don't think there's that much fun to be had over randomising. Complete control is a much more rewarding process.

 

For beginners, tables and stuff can be rather scary entities and using a random generator will get you to the actual roleplaying much quicker. I know, I wouldn't want to fidget around too much if I'm "just trying".

Edited by Musopticon?

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I hate randomness with a fiery passion. >_<

 

Give me some control over my character! :p

 

Personally I see random generation as creating a character "for you" and forcing you to play the role where number crunching is more like making an "avatar" to play within the game.

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How can I rollplay when someone else sets the stage?

"McDonald's taste damn good. I'd rtahe reat their wonderful food then the poisonous junk you server in your house that's for sure.

 

What's funny is I'm not fat. In fact, I'm skinny. Though I am as healthy as cna be. Outside of being very ugly, and the common cold once in the blue moon I simply don't get sick."

 

- Volourn, Slayer of Yrkoon!

 

"I want a Lightsaber named Mr. Zappy" -- Darque

"I'm going to call mine Darque. Then I can turn Darque on anytime I want." -- GhostofAnakin

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How can I rollplay when someone else sets the stage?

How can one even enjoy Final Fantasy? :-"

 

But yes, I wouldn't play an RPG that gave me a completely random character. For example, I just don't play wizards well in PnP, and I wouldn't want to be one.

 

I find it's much more rewarding to have them create their characters and then, if the players are RPers, put their characters into situations that keep them from being static. Where the choice they would naturally make is the choice they aren't given. If the roleplaying is good, then the character will evolve.

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I agree, the players provide their characters and the GM provides a situation that the players have to deal with through their PC.

 

 

 

Now my weird aquintance who is a lot like magical Volo in that he has a pathological desire to have the exacy opposite opinion of everyone else.. he says that its in playing a premade/random character that the true roleplaying challenge is. And if you let players do their own characters theyre just going to choose roles theyre comofortable with.

 

Me, I think hes sort of suggesting that you should play golf with a hockey stick

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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One of the things that have surprised me when meeting new roleplayers is how some people love the idea of randomly generating characters using lots of tables. Some developers seem to love it aswell, Lancelot games did it alot in the 80's and Neogames followed the trend in the early ninties by dedicating an entire chapter of the main rulebook to randomizing tables.

 

 

Personally, I hate the concept of randomizng characters and the few times Ive had the displeasure of being forced into it by pigheaded GMs have been the least enjoyable sessions Ive played. To me, playing a random character completely defeats the purpouse and concept of RPGs. You create a character of your OWN design and play it through an adventure, making your own choices. Its the freedom and beauty of RPGs.

 

 

I dislike randomisation to the point of frowning at games that roll characterisics instead of using a point buy system. I suppose its because I obsess over character much like a playwright and I demand complete control over the creation phase

 

 

 

Whats your opinion? Do think randomising has any merit?

I dislike that too, I can't get 'into the role' with a character I don't feel my own, didn't made it myself, or atleast had MUCH time to get know better...but this last option is only really possible in PC games, not in pnp.

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I agree, the players provide their characters and the GM provides a situation that the players have to deal with through their PC.

 

Now my weird aquintance who is a lot like magical Volo in that he has a pathological desire to have the exacy opposite opinion of everyone else..  he says that its in playing a premade/random character that the true roleplaying challenge is. And if you let players do their own characters theyre just going to choose roles theyre comofortable with.

 

Me, I think hes sort of suggesting that you should play golf with a hockey stick

I played golf without any clubs once. That was after playing the first few holes so poorly that I decided to throw the ball instead.

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The current point buy system only allows for min-maxed characters. You need so many points in so many stats to be effective in your class. This means there are no smart or wize figthers and no hardy and strong mages. Instead of reflecting a fictional personality, the point buy system makes stats representative only of class demands. It's moronic. Every time I start a E3 point buy game the first thing I do is look for the stat cheats. I also disagree with the spell level stat requirements for the same reason.

 

A mage with a 15 INT should be able to cast spells of any level.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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How can one even enjoy Final Fantasy? :blink:"

 

Rollplay. Rollplay.

 

Notice the spelling- what I was implying was that random stats was rather detrimental to my somewhat casual interest in maximizing the effectiveness of my characters for whatever reason. Not that I always do this, but hey, it can be fun.

 

I'm not really sure what the above is supposed to say in relation to this, to be honest!

 

 

I agree, the players provide their characters and the GM provides a situation that the players have to deal with through their PC.

 

Now my weird aquintance who is a lot like magical Volo in that he has a pathological desire to have the exacy opposite opinion of everyone else..  he says that its in playing a premade/random character that the true roleplaying challenge is. And if you let players do their own characters theyre just going to choose roles theyre comofortable with.

 

Me, I think hes sort of suggesting that you should play golf with a hockey stick

*

 

Roleplaying is, when you get down to it, quite a lot like acting. Perhaps he simply believes that the mark of a good roleplayer or actor or suchlike is the ability to adapt- maybe he just finds the challenge in assuming a new, unfamiliar role pretty fun?

 

I mean, actors that simply assume the same type of personas tend to become pretty stale. Just look at Julia Roberts. Ugh.

 

I'm not sure I agree with him, but I can certainly see where he's coming from. If I would hazard a guess, a lot of actors tend to consider playing the role of someone completely unfamiliar and foreign to them and their ways harder than someone closer to themselves or what they're used to. Hence, all this "true challenge" stuff.

Edited by Lord Tingeling

"McDonald's taste damn good. I'd rtahe reat their wonderful food then the poisonous junk you server in your house that's for sure.

 

What's funny is I'm not fat. In fact, I'm skinny. Though I am as healthy as cna be. Outside of being very ugly, and the common cold once in the blue moon I simply don't get sick."

 

- Volourn, Slayer of Yrkoon!

 

"I want a Lightsaber named Mr. Zappy" -- Darque

"I'm going to call mine Darque. Then I can turn Darque on anytime I want." -- GhostofAnakin

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I'm not a fan of randomization in character creation either. Although most such systems include some ways to give the player at least a modicum of control (like rolling your characteristics and then being allowed to redistribute them as you see fit).

 

Although having some random element to character creation can be fun. Like background tables or some such (of course with the option to ignore if it's totally out of line for your character).

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The acting argument works, except that the point of RPGs is to have fun and not impress an audience. And actors certainly have favorite roles to play, which they find alot more fun than playing a manic-depressive court jester in the 800th contemporary remake of "16th century play X"

 

 

Although most such systems include some ways to give the player at least a modicum of control (like rolling your characteristics and then being allowed to redistribute them as you see fit).

 

 

My latest fit of quiet rage was aimed at Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which dictates that you can have a lot of freedom but still insists that you roll your characteristics in order(which will wreak havoc on your char) and randomly determine talents* (which will also make sure you end up with useless stuff your character wont ever need instead of stuff that could have helped a great deal)

 

 

 

* talents is the WFRP version of Feats/Perks

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Because I dislike stat spread that the new point buy system generates for reasons I have already explained.

 

The stats are supposed to reflect a character, not exclusively a character class.

Not all the mages are supposed to summon Balors and stop the time, if someone wants to understand the strings of magic, then he/she has to gain knowledge about it, ergo improve his intelligence/wisdom.

 

 

 

But I partially agree on bard/paladin, shouldn't work like they do now.

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Because I dislike stat spread that the new point buy system generates for reasons I have already explained.

 

The stats are supposed to reflect a character, not exclusively a character class.

So what's the point in having INT (for example) as a stat, if it has no bearing on the game?

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I use an unweighted point buy system in which the players have 30 points to distribute on their character's six ability scores, each starting with 8. The limitation here is tha after racial modifiers are applied they cannot hav a score above 20 nor a score below 6.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

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"So what's the point in having INT (for example) as a stat, if it has no bearing on the game?"

 

It does, it determines max known spells, number of skills, modifies certain skills etc.

 

In 2E there was no spell level requirements other than 12 in the required stat, but Clerics still got bonus spells, and mages more spells to chose from.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I use an unweighted point buy system in which the players have 30 points to distribute on their character's six ability scores, each starting with 8.  The limitation here is tha after racial modifiers are applied they cannot hav a score above 20 nor a score below 6.

What if some race gives +4 on an ability? why not being able to have 22 then? :shifty:

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The acting argument works, except that the point of RPGs is to have fun and not impress an audience. And actors certainly have favorite roles to play, which they find alot more fun than playing a manic-depressive court jester in the 800th contemporary remake of "16th century play X"

 

Uh, except? Some people find roleplaying for the challenge or the sake of it fun. You didn't really pick at a failure in my argument, now did you- if the point is to have fun, we can still find different things about roleplaying fun, can't we?

 

As for the latter part of your post, I think you'll have to go to far greater lengths if you intend to prove that all actors prefer playing roles they are used to rather than new and possibly difficult ones, and prefer it by "a lot", at that! You saying so isn't really going to cut it.

Edited by Lord Tingeling

"McDonald's taste damn good. I'd rtahe reat their wonderful food then the poisonous junk you server in your house that's for sure.

 

What's funny is I'm not fat. In fact, I'm skinny. Though I am as healthy as cna be. Outside of being very ugly, and the common cold once in the blue moon I simply don't get sick."

 

- Volourn, Slayer of Yrkoon!

 

"I want a Lightsaber named Mr. Zappy" -- Darque

"I'm going to call mine Darque. Then I can turn Darque on anytime I want." -- GhostofAnakin

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"So what's the point in having INT (for example) as a stat, if it has no bearing on the game?"

 

It does, it determines max known spells, number of skills, modifies certain skills etc.

 

In 2E there was no spell level requirements other than 12 in the required stat, but Clerics still got bonus spells, and mages more spells to chose from.

Far be it for me, an amateur, to re-engineer

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"Now my weird aquintance who is a lot like magical Volo in that he has a pathological desire to have the exacy opposite opinion of everyone else.. "

 

Stop with the rumours, myths, and innuendo. Also stop with the trolling personal attacks. Please, and thank you. :)

 

 

As for the topic, I prefer careful planning of characters; though 'random generation/premade' chaarcetrs can also be fun under the right circumstances.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I agree with Tingeling. Crafting your own character is fun at first. BUt after a while I like the notion of having certain things forced on you. Even teh entire character. In the When Gravity Fails sourcebook for Cyberpunk you got quite odd flaws (major and minor) that while handicaps made for a far richer roleplaying experience.

 

But then I enjoy acting in general.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

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I agree with Tingeling. Crafting your own character is fun at first. BUt after a while I like the notion of having certain things forced on you. Even teh entire character. In the When Gravity Fails sourcebook for Cyberpunk you got quite odd flaws (major and minor) that while handicaps made for a far richer roleplaying experience.

 

But then I enjoy acting in general.

 

 

I think its fun to act aswell but I had the misfortune of playing with "The GM from randomisation hell"

 

 

We were playing EoN, a swedish fantasy game with a very complex ruleset and a whole chapter for randomising characters. You can randomise everything from how many sisters you have to details of your characters psyche that should really be determined and roleplayed by the player(you have these weird love, loyalty, creativity, morality stats etc. that determine how your character will respond to a situation)

 

Anyway we all had concepts ready for the kind of characters we wanted to play but the GM from randomisation hell got quite upset and demanded that we use the randomisation charts to generate characters(even though it clearly states in the rulebook that they are optional).

 

So my dodgy hobo ended up as a nobleman in charge of the Lords bodyguard. The old mystic druid mage ended up as a female, one-legged, disfigured and mentally handicapped teenage beggar. The swashbuckling daredevil scoundrel ended up as a big, dumb troll of some kind. The GM's girlfriend got to play what she wanted though.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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