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IndiraLightfoot

Character Rollaholic - Mea Culpa

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Yes, I am one of those players that love the character creation process almost as much as entire games. The deed of getting out the dice and roll up a well-planned and fun and exciting character is a highlight in any RPG. However, in PnP, there were games that had this process drag out for days (no names mentioned). In the brave, new (*cough*)world of CRPGs, it usually is a much faster one.

 

Obviously, the character creation in PE matters a lot to me, and the same goes for how much and often we get to enhance or change our player character when it's levelled up.

 

So here follows some personal reflections, questions and wishes for PE's character development schematics.

 

I like to see diversity, even within Races and Classes. In fact, in another thread, I proposed that Cultures should be lend the same weight as those when we create a character. Backgrounds in most CRPGs have been far to meagre and generic in most CRPGs. And, if Religion is in with a polytheistic smorgasbord, I'd be quite happy if we get to pick a god that has certain boons that go along with it (if we pray and visit shrines, that is - it should take some devout affection to get the benefits). If PE's character creation is done right I should be able to roll up six characters myself, all Orlan mages, and they short come out of character creation like a party of six rather diverse individuals, and as they progress in levels, they get the chance to drift even further apart in identity and capacity. And wouldn't it be great with starting equipment kits that reflect your choice of Culture and Religion? I'd be over the moon for something like that! :w00t:

 

I'd like the attributes to matter quite a bit: STR, CON, DEX, INT, WIS and CHA or whatever it is in PE, should have a more than notable effect on one's character's strengths and weaknesses, and it should work that way even when your level 5 or 10. Those points should be relatively hard to change once picked or rolled during character creation. Getting later increases to those values should be a feat or a stroke of great luck, not a standard event every second level. As for whether the attributes should be rolled up and then you get to distribute a few points on top, like in ToEE, or whether it should be a fully controllable pool of points that you distribute to your heart's content, I have no idea, since I love both systems! :) 

 

There should be heaps and heaps of skill choices, and those skills should be possible to continue to increase as you level up, a bit like 3.5 Ed D&D, which is my favourite character generation and development system. PE don't need to make a differentiation between weapon proficiencies and skills and what not. The word skill would probably suffice, no?

 

Picking gender, height, weight and perhaps age is a must, but I don't need a gazillion faces and portraits to chose from, but that's just me. As PE will be dealing with a more zoomed out view, then it would be great if it could include the option of making characters with a much wider berth than the standard super-fit and slender models (the stick insects, as we used to call NWN1 models), it would make it easier to identify party members in-game.

 

What are your thoughts on all this? Surely, I can't be the only character rollaholic on this board?

 

 

 

 

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I don't mind cosmetic visuals, in most of games my characters covered in armor and (magical!) helmets after a while which makes me forget how my character looks like :)

I don't mind race of my characters in CRPGs because in most cases they are purely cosmatic or just add little stat differences(Arcanum, Bloodlines and DA:O are the only games races really matter imho) so I just roll with dwarves if they are in but when it comes to classes I'm torn.

 

While I probably end up playing with all classes if I like the game, I always wonder how could other classes/combinations perform in most of the situtaitons and  after a while I reroll a new class ... A really bad habit, just resurfaced when  I was playing shadowrun. Left my dwarven shotgunner alone for a dwarven mage.


Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

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I have a hypothesis that a large amount of character customization is appealing for the same reasons folks like to play dress-up with their characters.

 

Disclosure: I love playing dress-up with my characters.

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Nice site, Prima Junta! :)

 

Thank you for that, or should I say "Kiitos"? ;)

 

I avidly supported the Torment - Numenera KS, and a few days InXile sent me Monte's Player's Guide. It seems such a PnP-friendly system. Hopefully, InXIle will manage to translate it into a great CRPG as well.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Yeah, that's gonna be interesting. Most of the best bits about the Numenera system are about arbitration and creativity -- DM intervention, using XP to get temporary benefits, tinkering with numenera to change their properties, using your esoteries or other skills in unconventional ways, and so on. I.e., guidelines for players to use their creativity, common sense, and logic in play. Some of the character creation rules have to do with inter-player interaction. There is no way to translate that directly to a computer game.

 

OTOH the bare-bones system gives computer game designers a lot of freedom to build on. I'm really curious to see what they come up with.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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im like that too. especialy in mmo, i almost never get a character at max level, because at some point i just get curious about other classes-races and start a second, a third and so on. the first time i played arcanum, and the second and up to the 18th time i started the game, i went no further than the first town, cause i decided to roll a new character every time. i made 20 characters before i decided to actually proceed with the game

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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teknoman2: I know the feeling! I recall when I've made a number of characters in NWN 2 (only difference being I played thru the whole OC or more less hastily) and then opted for a warlock, and to my wonderful surprise, it really felt like a new game, again (within reason, of course). That's one definition of good variety to a character creation system - there should always be new play styles to be discovered.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I take my time tuning my character well beforehand. Sometimes I take so long I wish I could save the progress of a half-finished character. So I guess yes, I too am a Rollaholic.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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i've certainly spent far more time building characters in NWN2 than playing the game

the icewind dale remake is great for that, since you get to create 6 characters as in the original

6 characters * 3 class possibilities each = the ultimate party of maaaadness

god, i LOVE prestige classes and multiclassing

 

in a mmo usually i've got more than 20 different characters too, i always play all the classes

barely any character sees max lvl though

Edited by lolaldanee

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I usually draft up a basic character design before I start the game, then browse through my options and see if I can come up with something close. I've done a ****load of drafts.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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I usually draft up a basic character design before I start the game, then browse through my options and see if I can come up with something close. I've done a ****load of drafts.

I'll do this if I already have a decent idea as to what the character creation options are and what the setting will be like, but if I don't, this is basically pissing into the wind: It's very unlikely that I'll be able to make a satisfactory match for something I make up freeform. Furthermore, my favorite part of making characters for a tabletop game is to make up backstory hooks and tying them into the campaign: Something you really can't do in a CRPG unless you want to run around playing pretend.

 

(My preferred method for CRPGs is to just wait for the character creation screen and come up with something real quick-like there, then flesh it out as I play. Unless the game is gonna be like NWN2 and give you a box to write your backstory, then it invalidates the whole thing two seconds later by filling it all in for you... I'll probably end up playing a wizard or a wizard/priest if multiclassing is in and doesn't suck too hard.)

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I would argue that 'playing pretend' is the essence of a RPG. i would also stress that a good ruleset allows players to create any type of character that would fit in the setting, and not force nonsense restrictions like 'mages can't use swords because they cast spells'.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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I would argue that 'playing pretend' is the essence of a RPG.

Well, let me tell you a story. The first time I played Skyrim I had decided that my (Dunmer) character was one of the last heirs of House Telvanni, who came to Skyrim as a fugitive, running from being hunted down by the argonians. When I went to Winterhold I met Brelyna Maryon, who was also one of the last heirs of House Telvanni who had come to Skyrim (though her reasons for coming are never explained).

 

You'd think my character and her would have a lot to talk about, but for obvious reasons these conversations weren't actually implemented into the game. I could stand there, stare at her, and pretend she was saying something to me, and come up with my responses, but this is hardly the same thing as having a real conversation with her.

 

And like, if this were a tabletop game, the DM could easily throw in Argonian spies who followed me into Skyrim. In the game, there are no such Argonian spies. I mean, I could kill random argonians and pretend they were spies, but again this is not the same thing as having the content in the game.

 

i would also stress that a good ruleset allows players to create any type of character that would fit in the setting, and not force nonsense restrictions like 'mages can't use swords because they cast spells'.

Not really what I'm talking about. Like, here's a freeform character idea for the P:E setting just off the top of my head: Once upon a time, a god decided a certain fragment of himself was flawed and worthless, so he removed it. That fragment became this character's soul. The character doesn't remember being a part of the god, but she understands what she is and wants to be reunited with her god at all costs: She obsesses over perfecting herself by devouring other souls and grafting the best parts onto her own soul, in the hopes that one day she'll become worthy enough that her god will accept her again and she can merge back with him.

 

I can already tell you that options for playing this character will almost certainly not be in P:E. Unless some developer reads this and adds it to the game just to spite me, which would be amazing. You can't let players be something like this in a CRPG simply by not arbitrarily restricting them from playing certain character ideas ("Mages can't use swords.") characters are inevitably restricted to a space of premises.

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I hate dice rolls when creating characters. I'm glad fallout didn't do it and ill be glad PE doesn't either.

I don't like it when they're mandatory, but they DO have value as an option, when you want to kind of get some "random" character stats and build around that. Especially the ones that actually give you different total point values, like in D&D stat-rolling. It's kinda hard to just allocate the points to make a character with fewer total allocated points, and decide which things to leave low, and how low to leave them. I personally like it when a dice system takes care of that for me, again, when I'm going for a sort of sub-par, greater-roleplay-challenge character.

 

I think this is one thing that actually does make a good option.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I would argue that 'playing pretend' is the essence of a RPG. i would also stress that a good ruleset allows players to create any type of character that would fit in the setting, and not force nonsense restrictions like 'mages can't use swords because they cast spells'.

I always treated it more like "mages don't use physical weaponry due to their ineptitude with such things, as they spend their time training in their own arts".  Looking a tit from that point of view made the restriction easier to put up with.

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If you haven't already, you definitely should try the Realms of Arkania games. Creating a party can almost be considered a full-blown game by itself (it can take up to several hours).

 

You even get to pick values for various character flaws (claustrophobia, acrophobia etc.) and there's loads of skill choices.

 

But do avoid the remake.

Edited by Karranthain

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Well, let me tell you a story. The first time I played Skyrim I had decided that my (Dunmer) character was one of the last heirs of House Telvanni, who came to Skyrim as a fugitive, running from being hunted down by the argonians. When I went to Winterhold I met Brelyna Maryon, who was also one of the last heirs of House Telvanni who had come to Skyrim (though her reasons for coming are never explained).You'd think my character and her would have a lot to talk about, but for obvious reasons these conversations weren't actually implemented into the game. I could stand there, stare at her, and pretend she was saying something to me, and come up with my responses, but this is hardly the same thing as having a real conversation with her.And like, if this were a tabletop game, the DM could easily throw in Argonian spies who followed me into Skyrim. In the game, there are no such Argonian spies. I mean, I could kill random argonians and pretend they were spies, but again this is not the same thing as having the content in the game.

True, the game cannot react to something that doesn't exist in game(like a backstory and personality the player creates for the PC) and in Skyrim's case often doesn't react to things that do exist in the game. However, the actions that character takes in game will be determined by their back ground and personality.* Frankly, I think that trying to make a cRPG that is capable of reacting to any background that a player could possibly come up with will either fail badly or end up restricting a player to a background that he/she may not like. IMO, it is better to have a (mostly)blank slate, let the player create a background and personality for the PC that they use to determine the PC's actions in game, and have the game react solely to actions(and race, class, faction, etc.). YMMV, but I'm perfectly fine with a game not recognizing that my character is a disgraced knight as long as it doesn't contradict that halfway through and doesn't force a motive on my PC.

 

Not really what I'm talking about. Like, here's a freeform character idea for the P:E setting just off the top of my head: Once upon a time, a god decided a certain fragment of himself was flawed and worthless, so he removed it. That fragment became this character's soul. The character doesn't remember being a part of the god, but she understands what she is and wants to be reunited with her god at all costs: She obsesses over perfecting herself by devouring other souls and grafting the best parts onto her own soul, in the hopes that one day she'll become worthy enough that her god will accept her again and she can merge back with him.I can already tell you that options for playing this character will almost certainly not be in P:E. Unless some developer reads this and adds it to the game just to spite me, which would be amazing. You can't let players be something like this in a CRPG simply by not arbitrarily restricting them from playing certain character ideas ("Mages can't use swords.") characters are inevitably restricted to a space of premises.

Can Gods remove parts of their souls? If they can, does that fragment become a separate entity? Would that entity actually be human(oid) and not some monster that would be attacked on sight? I'm pretty versed on the updates and can't recall an answer to any f the above questions, so I don't really know if your example fits the setting.

 

I will likely get to play as an insane Paladin who attempts to kill almost anyone his order deems evil, a masochistic Monk who likes getting hit as a way to pleasure himself, and(if soul grafting is possible) a Cipher who believes herself to be a fragment of a god and harvests souls in an attempt to become better. I wouldn't be able to do that if they decided that (a) Paladins stop being Paladins when reputation falls below X (b) Monks are forced to be "Lawful" and being crazy is considered "Chaotic" © Ciphers have some "pure soul" bull**** that prevents them from being damaged. While PE won't have restrictions like these, they were rampant in IE games and did prevent certain types of characters.

 

*Unless the player is playing a self-insert or metagaming for the best rewards.

 

 

I always treated it more like "mages don't use physical weaponry due to their ineptitude with such things, as they spend their time training in their own arts".  Looking a tit from that point of view made the restriction easier to put up with.

That didn't really help me at all. I didn't see a good reason why my physically fit wizard was restricted to daggers, quarterstaffs, and crossbows in BG2. I would assume that someone with the highest intelligence possible for a human would be able to figure out how to correctly wield a sword.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Picking gender, height, weight and perhaps age is a must, but I don't need a gazillion faces and portraits to chose from, but that's just me. As PE will be dealing with a more zoomed out view, then it would be great if it could include the option of making characters with a much wider berth than the standard super-fit and slender models (the stick insects, as we used to call NWN1 models), it would make it easier to identify party members in-game.

 

What are your thoughts on all this? Surely, I can't be the only character rollaholic on this board?

 

Doubtful. (And you mean girth, not berth.)

 

I love dressing up my characters in multiple armor and clothing sets as well...... in MMOs. The camera zoom and free swing make sense in that environment. What you are wanting is appropriate for those types of free-3D games. In an isometric environment? Height and age are both aesthetic variables that make little sense to develop for an iso view; height won't be obvious to see and age---seriously, pick a white hair color or something, but facial wrinkles are going to be invisible, so pick the appropriate portrait or supply one of your own if you don't need a "gazillion" to pick from. Weight? Maybe the two normal/fat body types in BG/BG2 will be possible. But unless all the avatar art assets and animations are scaling somehow, it doesn't seem worth the development effort.

 

In rolling multiple alts, I'm much more interested in classes and race/party combinations that affect actual content in PE.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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you mean girth, not berth.)

 

 

:lol:

Fun typo! My mind must have swapped "give a wide berth" with "a wide girth".

 

And you are right about the visibility of course (except perhaps for colours and obviously wide characters).

But it is still a must in so far as I love getting to pick those rather central attributes, even if they remain just numbers to many people - to me, they are one step further in the character creation. 


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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you mean girth, not berth.)

 

 

:lol:

Fun typo! My mind must have swapped "give a wide berth" with "a wide girth".

 

And you are right about the visibility of course (except perhaps for colours and obviously wide characters).

But it is still a must in so far as I love getting to pick those rather central attributes, even if they remain just numbers to many people - to me, they are one step further in the character creation. 

 

Since those items are a "must" to you, what will you do when Obsidian doesn't provide the numerical choice input? (Weight, height, age)

 

I mean, I suppose you can just enter your own data in the character custom bio section, assuming PE will have one (I don't see why not since BG and maybe IWD had the option).

 

Different hair styles would be nice, since those are fairly visible in iso minus the helm, given the fidelity of the update 61 sample screenshot. None of the IE games gave choices for actual hair or lack of hair besides hair color, AFAIR.  But it looks like the vast majority of detailed aesthetic customization will come down to portraits and player extrapolation. I for one am fully intending to use a custom portrait I made for the BG games. ;)


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Oh yes, being able to create a variety of character concepts, to customise and combine (talents, abilities, skills, attributes..) at char creation and as you advance: is teh important. Everyone wants to have a unique snowflake, right?

What I'm not liking is the moving towards generic rather than specific.

Few examples.

*We can't specialise in a single weapon. You need to specialise in an entire category of weapons. Ok. That's digestible.

*Attributes. Attributes will govern different, even vastly different, aspects of my character. How will having a universal "damage" and "accuracy" stat (whatever the final name is) help define my character from a rpg standpoint? It won't and it bothers me.

*Finally, something that hasn't been mentioned yet. Combat styles. I'm talking about weapon and shield, two-handed, ranged weapons, dual wielding. I'm afraid, considering their design philosophy of extremely flexible characters that constantly need to switch weapons and whatnot, that being able to specialise in combat styles is unlikely.

You see, I'd love to build my character as someone who is a master of, let's say, dual wielding!

If every humanlike thing in the universe, with the same +damage and +accuracy stat as my character is able to dual wield as effectively as him, then I simply can't pretent there's anything special about his particular dual wielding expertise, or dual wielding expertise in general - because it doesn't exist. Everyone and ther grandmother, with adequate +accuracy and +damage, can switch to two weapons and be awesome (Bio style) at it.

 

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Once upon a time, a god decided a certain fragment of himself was flawed and worthless, so he removed it. That fragment became this character's soul. The character doesn't remember being a part of the god, but she understands what she is and wants to be reunited with her god at all costs: She obsesses over perfecting herself by devouring other souls and grafting the best parts onto her own soul, in the hopes that one day she'll become worthy enough that her god will accept her again and she can merge back with him.

 

I am definitely going to have to plagiarize this idea. Please accept my apology.

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You see, I'd love to build my character as someone who is a master of, let's say, dual wielding!

If every humanlike thing in the universe, with the same +damage and +accuracy stat as my character is able to dual wield as effectively as him, then I simply can't pretent there's anything special about his particular dual wielding expertise, or dual wielding expertise in general - because it doesn't exist. Everyone and ther grandmother, with adequate +accuracy and +damage, can switch to two weapons and be awesome (Bio style) at it.

I hear ya. Maybe, at the very least, they could go with weapon skills (with actual ratings), a la Fallout. Talents (feats) could then affect various things with your weapon, rather than governing your prowess with it via a handful of tiers. Especially since all the to-hit stuff is much expanded now from the 1-20 rolls.

 

*shrug*. Guess we'll hafta wait and learn more.

 

I'm really hoping that, however its handled, it's kind of set up to allow for viable single-weapon specialization by offsetting a decent bit of the using-the-same-weapon-instead-of-switching detriments one might face against multiple foes. Not that you still wouldn't have to use adaptive tactics... but, the alternative to this singular focus would be spreading your points about a bit, thereby maximizing your effectiveness against multiple armor/defense types, at the cost of some prowess/effectiveness with any single weapon.

 

In other words, I hope 5 points spent specializing in swords isn't inherently/globally worse than 2 points spend in hammers and 3 in swords, if that makes any sense.

 

I have faith, though. The unknown always raises possible concerns.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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