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Default Rampant Games - Rolling Your Own

June 26th, 2011, 11:47
A recent post at the Rampant Coyote discusses rolling your own character vs other options, a subject I'm sure many of you are passionate about:
Making your own character(s): For some, this is essential to the RPG experience. For others – like me – it’s no big deal. For some, it’s daunting and a reason to avoid playing RPGs altogether.
I remember tournaments back in the glory days of tabletop Dungeons & Dragons where players were assigned pre-generated characters. Or other times when a pre-gen might be in order. Then, as now in CRPGs, there was something more satisfying about making your own character from scratch, giving him or her a unique name, and calling them your own. Back then, I had binders full of characters for various RPG systems – some only played once or twice, some deceased, and even a few that were created for one reason or another but never played.
One character that I’d created but never played ended up getting “loaned” to another player. She hadn’t had time to create a character of the appropriate level for a game, so I handed the sheet to her. She became a regular in the campaign, and the character became her own – and one of her favorites. I didn’t miss the character too much. I ended up marrying that player, so I kept the character in the family or something.
I’ve played and enjoyed a lot of CRPGs where I little or no say in what character I played, and often little control over their progression as they increased in levels. I’ve played CRPGs where I had full control over their stats (even to the point of being able to enter any values I wanted to “import” my D&D character into the game) from the get-go, and even “had” to create an entire party of characters from scratch. Let me tell you, I almost didn’t get started playing Icewind Dale 2 because I was having so much fun making characters!
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June 26th, 2011, 11:47
Going round and going round.

Pre-determined or self determined roles? This a very secondary question at present days. The primary question is how RP is supported and enabled. Articles like that takes it as granted that RPG genre is advanced enough in that field to make the predetermined vs self determined roles a relevant item.

RPG genre did not get its priorities right. The comments section, while unconnected with the main article topic, is more interesting.

Indeed, you do not RP a party. Allowing control on the NPCs into your party was an original flaw in the cRPG approach.

Yep, RPG genre has been digging its grave from the beginning. The best that can be expected now is that while the RPG genre is absorbed by other genres as it failed to distinguish itself on its core substance, one day or another, the progress will be allowed on the foundations achieved by other genres like shooters or close combat games.
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June 26th, 2011, 12:17
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Indeed, you do not RP a party. Allowing control on the NPCs into your party was an original flaw in the cRPG approach.
It's only a flaw from a purist, one true way approach. I can think of many different thing that have happened over the years that have dragged the genre further into the gutter, but that isn't one of them.

Options, creativity, variety and strategy (plus other key elements I'm likely missing) are all positive things. That games (rpgs) can be designed in different ways is fantastic.

Some rpg's are story centric focused on a character, others on a party and even rpgs that don't focus on story at all. They are all good for different reasons.
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June 27th, 2011, 17:35
Stories in a RPG has one primary purpose: providing RP situations allowing the player to RP. Most of times, not the case. The only game currently enduring a RPG angle approach review, M&B, has no story but the gameworld provides with RP situaitons so…

No purism. More admittance of reality. Pretentious to try to afford RPing one party when the game cant provide RP for one character. Kind of putting the oxen before the cart.

It put the emphasis on what RPGs never were: that is Roll Playing Games.
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June 28th, 2011, 12:30
Actually, I like rolling characters so much I made exactly a "Roll playing game".

It's called RPGchargen and your only input is changing loot, assigning stats then clicking the battle button, (and I guess toggle icons in battle for turning off casting and range) and back to the char screen.

It's not finished enough for people to play, but I can spend ages trying out slightly different builds. With NWN2 pretty much all I liked was rolling characters!

Though when I was just 11 playing amiga dnd rpgs I'd initially take the premade party. I think mostly because it was quicker to get into the game and I didn't really know what I wanted anyway.

Maybe rolling is just part of the replay value.

So, not to turn this into a rant or anything , but theres a sorta argument for bringing some permadeath into MMORPGS. Make the game kinda like a roguelike, say, 12 hours to max level then lots of endgame stuff designed to get the group killed. Then you can spend more time on your character rolls and less grinding!

I'd be so sold on a game like that!
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June 28th, 2011, 13:06
For me, rolling is one way of creating a 'character', with strengths and weaknesses for me to both use and roleplay off, for a game. Kind of like a randomly assign stats button. Some games I like to have that done for me (rolling), some I prefer to generate a specific character for with my own chosen strengths and weaknesses. I also perfectly enjoy pre-determined characters.

Most of all, I appreciate the range of options, and would be rather less excited if all games were the same in that area.
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