Sunday, 28 February 2016

Why I Hate Character Creation

I was having a lot of trouble with character creation for a new game (Exalted or something). Lots of false starts. Finally I decided to explain it to the GM by writing this and showing it to him.

GM: Create a character.

Me: Umm...there's a lot of stuff here. And I don't have time to read this hundred-ninety page book about the lore. How do I pick?

GM: Play what you want.

Me: Uhh, are you sure?

GM: Yes.

Me: <goes away, creates a hopeless fop who could only be construed as useful if 'telling jokes' is a skill.>
   <Really got into the role playing this time. Terribly proud of self.>
   <hands character sheet to GM>

GM: <reads sheet>

Me: You said create what I want.

GM: NO. This is NOT what I meant by that.

Me: Uhh, okay. Could you be more specific?

GM: This game is about FIGHTing with SWORDS. Create someone who FIGHTs with SWORDS. They'll need a reason to FIGHT with SWORDS. <Replace FIGHT and SWORDS with appropriate lore-related verb and noun.>

Me: Okay. My character is the same, except zhe fights with swords.

GM: And why does zhe fight with swords?

Me: Because you said zhe should.

GM: No I didn't! And you need to give a reason related to the lore.

Me: Uhh. Because <flips through manuals> kobolds...that's a kobold in that drawing, right? Because kobolds... <flips through manual some more> killed their family.

GM: When?

Me: Zhe doesn't remember.

GM: What? Explain.

Me: Uhh. Amnesia? I guess a kobold hit them with the flat of its sword. On the head. Zhe doesn't remember, though.

GM: Stop making things up.

Me: Sorry, this is too traumatic. I didn't even WANT kobolds to kill their family. That's awful. My character is just a person who likes to joke, and watch the action. They'll do whatever is required. They're like a...umm...ship's boy. But they don't work as hard, maybe.

GM: Uggh. What on earth would an adventuring party want with someone like that?

Me: They're fun to be around and will do all the dirty work? They'll dig the hole to poop in. Somebody has to.

GM: Not good enough. Adventurers are nasty, money-oriented bastards.

Me: My character is rich and the adventurers want to rob them, then.

GM: You can't be rich. It says so in rule 37B.

Me: My character weaves spells that make people think zhe's rich?

GM: No. Not in the lore. Try again.

Me: My character wants to be in the city guard. Zhe applied for the job 300 times. They said no. Zhe is now seeking entertainment in the form of adventuring, in hopes zhe can prove zhe belongs in the city guard someday.

GM: That is literally the worst backstory I've ever heard.

Me: Are you sure? We've played together before.

GM: I was trying to forget the other times.

Me: Okay, here's the deal. This is a £20 note. You go make me an appropriate character that FIGHTs with SWORDS, and I'll give it to you.

GM: Sounds good.
   <goes off and creates some kind of overpowered death-laser machine, hands me the sheet, and collects their money>
   <everyone is happy>

The End


The GM reminded me that everyone else would create characters that FIGHT with SWORDs, so perhaps I should create a WIZARD that WIZZes.

I replied:

Then I shall create Shellshock, the dwarven thunder wizard, who carries various small animal pets on their person and gets them out and talks to them rather than reacting properly, whenever zhe's scared…

The GM replied that he could not tell if I was trolling him, although it seemed like a good character concept. He also told me that unfortunately, there were no DWARVES and no THUNDER in the game.

I increased my offer to £30.

He took it.