Different Games, Same Characters (split)

Started by Catelf, August 31, 2009, 10:35:31 AM

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I want to show another way:
Even though i Always strive to play characters that is fictive versions of myself, i can easily adopt what may be needed, no matter if it is a Warrior, a Priest, a Mage, a Ninja, or any mix or combination thereof.
Of course, the Warrior don't attempt to Heal, or the Mage tries to go physical, as a rule: they aren't good at it, normally!
The "Me" is in how i portray each's reactions.

Ron Edwards

The above post was split from Different Games, Same Characters: What are your experiences?, a thread over six years old.

This topic is perfectly valid, but please do not post to older threads. Catelf, the discussion may continue here, but only if you post a description of play which illustrates your point. It can be a brief and simple description.

Best, Ron


Hi, Ron.
As you know, i've decided not to start a new thread, until i know really where, and of what.
So, i never did have the intention to make a new thread of this, i only intended to comment on the original topic, even though it was old. As it is now, a seperate thread, the point of that reply has become unimportant, left in limbo, as it is.
Sadly, my comment was fully valid in the context of the old thread, but now, it seem to only take space.
Therefor, i do suggest that you remove this thread altogether, so it don't take up unneccesary space.
I think that would be the best thing during the circumstance.
Kindly, Catelf.

Ron Edwards


Please consider that I have a lot of experience moderating this forum. I will explain this instance of thread splitting.

First, that discussion has its historical place in the history of the Forge. It is long over and not current. Posting to it disrupts the chronological integrity of the site, and is generally not actually joining a discussion at all, since the participants are themselves in different states of mind now or not active here at all.

Second, that means that posting to it, indeed, is in fact beginning a new discussion. Here and now, with the people here and now. You are the principal and the leader of that discussion. Don't try to dodge that responsibility. You cared enough to post at all - that means that if you were honest with that post, you care enough to make it worth reading by others.

The older thread's topic is valid and interesting. Give an example of what you're talking about, from your own real experience of play, and you will probably find that others are interested in responding, if what you say has substance.

Best, Ron


I was Not the leader of the original(or semi-original as it really were, i do think.. ) Thread, and i had no idea that commenting on it would lead to this. If i had known that i would be ever so slightly forced to "Pick up the torch" so to speak, i would not have done so.
Currently, this thread serves no purpose, unless as a warning example of what not to do:
Don't post to old Topics or threads unless you are ready to start them up again.

Also, my suggestion to remove this thread altogether was not any "dodging of responsibility" but just recognizing that this thread was currently not fulfilling its purpose!
So, saying that i'm dodging a responsibility i didn't ask for.... to me, that is insulting me.
But, as you didn't know that, i assume, it may be a ... what's it called... bygone?

However, i DO get the impression that you won't remove this thread, so i WILL see what i can do to make this thread valid again.
I'll start with a "fresh" Reply.


This thread was originally about the issue of people tending to play essentially only one character-type, no matter what the actual game is.
like, in D&D a Barbarian, in Vampire a Brujah, in "modern" a Ganger, and so on.
I do think it originally ended after those who posted to it realised that there really wasn't any problem, but i may be wrong.
...Have to continue later, my library time's up.


Here continued:
Since the issue at hand really was handled quite throughly in the thread this happened to spring from, i thought that it might be in order to check it from another angle, without really changing the Title.
So, by persistently choosing similar, or the same(more or less) character for any game you play, you can easily see at least some notable differences between each game.

No, can't do this.
Sorry to have to say this, but some can find a topic to be interesting enough to post to, to make a point, but still be completly incompetent if asked to lead the topic.
Remember: I did not voulenteer for this!


Heh. No one is incompetent to start a thread!

I started playing super hero RPGs. I usually played a younger male with some form of energy manipulation power (flight, beams, hard light). By the time I got to D&D style games I had been a dungeon master and was intrigued enough by character creation itself to make allot of varieties of class/race. Even sex. I've played girls as a DM so... its not even a big deal to me to make a character that is a girl and try and reflect my play off of that perspective. Formians, Free Familiars, and Elementals oh my! Talking trees and angles too. I have made a pair of characters "Fred and Fred" about a dozen times. Meatheads with basic weaponry for the setting, but I think thats more of a DM angle than a "Different Games, Same Characters" premise implies. I know people that play that way.

A gentleman I know plays with allot of different characters, but also carries his "Jonny" character around to as many games will allow it. Jonny is written up in a half a dozen different systems, and last I heard has in fact died a couple of times. Directly in regard to the thread title (which I clicked because I wanted to know what [split] meant) that is an example. Different games, even different systems are being used with one character.

Another gentleman I know always plays ... a drow .. sword fighter .. who was kicked out of his homeland. No not kidding. He read the book, he admits it, but thats what he wants to play and well ... fine. Some may say that you are wasting opportunities to play a wide range, that your typecasting yourself or what have you ... hehe ... but if thats what you want to play. Then so be it. Back when I played champions there was this guy (named Elvis - not kidding) that played ... marvel characters. Wolverines, Hulk, Juggernaut. Thats what he wanted to play - he or the gm would rename 'em but still "Feral Rage" "Behemoth" and "The Unstoppable" are not that hard to align figure out.

Yet a different gentleman that I know (who now plays quite a range of characters) originally started playing clerics. Went through the same character (with slightly different clothes ala the bard in Dorkness 2) about six or seven times before starting to broaden out, and still to this day leans towards divine casters in his d20 games. Not that he plays any other type of Table Top.

Insomuch as the OP I would say that playing yourself is a fine way to play. Nowhere in the rules does it say that you are required to play a minimum of three different types of character. Somewhere in the rules it said have fun. You feel more comfortable, or just plain wanna play yourself in the game then thats what you want to play. Playing Wolverine or Luke Skywalker is what some people want to do - I played Luke Skywalker (only fourteen, and I was psychic and from a moon, and there was no force, but I did have a lightsaber - yea'ah lightsaber) when I was in Jr High. Its gratifying seeing something based off yourself become a hero, and its also gratifying to take command of an Icon like The Hulk for long enough to smash!

Playing the same concept (down to weapon style and special abilities) in as many systems allowed like Jonny's player did was (I believe) something of both and more. I think that the creation was both an extension of himself and a iconic "pirate" representation. More specifically a "D&D pirate" specifically. Not only that it was a system and a social experiment on the part of a man who told me that he wanted to be likened to Keruak or Burroghs (if I knew his pen name I'd mention it - but I'd expect it to be Jonny something or another). Bringing the character into a game (like he did with mine) involved a review of multiple sets of material, and anecdotal evidence of both Table Top and Live Action play with this character. I was encouraged to retain as much of the character history (and there for poly-dimensional nature)  as possible. In my case it was easy to comply, but it was interesting to see certain elements of the character absent from one or more of the other game systems and DMs. Fascinating really.

Callan S.

In my early gaming career I had a thing for cyborgs. Latter that switched to mages (particularly in the rifts system where they weren't just as directly effective like a tec guy with a JA-12 pulse rifle (the one that does a 1d6*10 MD). That's over a number of years - just one sort of overall flavour change.

I think the repeating thing simply comes from just not finishing a character type. Most of the campaigns I ever played in were the short, handful of sessions then it drops. So you play this character type for say four sessions and...what, that's 'done'? There's no reason there to move onto something else as if one had gotten at something by playing a character type for a measly four sessions. Even in a gamist context, no finish line crossed at that point (if you think of the game nethack and how people play the various classes in that to the ending, that gives an idea of a gamist playing out of a class).

Indeed, rather than look at it as to why people keep repeating a character type, the question that raises in my mind instead is how they play something, then inexplicably give it up and do something else...why play something if your not going to play it out to completion?

Personal soapbox: And you couldn't complete them in most traditional RPG's, because traditional RPG's are a bunch of incomplete stone soup games. And I couldn't figure out how to complete the design cause everyones fiction first even though they roll dice every so often. Few that feels good to just get out of my system.


Hi Catelf,

Since you willingly ceded any interest in "steering" this thread I'll jump in and see what I can do.

On the assumption that it is true (some) players have a tendency to play the same "character" in a variety of systems and by extension settings I believe there are two general reasons. The simplest and I believe lamest is that said players just like the concept (motif as it were) and are looking to experience it as often as possible. This may be true for some, but I don't believe it is the best description of what is going on. Which brings me to the second reason, which was reflected in both Shea's and Callan's posts, and represent a larger and more generalized problem in general with Sim games and designs; the players of said repeating characters are not getting their itch scratched.

If we can abstract "character" to the jazz analogy, then said player has a tune in their head that they are looking to jam with other players and are not finding others in sync with their aesthetics. So we bring our tune (character) from this system to the next as we move from game table to game table trying find that opportunity where others will pick up on the character's (musical) theme and play on it, expanding it and transmorphing it to some greater, richer musical/character entity.

Shea I see this in the player you talked about who starting with one character for years and then slowly branched into others. Callan I see this implicit in your question of why players hop from character to character to quickly. My response is that character creation in most instances is the time in most Sim games of greatest player input and creativity. Once out of the box the process itself changes gears and the players become not only deprotagonzied but using the jazz analogy – they are unsupported in play. The player throws out a melody line (character) and the jazz leader/GM just lets it hit the floor and die.

[Aside]I'll go into this in another post in the near future as it does not really on topic here, but oddly enough I do believe the jazz motif used here originally at the Forge is precisely the analogy for Sim play. Sim play could be said to be Music NOW! Enough, back to the thread at hand.[Aside over]
Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.



Hm, first to comment on what Shea noted.
No ,i do not concider myself incompetent to start a thread, but THIS thread is not one i originally started (read the upper text again), nor one i would have.
To me, there is a clear difference in caring enough to comment on an issue, and caring enough to start a Topic about it.
I'm certain i Will start a topic, but probarbly not in this area. (I have my own netacsess now.) Now, enough of this out-of-topic from me.
Really nice, actually:
You "brushed" the"alternate interpretation" that i fumbled across while trying to muster engagement for this topic:
"it was interesting to see certain elements of the character absent from one or more of the other game systems and DMs. Fascinating really."
My thought was, before:
"So, by persistently choosing similar, or the same(more or less) character for any game you play, you can easily see at least some notable differences between each game."
Maybe this interpretation of the thread's Topic deserves a separate tread(but please don't ask me to manage it...).
The idea there, is to get a clearer view of what some games include and exclude Rules- and Character creation-wise.
Ugh! Seems my computer has other problems: Seems my textboxes are limited?!
Be right back!


On the original issue, i almost always play a idealised version of myself, and i explain it by defining her True Self as an "Eternal Immortal".
"Eternal" refers to Moorcock's Eternal Champion, and "Immortal" refers to Highlander....., and she is also a shapeshifter, aspect shifter, and placeshifter.
And lets not forget her Avatar aspects, that is Godlike, but is different between several versions.
Of course, most of those "special rules" is usually ignored in the games where i'm a Player.
Thing is, depending on the Game and other players' choises, she can be a Sorceress, a Witch, a Vampire, a Shapeshifter, a Nurse, a Mad Scientist, a Mutant, a Pirate, a Ninja, a Warrior, or even a Priestess.
However, whenever possible, she is a Cat-kind, or possibly an Elf....(you could've guessed it, right?)
And no matter what i play, it is usually versions of me.
No, i do not think it is a question of "not satisfied". But it obviously can be....
In my case, i would clearly continue with my "Eternal Immortal", so to speak, despite satisfactory results.
(Comparing it to Jazz? Interesting, but not very correct: Jazz has virtually Improvisation as the only main ... Guiding star...)
... I really don't think i can contribute more to this topic than this, but i may be wrong.....

Thank you, Silmenume, for writing that you take it over.