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Author Topic: Changing the perspective of game and character creation.  (Read 2184 times)
Edge0618
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« on: April 13, 2011, 08:46:46 PM »

I have been a gamer on and off for 26 years and with  all games rpgs. The character creation comes first. As I became a more mature gamer meta gaming and character creation sessions became a strong part of campaigns.  In a Vampire campaign  I can say  for a 4 our session once a month 40 hours of emails and meta gaming to prepare for the session was created. I felt a link in the chain has not been addressed. Many  games we just pick our stats and skills from a tree and have some back story about the character. My goal is to create an rpg that creates the character.

At this past NeonCon I attended Jason Bulmahn's Rpg 101. It was for most part a personal tutoring session. But my idea was to take dungeon crawling from the perspective of a being a elementary school student and learning all the skills to make you into the hero or villain you could become? Where do you develop the back story and design of how you became the great warrior, stealthy rough, master healer. Etc. 

My question is I am not a encyclopedia of RPG's has this concept been touched when you start at 0 and have the adventure develop your skills, attributes and the creation of a character. I look at this as the opposite of characters first into a game. A game that the character has to grow in and create the history, triumphs and failures in.

Any constructive comments or direction of games I have not scene would be appreciated.


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DarkHawkPro
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Posts: 25


« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 04:17:54 AM »

most RPGs that i've seen assume that a character is adventure ready at level 1. 
I haven't really seen much in the way of developing the back story. 

you could, however, find games with "character past" flow charts and work something up out of that.

I think it really just comes down to ease.  that game assumes that your character knows what they need to know to have recently become level 1 in that class.  come the time game starts.  Skills, proficiencies and the like slowly being developed over the course of their life up to that point. 
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davide.losito
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Posts: 37


« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 06:46:28 AM »

I am recently developing games (2 under development) with a "played" character creation.
In a starting phase, there is a system to facilitate the player developing a sort of short backstory that also defines the abilities, skills, traits the character acquired during that backstory.

The best result so far (according to play-test feedbacks) is this game, Dawn of a New Tomorrow. The script is still very, very drafty.
Here you have the character sheet if you want to have a test.

The game is about vampires, so it may interest you.
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davide.losito
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Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 06:49:11 AM »

There's an error in the links.
Sorry for the double-posting, but I can't edit my message.
http://www.webinprogress.it/transfer/Dawn1-2.pdf -> Rules
http://www.webinprogress.it/transfer/scheda2small.pdf -> Sheet
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 07:30:12 AM »

Hi everyone,

Although the question is a good one, the Forge is no longer a place for discussing initial concepts for developing a game. This particular forum now requires a game already in progress, even if it's still early progress, as expressed in an external design document of some kind.

Fortunately the solution is immediately clear, because you're brought up (i) a game you've played and (ii) the issue it addresses - which is a perfect Actual Play thread. We can discuss the idea here and then, if you do wind up with some system ideas, then a new Game Development thread can get started.

So here we are in Actual Play! Carry on the discussion just as is; it's great.

Best, Ron
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Trevis Martin
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Posts: 514


« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 08:24:34 PM »

One game comes immediately to mind.

Burning Wheel you have lifepath character creation.  Starting from when the character was born you gain stats, skills, traits, resources from every lifepath your character goes through. For example  Born Noble -> Page -> Squire -> Knight

In fact campaigns are sometimes put together where we say "we'll be using 3 lifepath characters."  or "we'll be using 5 lifepath characters."  It has a significant impact. 

There are lots of games that have a lifepath type thing, Dresden Files (FATE) for example, where each stage of your history you get a single powerful resource for (Aspects), or (and perhaps originally but I don't know) Cyberpunk.  but Burning Wheel is the one I know of that takes it from birth and ties all the characters "bits" into it.

I still have a set of books called "Central Casting"  That ran you through a series of randomized tables for character history and it gave you certain skills and traits (including alignment) in that process.  The books were not system specific.
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Erik Weissengruber
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Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 09:04:47 AM »

Which one of those has given you a really satisfying character creation experience?
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D.R. Clifford
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Posts: 6


« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 08:35:10 AM »

While I've never gotten the opportunity to play Universalis, I have read it, and I think it might be what you're looking for.
From what I remember, first the group determines the themes, genre, and setting. Then a cast of characters is created collaboratively. Once the board and pieces are set in place, players bid for which characters they want ownership of.

As for actual play experience, 'Spirit of the Century' and 'In a Wicked Age' also strike me as along the lines of what you're discussing.
SotC is a FATE variant and like most FATE variants it turns character creation into part of the game. It's unique (so far as I know) in that having the whole group in the same room at char-gen is absolutely mandatory. Part of this is because four out of ten aspects are derived from relationships to other PCs. Also, because the PC's themes, motives, and interpersonal relationships are at the backbone of the system, the groundwork for what the campaign is going to be about is laid at char-gen.
IaWA is a lot like Universalis, but more structured. First the group chooses from one of four play styles, then cards are drawn from a standard deck of playing cards. The results are compared against the chart relevant to your chosen play style. Each card represents an element of the story and the group comes together to interpret their meanings. Once the scenario, items, persons, and places of interest have been fleshed out, players pick who they want ownership of, character sheets are drawn up, and the game begins.
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jsmorrison55
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Posts: 1


« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 09:26:13 PM »

not to bash any of the great rpg games of our time, but having to start at level 1 character, is a bit of a lazy tradition. i know what Edge0618 is feeling as he wrote the first post, and i feel where he want to go. but in my mind, is a theory, that the earliest RPG players, meaning the dark ages of gaming, i think they already did these stuff. the way we question the parameters of modern rpg playing and its rules. i think they already questioned that and decided to make the most ideal character bases and starting at level 1 would be most practical, and it is.

but the point of having the characters start at neutral, then gaining points and having a class as the story deepens, is a classic and epic way to start a game. thats, if we all have time to play this game, since early on the game, we are already dragging. thats the only problem with the game Edge0618 is thinking about.

my two cents.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 08:29:11 AM »

Hey everyone,

This thread isn't working out. The initial poster has not stepped up to lead a discussion topic. People have raised several good points and a couple of game designs, all of which need to become threads of their own instead. Let's have no more posts to this one, please.

Best, Ron
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