Monday, July 8, 2013

My old school weakness

I don't really like PCs to be too expendable.

Now... I don't mean that I don't think the PCs should ever lose or be in over their heads. I just mean that I like PCs to have a certain amount of fleshed-out characterization and they should be sturdy enough that one bad roll or slip-up doesn't mean having the effort of establishing that be in vain.

I'm a failure at being an old-schooler, aren't I?


ProfessorOats said...

That's what the level system's for!

The fleshed-out characterization isn't there at first level (so it's not a big deal if they die since you can roll another one up in 5 minutes), but rather organically developed over the course of the first few levels. By the time your character's fleshed out, they have improved saves and hit points to protect 'em from the whims of Fate

David Larkins said...

Here's how I look at it: character build systems came out of old school gaming. The desire was always there among a segment of the gamer population to be able to come up with a character concept and background and build a character around that.

Yes, random chargen and developing backstory through play can be lots of fun, but that doesn't mean that it's the One True Way, nor has it ever been. It was just the first way of doing things, and it wasn't long before people started looking for another way.

As okay as I am with random characters, I just can't say no when a player comes to me with a fleshed-out character concept. And that happens more often than not. Unless I'm running something like DCC, I'm going to tend to keep choosing systems that allow for "precious snowflake" builds.

Ynas Midgard said...

Actually, if the Game Master does his/her job right, no single roll would result in character death (although it may be seemingly so, for a single bad decision *might* lead to a save-or-die roll).

But you can always start characters at 3rd or higher level, if rate of deaths is an issue.