Character Creation aka The Dilemma – The confessions and complaints of David Golden
I have been trying to develop a new character and struggling mightily. The mental dilemma of creating a character has grown in leaps and bounds since we started the podcast. It’s funny, the idea that people will listen to us play and develop relationships with the characters adds an element of pressure that doesn’t normally exist for a person creating a character. How often have you created a character that you didn’t like only to disregard said character and tell your DM that you wanted to do something differently? Seems like I hear about people doing this more often than most DM’s would like; without an audience to hold you accountable you can change out characters easily.
As Mike’s campaign begins to come closer to the end we have all been forced to consider what we will do next and figuring out just what way to go next has been odd for me. I have a few things hashed out:
- I want to play a barbarian
- I want them to have a unique perspective not common with barbarians
- I still KIND OF want to just recycle Bronson “Brain” Bonebreaker
- I don’t want a character without depth (Barbarians feel so easy to ‘white wash’ for lack of a better term)
For as much shit as I have talked about multi-classing it almost feels like a necessary evil to give a barbarian more depth without having to creating an elaborate backstory or being forced to bulk up stats that feel almost useless for the class. I don’t know why I am so married to the class, I just have this desire to wreck shop when we are forced into combat. I have thought repeatedly that I might make this barbarian a bard (without adding any bard traits) just for the flair of singing, rapping, or playing an instrument. Although, at the time of writing this I have a new thought that might be a good direction to go. I will keep that idea a secret though.
The last real problem I have with playing a barbarian is that I am much more drawn to RP than I am to mechanics for combat. This could really shoot me in the foot when it comes time to battle a big-bad-baddy. I can see it now, Kyle, incensed with my lack of proper attacks goes full barbarian range and flips the table over with ease. He walks away from the room, and we goes years without hearing from him. We eventually find him buried under a perfectly organized pile of dice muttering about opportunity attacks, bonus actions, and armor class. Maybe I will schedule some time with Kyle to make sure that I hulk my character out appropriately. I guess this rant was just to share how I am thinking about this and just what I consider when I create a character. Below are some bullet points on what my guidelines are for backstory.
- Age of the Character as it relates to strength, wisdom, and intelligence
- Family tree for the character’s immediate family – Brothers, sisters, parents, and grand parents
- Work – Did they work? What is their job? Who was their boss? – How does this effect their personality directly? Retail Support anger? Admin = Detail oriented? Library = smarts?
- Triumph and Tragedy – At least one each related to either life or battle
- Love – Married? Divorced? Widower? Lonely? Friendzone Forever?
- Looks – What do they look like? How do their other experiences reflect in their attire or body mods?