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Hey I Can Chan

The Islands: Characters

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The Characters
Characters are unique to the player and, often, the campaign. I donít want you to sit down at the table and think, ďYou know, the next fighter we encounter could be me.Ē And I certainly donít want you to be outclassed by an NPC that I, purely by accident, made more effective than you made your character. Thatís shitty policy in a role-playing game of high fantasy adventure.

So your character is special.

You tell me what you want to do, and I build your character class.

When I say, ďYou tell me what you want to do,Ē I donít mean in a mechanical, numbers-oriented kind of way. I want you to have an idea of what kind of character you want to play on a wholly narrative level. I want you to think about the novel that would be written about that character and the cool shit heíd do, and tell me that. And then Iíll make that happen. You also need to consider what your endgame character looks likeóat the campaignís near conclusion, when all the stops are pulled out, what does your character do? Letís do that. Letís make that happen.

I like high adventure. I like being a fan of the PCs. I donít like you having to muddle through, doing things you donít want to do because theyíre more effective than doing the things you want to do. Playing any class means youíve changed the rules. If what you want to do is mechanically unsound but awesome, letís make it mechanically sound instead of forcing you to lump it.

But there needs to be some kind of concept behind it, and you should be able to summarize that concept in terms of archetype (ďI want to be the brawlerĒ) or action (ďI want to poison GodĒ). If you canít, then youíre not thinking large enough. Your class should occupy significant conceptual space in the campaign, wherein I have to move things around that are already in it to accommodate you. It needs to be big enough to fill 100 episodes of a television series. If you wouldnít watch 5 seasons about your character, why would you want to play that character for 5 seasons?

Have you read astral spell? At level 17, a wizard or cleric is, essentially, immortal for a pittance. The game has 3 levels left, and the wizard or cleric canít die. Consider that when you consider your end game.

Thanks for trusting me with your class. I will make mistakes that weíll need to talk about. That happens when you try to customize anything, so be open when I inevitably say, ďWow, I didnít realize you were going to do that with that. We have to tone that down.Ē Itís not because I donít want you to be powerful or effective. Itís that I want you to have a good time, and youíll have more fun if the campaign can punch back, and I want other people to have fun; if your special abilities are spotlight hogging, no one else gets to be cool. Thatís the crux of this exercise: everyone should be equally cool for just as long.

Oh, yeah, youíre human (unless your class is something special like being the ultimate gnome or something), and you donít multiclass. If youíre not excited about just gaining your next level of your class, or youíre dreading the slog of having to gain 3 or 5 levels until youíre cool again, Iíve built your class wrong. Let me know if thatís the case, and weíll change things around. You should feel awesome every level. Most games donít run until level 20. Playing in a game wherein youíre a chump until youíre cool is stupid.

Current Characters
The Betrayer: I want to poison gods.
The Dragon: I want to become dragons.
The Fist: I want to punch everything.
The Gnome: I want to gnome a lot.
The Scoundrel: I want to be luck.

Note: This is not a debate--not even a formal one, wherein rather than trying to convince me you're trying to convince the (very small) audience--where you explain that my fun is wrong. You might not like this; you might think the D&D 3.5e fighter is just as viable as the 3.5e druid. That's an opinion; keep it. Instead, deal with the idea that this is how my game goes and people have been having fun playing it.

Next: House rules.

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