D30 Challenge Day 28: A Character You Will Never Play Ever Again

Much like I don’t prefer playing one race or class over another, there isn’t a race or class that I specifically don’t want to play. Broadly speaking though, I don’t want to play a boring character ever again. Which means I don’t want to play some stereotypical, cardboard cutout of a character.

In my game group, we called generic fighter NPC types “Johnny Longsword.” These guys were town guards, caravan guards, militia men, what-have-you. The point is that there wasn’t any thing special about them; just guys with long swords. I don’t want to play a guy like that. This isn’t to say that I won’t play a fighter with a long sword necessarily, but if I do I want him to have an interesting quirk of some sort. Maybe he’s afraid of spiders, maybe he’s fascinated with Dwarven Mythology. He probably won’t be the son of a blacksmith.

That’s not even true; I may very well play a guy who’s the son of a blacksmith. What I’m really saying is that whatever I play I’m not just going to “phone it in.” I really want to put the effort into making a unique guy, no matter what he is.

On a related note, I don’t want to reverse engineer a character either, which will probably put me at a disadvantage in the climate of min/maxing that seems prevalent these days. What I mean by this is that I don’t want to make a character with a particular “build” in mind, planning that he will take 3 levels of barbarian, then grab a level of fighter, then get this feat and this feat and on and on. I don’t want to make my first level guy and already know exactly what he will look like at tenth level. Which probably means my guy won’t be a ruthlessly efficient killing machine like the guy who has feat trees planned out using no less than three different source books and picked his weapon out based solely on how much damage it deals. Again, this would probably put me at a disadvantage in any sort of 3.5 or Pathfinder adventure I found myself playing, since it seems like the published adventures assume that you’ve built your character like some World of Warcraft guy; where there is the illusion of many options to choose from when it comes to skills and talents, but in reality there are only one or two very specific paths you should take if you want your guy to be competitive.

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3 thoughts on “D30 Challenge Day 28: A Character You Will Never Play Ever Again

  1. Aren’t all characters unique if you spend enough time with them anyway, even Johnny Longswords? 🙂 I bet every stereotypical johnnylongswords town guard has plenty of stories to tell if you let him! 😉

    1. Yeah, I kind of started to backpedal there and decided I wouldn’t exclude anything like a blacksmith character just because it’s been done before. You’re absolutely right about those guys having potential, but a lot of the time they never live up to it. For a background one time, I even said that my fighter use to be one of the gate guards at the keep on the borderlands before he became an adventurer. He probably should have stayed at the keep, because he ended up dying about three adventures in to that campaign.

      1. Hahaha, that vaguely reminds me of the guards in Skyrim:
        “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee!”

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