Time was ticking down before the first scheduled “official” Crimson schedule and James, though committed to playing, still hadn’t given me any idea of what he was going to play. I decided a little pressure was necessary and asked him point blank what he’d be bringing to the table.
“I want to play a smashmouth character.”
“A smashmouth character?”
“A ‘moderately successful band from the 90’s’ character?”
“No… a smashmouth. Hard offense… football?”
I blinked loudly and he used small words…
Player Profile – James
Profession: Web Developer
Game Style: Aimiable, Team-Player
Experience: 12+ Years, Fantasy Gaming (D&D, Pathfinder and a few others), 8+ Years MMOs.
Gaming Drives: Social Interaction, New Territory, Developed Persona, Committed Roles
Building on the Drives:
Social Interaction – Social gamers are by far the easiest group to please (They mostly want to just hang out and have fun after all) BUT it is always worth noting that a social gamer is not always going to appreciate the “seriousness” of the immersive set and I have two of those (Ness and Donald). So I make a note to make sure all of the heavy immersion elements also serve other drives for James to minimize any potential resentment of being “too serious.”
New Territory – Similar to Donald, James likes new things, though not because he has “played through” a class, rather James wants a fresh experience on the front end with new skills and options. James is it at heart an explorer. He wants to engage a world (and its mechanics) from a new vantage and in turn explore the fullness a new setting or game offers. Contrary to many seeking newness, James is by hobby also a photographer and understands the value of a few degrees of changed angle. Thus he frequently plays characters with nuances just off one another to heighten even the smallest of divergences and accepts the whole as entirely new. Trying to avoid his occasional confusion of playing these very similar classes and builds at the same time, James looks for something more or less entirely new for Crimson. After another couple hours closer to game time, he decides to pick a miniature to help narrow the field. A few minutes of looking over his dual wielding warrior maiden and he decides that she will be a shadow warrior.
Developed Persona – James wants an opportunity for the mechanics and origins of the character to grow into a consistent, actualized persona. On rare occasions this results in a character that can be difficult to rationalize with other party members which can be stressful for him because James wants the group to work. However, sticking to his “smashmouth” concept he wants her to be a straight-foward, strong warrior-woman this time. It also informs her race choice, human (Imar) bloodline, as it supports her everyday commonality. His “blue-collar” working soldier begins to take a life of her own, but one that isn’t stranger to taking an order or two.
Committed Roles – A Teamwork focused player, James wants his characters to have a set role and relation to the party. Given a rare opportunity to be the “last-in” character build, James jumps into the classic balance gap making his shadow warrior to be the core front-line melee combatant that was missing in the group. This reinforcement of role-balance means a his place in the party is pretty concrete and should be easy to excel at while still be very important to overall party function.
The Character Base
Human female shadow warrior. James’ character fits in well the the over all party themes of light and dark while also serving a real mechanical need as the party chief front-liner. With James’ character in place the core party is set and the game is on… Almost.