Happy New Year from Lost Spheres Publishing!
Some people aren’t so great with New.
When you game with people for as long as we have you will run into this player. You know the one. You all sit down for the first session of a new campaign. Dave has his new shadowborn rogue. Audrey has her new psionic healer she is super excited about. Witney has that dual-wield ranger she’s been flirting with last few games finally stat’ed up. And then there is Chuck. Chuck will be showing up with… everyone chimes in… a BARBARIAN.
Surprisingly, the Chucks of the gaming world seem to be among the happiest gamers out there. But why? Discussion, observation and random post-game polls resulted in some very valid considerations about repeating class and character creation choices…
The Values of Character Class Repetition
Being specific here we are not talking about someone who just bring the exact same character to the table, but rather has a “wheelhouse” or go to class they gravitate to over and over. Here are a few why’s we have discovered:
- Time Saving – Sad but true, not everyone has the time to research copious amounts of supplements and content looking for that next good piece or combination of mechanics. Repetition allows the learning curve to be easier and prior knowledges become instantly applicable to the “new” character. An earnest player who wants to do right by his friends and pull his weight can do a lot worse than be relied on to be an awesome rogue.
- Roads Not Taken – Ever wonder what Varyn the ranger would have been like if you had gone archery focus over two-weapon? Well Theryn might erase all doubts. Modular builds often shut out players from whole progression paths and leave them with sidelong looks at what “could have been.” With repetition this form of regret can be erased entirely.
- Little is Big – In class repetition, small choices in your class become glaring. Play clerics with no domain overlap and you may be surprised how different they feel. And shouldn’t they? A priest of War and Chaos shouldn’t feel very similar to a Community and Protection one. Rogue talents, wizard specializations, and rage powers can result in characters completely different from each other as much as varying class while still allowing you to hold on to old familiar mechanics that you like.
- Nostalgia – Nothing feels like a great old game like feeling like a great old game. Repeating mechanics can really help set up and deliver a similar expectation of a game. While parties and challenges may change, the shared options and mechanics will help recreate moments like ones you enjoyed before. Just don’t over-attach yourself to those concepts.
- Continuity – Character repetition can also reinforce setting and world-building. Have a favorite wizard maybe someone from the same tradition trained your new wizard or a thieves guild that harassed your old rogue has set its eyes on the new one. Maybe your character is even a legacy of the old?
Repetition can be the answer when starting a new game. Just remember to allow for a little newness so that repeat doesn’t become rutt.