Game is starting in a few days but you haven’t the foggiest idea of what to play. We have all been there, character generation paralysis. Maybe your prior character died suddenly or the game ended due to an out-of-game conflict (like schedule or arguments). We got caught off-guard or can’t narrow down all the options to just one. Don’t worry… We’re here to help.
Character Generation Inspirations:
Below is a short list of character generation starting points, but before we dive in it’s always a good idea to ask a GM about any banned (alignment restrictions and more) or expanded content (like Third Party content) that you should know about. Don’t start it up only to find your new rat-kin psion isn’t allowed in your GMs setting! After you have the lay of the land consider one of the following if you are still stumped on where to start or what to play:
- Start with a Mini: The number of headaches you can save yourself by having a figurine for a miniatures-using-RPG before the game starts is amazing. You can use a miniature to inform class, race, and weapon selections. But don’t stop there! What does the figurine look like it should do? What is in that pouch on its thigh? Why is he wearing a hood? Browse current sets or websites to find a mini that you want, or go through minis the group already has access to and find your future PC.
- Start with a Name: You may find this silly at first, but a good name is a great start. After picking a name try it out in some sentences. Some of them will likely strike a chord more than others. Dorothy likes the name “Ahkane” and tries it out in sentences until one seems to fit: Ahkane drew her blade and smiled at the bandit. Ahkane pulled in the magic energies around him and demanded the air birth fire! Ahkane made sure her hair draped over her ears, being a half-elf in this part of town might not be the best idea.
- Start with a Mechanic: Flip to the spells or feats section of nearly ANY book (preferably not the Core Rulebook) and begin reading until you find an entry that intrigues you. What character would learn that mechanic? Why would he or she need that ability. What other choices does that mean the character? If you find lead plating interesting you are playing an alchemist, cleric, druid, ranger, sorcerer/wizard, or witch (or someone for access to one of those lists). You are also probably playing someone who tries to thwart divinations. Why? The character begins to suggest itself.
- Start with the Party: If you are running late in the character generation game, the other players in your group may already know what they are playing. Examine the balance of the party’s roles, and see what is missing. It is important that you don’t do this because you “have to” but rather because your groups is more likely to succeed with a better balance. Otherwise, you may resent being stuck with a role. On the other hand, if you examine the balance and are still strongly drawn to already existing role, you know that you REALLY want to play it and are aware of possible “vulnerabilities” in your party-metabalance be damned!
- Start with Omission: Print off a class list like these – core classes, base classes, alternate classes, hybrid classes, occult classes or 3rd Party Classes. Cross off things you have played already. Do the same with allowed races in your game. Cross off things you have already seen played to the point where they don’t interest you. Eventually you should end of with a list of things that will all be new options for you. Combine a likely (or unlikely) race with the class and let the ideas percolate.
A fresh approach to character creation is a great first step to an engaging and fun game. Don’t be afraid to open up to unfamiliar race, class or mechanic–it might just be your new favorite!