Friday, December 17, 2010

Open Friday: Standard Characters

Do you have a standard character you play? That is, unless inspiration strikes you, is there a class/race/personality you turn to as your default? In D&D, I have a penchant for good (usually Lawful or Neutral Good) fighters and paladins, when stat rolls allow for it. In Traveller, I have a strange fixation on Naval medical officers (who may or may not also be intelligence operatives).

What about you?

63 comments:

  1. I'm a big Robin Hood fan so I always try to play human rangers (archers). Sorry 4e haters, but it's nice to have an "authentic" non-spellcasting bowman in the newer editions.

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  2. I'll play anything that's different from the last character I played - I crave variety!

    Tangentially related, do you reuse names and/or
    character descriptions? I tend to name fighters 'Creed', clerics 'Healis', and so on.

    So when I say, 'OK, I'm bringing Creed IV online', people know that I'm playing a fighter that looks like grizzled John Connor from T2...

    Very meta and post-modern, I guess. ;)

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  3. For some reason, on those rare occasions when I get to actually PLAY instead of RUN, I almost always choose the 'Scout' type. Be he a bold space explorer or a crafty woodsman.

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  4. I'm do as Christian does, if I played a fighter in the last campaign I want to switch it up playing a thief or mage and I do occasionally like to get holier than thou with a cleric with words of thunder.

    Name wise I never reuse names. I always try to come up with something different for each guy.

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  5. I always play a drow elf that wields two scimitars and is an outcast from his homelands. I don't know where I came up with the idea but everyone I play with loves it. I was thinking of getting him a pet or something just to change it up a bit.

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  6. I'd love to play a NG ranger one of these days but always get stuck playing NG clerics (none of the guys I game with ever want to play one!) or LN magic-users.

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  7. Burly-but-friendly gawping outlander, usually a fighter-type. Picture BRIAN BLESSED in avuncular uncle mode.

    It means I'm not required to assimilate any infodump of background the DM sees fit to inflict, and can instead get on with learning about the gameworld through play (and causing havoc thereby).

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  8. For thel ongest time I was always playing half-orcs. The fighter/assassin was my favorite, but once we started enforcing alignment requirements, it was fighter/thieves and occasionally fighter/clerics or straight up fighters. Then when 2e came out, I played other tihngs mostly, then we left D&D for a long time and I played all kinds of different characters again. With 3e I played some 1/2 orcs but didn't enjoy them as much, too brutish. In 4e, the last PC I played was a 1/2 orc again and a rogue in that game is almost the same as a fighter/assassin, at least as I built my character. But in C&C, it's been an illusionist.

    What I liked about half-orcs was that they make good outsider, underdog heroes. Paul Newman in Hombre, or a bit more anti-hero like Tuco in the Good, the bad, & the ugly. I tend to play that or the reluctant leader (although I'm not very outgoing in real life the other players in my gaming groups often have looked to me to be the leader, especially when my brother DMs since I understand his style a little better than they do.

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  9. As a fellow old schooler, I usually go with the the "survivability" type: cleric. The combo of healing and armor is just a little too nice.

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  10. I typically like Thieves, Mages, or a combination of the two.

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  11. I try not to, but I love sneaky types... but socially capable sneaky types, not ninjas who flip out and kill people. So I'm about rogues, thieves and so on.

    However, for a while I was known as the player of Thuffir Ironhelm, a dwarf that managed to turn up in a whole bunch of different campaigns through the years. Not just a similar character, but DMs would rebuild him using their rules system so I would play him in their games.

    I posted his stats for AD&D1e, BECMI D&D, and D&D3.5, and unfortunately can't find his Traveller, TMNT or Warhammer FRP sheets to transcribe.

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  12. The conniving strategist type (of thieves and mages), btw. Moriarty with Magic Missiles. ;)

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  13. Illusionists, or any caster class that specializes in controlling spells. I go out of my way to avoid spells that cause damage.

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  14. I have two default fantasy characters and one modern/sci fi character. I really enjoy playing half Orc fighters. If that doesn't fit, I really enjoy playing pre-rolled characters given to me on the day. For modern/sic fi I default to spy-type characters.

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  15. Basic character for fun and profit: Chaotic fighters (rarely survives more than 3 sessions). When I'm playing more serious: Magic-users.

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  16. I don't have a standard class; however, "Kilsern" is almost always my surname. It's from my all time favorite character I played, an AD&D half-elf magic-user/thief named Dhom Kilsern. He was a rat bastard.

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  17. I enjoy swashbuckling characters and magic, so I'm drawn by default toward a combination of Thief and Mage. But, I also wanted to feel competent with a sword, so fighter needed to be in the mix. Hence, playing AD&D 1E, I was drawn to a multiclassed Elf F/Th/MU. In fact, my longest-played character was just that. (Trivia note: that character, Trancas, later was translated to WFRP and found his way into Marienburg: SDtR, where he appears as the owner of an inn in the Elf Quarter. Yes, I Mary-Sue'd myself.)

    As for alignment, I tended toward Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Good, or Chaotic Good.

    In CoC, I usually went either for the cynical private-eye types (Humphrey Bogart being one of my favorite actors, it's a natural), or antiquarian scholars.

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  18. Since I'm usually a DM, when I get a chance to play a character I choose whatever new thing I've found that I want to test out. In the past, though, my go-to character class was bards.

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  19. I forgot to add: I'm very drawn to the AD&D Illusionist, but, sadly, I've never had a chance to play one.

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  20. I tend to gravitate towards big, flamboyantly violent, jolly brawler types, I've noticed. My characters have a tendency to bludgeon the opposition with whatever furniture comes to hand.

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  21. I tend to prefer playing intellectual problem-solvers. Mages, monks, scientists, that sort of thing. I like to take on puzzles and intrigue.

    That being said, I will switch things up and play a combat brick once in a while for variety's sake.

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  22. For FRPGs, I am also drawn to half-orcs. Warrior types or destructive warmage types, if the rules make it possible.

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  23. Nearly all my characters are fighters (with the odd cleric thrown in from time to time when I'm feeling frisky and want to cast spells as well). I gravitate toward the relative simplicity of "point me toward the enemy and let me hack away (point-and-hack)." Also, I think the iconic images of epic fantasy heroism that stand out most in my mind are always those of some warrior desperately swarmed about with enemies, somehow appearing just a head or two taller than all of them as he cleaves left and right with flames of fury in his eyes.

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  24. I'm usually last to create my character... and, after everyone else has come up with some sort of elaborate new concept and already invested a lot of work in their character, I seem to almost always end up playing a fighter type since no one else wants to play one and we are usually a little light on the muscle. If I had my preferences, I'd play a spell caster (with a preference for magic user over cleric) or a thief.

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  25. Of late I usually play a witch type character in my games. It used to be nothing but Paladins.

    I have gone as far as playing the same character in multiple games and coming up with some elaborate explanation on how she got there.

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  26. always: human
    usually: magic-user or illusionist
    typically: chaotic evil

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  27. As a young man, it was always Rangers or Paladins. Now, it's almost always barbarians or fighters with a chaotic/bloodthirsty bent -- usually human but sometimes dwarven or half-orc.

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  28. I tend to be the mouthpiece of our group by default. The times I have tried to play non-charismatic, brutish people I end up having to be the spokesman and having a terrible time negotiating. So now I build to that expectation, playing leader-y clerics, warlords, rogues and bards that can bluff well, etc. They are the most comfortable fit for what I invariably end up doing.

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  29. I usually favor roguish perverts, as they are so fun to play, or a creepy sorcerer akin to what you see in a sword & sorcery fiction. I like to play a wide range of archetypes, but all-and-all I usually play the less-then-serious off-beat characters for the sake of the sake of humor.

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  30. My default fantasy character is a lawful(-good) human fighter. (Straight fighter. I generally don't play paladins or rangers.) Not the kind who is spoiling for a fight or self-righteous. Although, more recently, I think I've tried to have more variety.

    My default Traveller character used to always be a navy pilot. Most recently I was running Traveller rather than playing, though. I haven't really thought about what kind of character I might make for a Traveller game.

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  31. Chello!

    I have a whole range of characters I like, but, as you do also, I tend toward the LG/NG fighter types, paladins and cavaliers to if available. Even in MMOs I prefer the tank/guardian types.

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  32. Back in 2E it was always a Druid. Nowadays it's a high Cha spokesperson type.

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  33. In D&D, I've had a tendency to play Clerics. (Mind you, I did most of my 'playing' back in the 80s. I've DM'd a couple D&D campaigns in the ~23 years since, but only played in 1 campaign in that time - as a Roguish/Fighter.

    In more modern/scifi settings, I've usually played medical doctors. I was in a string of campaigns where I fell into that role - maybe because it felt natural. Traveller, Delta Green, Transhuman Space.

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  34. D&D: Human or elf Fighters and Rangers.

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  35. I tend to play grizzled dwarf or human Fighters...or occasionally Clerics...with Viking or Saxon names and a no-nonsense attitude.

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  36. Hm. In Fantasy, assuming I have no inspiration, I trend toward human thieves/rogues. In supers, I split about evenly between powered armor types and tank types. Cyberpunk/dark future finds me as a technical/mechanic type.

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  37. I always played a cleric in D&D. And his name was always Monkey Boy, The Unshaven.

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  38. For me, it's usually a lawful or neutral fighter. I like to melee, what can I say. Every once in a while I'll play a cleric or thief (if available), but rarely do I play magic-users.

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  39. In D&D, I've found that the Neutral Good Rogue fits both my personality and my desire for a wide range of abilities/skills best. I've tried the loner character, but I can't resist telling a joke or two, so I just gave in and stuck with the swashbuckler rogue.

    In Supers games, I will play one of my two, long-standing characters, both flyers with ranged powers and superior strength, but with different characterizations. Pish Posh lives!

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  40. Non-humans. The more non-human and strange the better. So a land-walking intelligent plate-wearing octopus fighter is probably about standard for the type of character I personally want to play. But also have a distinct tendency to play against type when I am allowed to get away with it. So a vegetarian troll gourmet who enjoys cooking delicious meals and wants to open a restaurant in the big city, or a monkeysquid into which a mage has accidentally transferred much of his consciousness (which doesn't really fit in the monkeysquid brain), all have intriguing possibilities.

    Needless to say, my favourite alignment is Chaotic Weird.

    [In more pedestrian games of D&D I usually end up being the cleric, but that's generally because I roll well on my Wisdom, rather than any personal desire to be one. Although it does provide an excellent opportunity to preach to the masses. In Rolemaster I'm almost always a ranger archer, usually elvish. In RQ I usually end up Illuminated, especially if I am a Storm Bull cultist, but would really love to be a troll (Kyger Litor being my favourite cult since the RQ2 rulebook). In Traveller a naval officer, because playing with anything less than a broadside is not worth the effort. In superhero games my powers generally derive from magic rather than science or being bitten by a black were-raspberry jello. And in Cthulhu games I usually end up playing someone insane (never having made a successful SAN roll since 1981...)]

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  41. I rarely play, but when I do I always make something new. A few weeks ago a friend was running a short Pathfinder throw-away adventure, and in my excitement I put together three different characters:

    1. A foul-mouthed, ill-tempered halfling with a giant hammer.

    2. A former elfish swordsmith who turned to the mystical arts to unlock the potential in a sword he had crafted.

    3. A proud human cavalier who specialized in leadership and mounted combat.

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  42. Regardless of what I play (I enjoy variety, too), I tend to play my characters like loud-mouthed fighters. However, my recent fetish has been "grizzled geezers;" old warriors with veteran savvy, even if they don't have the same moves as the young guys.

    As a kid I ALWAYS played a 1E half-elf bard...a rakish lecher who often acted like a loud-mouthed fighter when he wasn't romancing some pretty young thang.
    ; )

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  43. Dwarven fighters or dwarven clerics. Always liked that Parkinson Dragon Magazine cover.

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  44. Humans, and the occasional demi race. I like playing a wide range of alignments but stick to the standard classes. I always start my PC's at level one.

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  45. 1st Edition: Elf Magic-Users & Rangers

    2nd Edition: Elf Bards & Rogues

    3rd Edition: Human Sorcerers & Monks
    (only human for bonus feat)

    4th Edition: Meh.

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  46. Picture BRIAN BLESSED in avuncular uncle mode.

    Are there any other kinds of uncles?

    I tend to play swashbuckling scoundrels. The Three Musketeers meets a darker Han Solo. Either that or gruff and often kind of "dumb jock" outdoorsy rangers or barbarians.

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  47. My go-to guy is a beatstick. Human, male, heavily armored and carrying a big weapon that he's an expert in using. Varies by game to get the same result.

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  48. ***Picture BRIAN BLESSED in avuncular uncle mode.

    Are there any other kinds of uncles?***

    Is there any other kind of Brian Blessed?

    Anyway, in AD&D days I'd usually opt for the human cleric...and show those fighters and magic-users who really dominates the battlefield.

    If we were stuck needing fighters, I'd go for a Greek Hoplite inspired fighter.

    Overall though, the religious-military order cleric type (or the equivalent for a particular game) was my typical fallback.

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  49. Thieves, rangers, druids, bards and magic users are my favorite classes.
    Elves and half-orcs my favorite races.
    Alignment-wise I'm usually on the neutral/good side

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  50. Drunken thieves or uptight wizards

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  51. Is there any other kind of Brian Blessed?

    He might make a good paternal father.

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  52. I play so rarely that I suppose it depends on the game...

    In D&D-like games I'm usually a Dwarf or Gnome, Fighter/Cleric or Fighter/Magic-User. I dislike class systems and want to make a guy who's pretty good and a number of different things so I always multiclass. Of course I was a Halfling once (my first character ever).

    In Traveller I usually go Scout or Scout and than something like Pilot, Belter, Scientist or Marine. Usually a Vargr or a member of a non-Human minor race.

    In Superheroes I've played a Superman-ish Alien, a Energy Being inhabiting a Suit of High Tech Armor, an Fae-Blooded, Mystically Powered Archer/Green Arrow-Type, an Native American with Totem bestowed powers over Air, Water, Birds and Fish, a...different stuff all the time.

    Played a 2 ft long, smart alec dragon familiar once.

    Played a dog/otter/thing who specialized in building and repairing robots in Hunter Planet.

    Trek is the only one where I'm pretty standard I suppose. Andorian Engineer or Helmsman. Except that one time I played an Arkenite Navigator. And that Troyian Helmsman I never got to use. Hmmm...

    Yeah. Not really much for standardizing.

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  53. I like to make my characters weird and give them psychological traits that make them fun to role play. Mad wizards and kleptomaniac thieves would lead the way. When I want to relax, I often play imbecile barbarians, who know just a few sentences from common language.

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  54. Wizards. I used to play paladins, but I don't have an 18 Charisma personally, so it's really hard to play.

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  55. Gruff, no-nonsense, battle-hardened fighters, or oily, loquacious, quasi-Vancian wizards.

    Regardless of edition.

    Word verification, "barmos" - great name for the next fighter! Just add a byname. Barmos the Fortunate. Barmos the Strong. Barmos One-Eye.

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  56. In D&D, I've played just about every class, but magic-user most often. My current preference is magic-user or paladin. I've never played a cleric, though, and I'd like to try it.

    In Traveller, I gravitate toward the scout profession.

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  57. Funny the draw ranger got mentioned. I know someone who always makes the same 3 characters: the drow scimitar ranger, Wolverine, and for awhile Goku (Dragonball-Z).

    I have seen drpw characters which were not based off Drizzt. My cousin had a drow assassin once, and I know he never had read those books at the time. I even made an NPC brother to that character too. He was a dual wielding katanna and very much like Drizzt, but I hadn't even heard of those books at the time. I got the idea from a Nintendo video game magazine. I saw a picture of some character named Edge and wanted to make an NPC based off of it.

    I always liked elf characters. In older editions I would make a half-elf for variety. Than I got a bit into paladins for awhile (I never played by the min. score rules. If a character, mine or another's, didn't qualify, we'd just raise to the minimum. I played a few charisma 17 paladins it's safe to say).

    In 3e I quite enjoyed their cleric. With BECMI I mostly played fighter or elf, never a cleric. Thief or paladin was my 1e choice. I also loved to try out Dragon magazine classes like the archer or the death master. 2e it was mostly a warrior type class, or a rogue (don't think I ever played a rouge). I also got into CN alignment invokers near the end.

    In super-hero games I enjoyed melee fighter types or power suits. Same thing with Werewolf. I like the warrior tribe of Get of Fenris or the roguish Shadowlords. Jedi was the most fun with Star Wars. Star Frontiers I liked the insect alien the most.

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  58. "Naval medical officers (who may or may not also be intelligence operatives)"

    Stephen Maturin in space? Or am I mistaking the reference?

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  59. I almost always used to play human fighters, cavaliers, paladins in AD&D/2e days; sometimes a boozy dwarf fighter for laughs. I felt like branching out by the time 3e came along, and that's when we got into several really long-running campaigns. Over time, my urban druid and archivist mainstays (and rogue or wizard short-game attempts) have all been wanting to act like fighters. I actually haven't played a plate & shield & sword knight-like guy in a long time, and I miss it. Next game....

    As for games non-D&D, I'm usually the one to run them, but when I do get to play, they are often military professionals.

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  60. My first-ever PC (in Moldvay Basic) was a Neutral thief with Int 3 who was cowardly but lucky - at least in our first session; in the second he was killed by bandits before reaching the dungeon.

    Since then I've played sneaky thieves, grim thieves, swashbuckling thieves, pragmatic thieves, vengeful thieves, suriphobic thieves, reluctant hero thieves (think Vila from Blake's 7), etc.

    I think I might have played a ranger once.

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