[MUD-Dev] Starting characters (was: Alright...)

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Sun May 25 12:26:05 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 10:27 AM 5/25/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:
>Hmph, that blank post wasn't my fault. :)
>What I wrote was that, from a role-playing point of view, having
>mechanics get in the way of what I want to achieve. If my character
>conception is of an experienced soldier, then I expect the system to
>fit that. 

There are two Pen and paper systems that are worth contrasting here:
AD&D v. the (traditional use of) Hero System.

AD&D forces you to play what you can make from your roll, start at a lwo
levle (basicly a normalwith some promise) and work your way up to
world-changing hero.

Hero System is a point based system that allows you to, within the point
limit of starting characters, build your conception exactly.

Both have advnatages:
Hero -- lets you design a specific character and play it.  its also quite
abalcned, you dont get uber or crippeld characters thata re possible from
AD&D random generation of stats.  Also, every character is fairly unique, a
nice plus over AD&D where people tend to classify every character as
race/level and look no farther.

AD&D -- Causes you to try NEW character ideas because the roller won't
always give you the stats for your preferred characters, tends to thus
encourage more creativity over the long run on the part of the player.  The
process of starting low lebvel and building up tends to create better
rounded cahracter conceptions, your character actually HAS "life
expereinces" by the tim it reacehs the level of a significvant hero.
Ultimately IMO this leads to much deeper characterization. OIts worth
noting that this process also paralleles a classic story (ie thinka bt Luke
Skywalker in Star Wars. The tiem is comrpessed but he goes from
hic-farm-boy to super-solfiar in the course of the movie.  Thsi kind of
progressio nis even easier to see i nalmos tany good novel.)

Having said this, I have to admit i personally prerer point-based systems
to the AD&D system. The flexabiltiy oin character type to me is quite
critical and outweighs MOST of the other concerns BUT the dieal system IMo
would be point/skill based but preserve the gradual character development
and semi-random background(perhapse random bkgd is optional) of an AD&D
type system.

Oh and finally, there is oen forum wher you can "play whatever you want",
its called "open roleplay".  As there is no system noone particualrly cares
what you play.  You might want to look into it.

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