My house mate and I are currently working on a random roll system for creating characters.
We are both Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2e) players and love the randomness of character generation (going further with using expanded character creation supplements)
My house mate is an excel wizard and creating the system so it takes into account previous results to sway further rolls so there is a logical development to the characters. I’m also working on an expanded flavour character generator. Containing tables for personality quirks, favourite (or hated) foods, towns and mice and starting random items.
We eventually want to also come up with a system so the player characters can be everyday mice rather than restricted to the guard.
Would you guys be interested in this stuff?
MG (and BW in general) is all about making choices, feeling the weight of responsabilities, challenging beliefs, and so on. Bringing at the table things you want to see in the game. If you feel that preparing a meal is important element to your PC, you choose cooking. If you want to develop a complicated relationship with your father, the mayor of Sprucetruck, you choose him as, say, your ennemy. And you expect the GM to steer up messy things.
It’s a character-centred RPG, so what’s the point of doing random character generation ?
it’s all about making choices and it starts with what you decide to write down on your character sheet.
So, as for me: No.
-a character sheet is a love letter to the GM- (Fred Hicks)
I wouldn’t like to receive a randomly written love letter
To play the devil’s advocate, I wouldn’t be quite so forceful, Udo. MG is about making choices… during the game. That doesn’t preclude making said choices based on a character created randomly. Personally, I like the current “answer the following questions” character creation, but doing it randomly wouldn’t break anything or really have anything to do with messing with the spirit of the game. Hell, some players I know have a difficult time coming up with an interesting concept. They always play the “orcs killed my family” orphan fighter. When a character (or parts of one) is made randomly, intriguing pieces they never would have considered suddenly come together and they have something interesting and fun that they can play to the fullest. Some players are great gamers, but short on character ingenuity. (That said, the current MG mode of character creation is pretty good at getting past that type of player, anyway.)
So, “random characters” does not equal “a game with no meaningful choices.” I think this could be interesting, despite the fact I side with Udo’s preference in creating my own character from scratch.
PS: Welcome to the boards, Lava.
no problem, I was just answering the very question asked by lavalevel: “would you be interested by this stuff (= random character generation) ?”
and I replied “No” then explained why (instead of a rude “No, period.”)
But if someone goes for it, I don’t intend to convince anyone.
Actually a random character would pose an interesting roleplaying challenge. Look at the premade characters in the book, they may as well be “random”. You present said character to a player and say ok, now you decide why he’s Brave but Quiet, has points Loremouse and is friends with Tuk the Bandit. If you present someone with a fully made character minus the background nothing is lost, and you may actually gain some fun out of “discovering your character”.
Cheers for the replies guys. I think you are really underestimating the power of a random character Udo.
When we generate characters in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay we do it completely by the roll of the dice. At first I was pretty concerned about this but it actually made the entire game experience so much more fun and dynamic. Going through the process you start to work out the character.
Warhammer example: You roll a barber surgeon. Ooook well I can start to paint a picture of the type of character in that career. Roll up a big nose and red hair, now I’m starting to get a visual picture. Find out I’m engaged to a practicing priestess. Shit?! How did that happen? Why am I not with her? I start with a goat…? And through these pieces coming together you end up with these really unique unexpected characters. You obviously play how you want to but suddenly your character has this unusual back story. Then the GM can start weaving those elements into the sessions. My sister is missing and recently banished and accused a witch. There is a whole personal quest.
Your mouse for some reason has a huge fear of insects, you get to construct that into his backstory. Random character creation is like gambling. So delicious.
Also it’s the illusion of choice. People who have a choice between things will always have a “grass is always greener” outlook, thinking I should have picked something else. People stuck and given something will deal with it and ultimately be more happy with it.
Most people are inherently lame and come up with lame characters and stories, this completely prevents that. “My character has 2 katanas imbued with his father’s soul” - Fuck oooofffff
I have used random character generation ages ago (MERP, Rolemaster, some d20, etc…) but I prefer taking a character concept and going backwards by lifepaths (BW) or the “right path” (MG) and doing backstory from there.
I’ve never had any double katana guy at my table, besides.
And I’m not sure that people stuck with a random generated character will not say something like “Uh, I should have rolled better”
anyway, as I said before, I don’t want to teach you how to generate character, as long as everyone’s happy with it
I think random character generation could provide some very fun aspects. Plus, you don’t have to do it all at once. I could easily see you generating some bits of a character, but not others. For instance: generating randomly their traits, or their parents’ occupation and mentor’s focus, or their hometown, or even the Nature/Circles/Resources question answers. It’s like a prompt for creative writing. You take it, and then figure out exactly what you can do with it. This can be an extraordinary test of creativity, as you take a random concept and translate it into a coherent character. And then you take that character and move it into the world of gameplay.