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Playable characters or created characters?

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CrosswindsGaming
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Joined: 06/11/2017
character card quick.jpg

Hello! I'm posting this thread to get a general idea of what people prefer in a game. Specifically, if you like playing AS a character, or developing your own.

For a while now I've been on the fence about adding named characters to my game The 12 Towers. I've been asked a couple times during play testing, and while I'd like to, i'm not sure if it would be fun, or just added confusion.
In the game, players take the role of "Keepers", powerful rulers that control a single tower on the game board. Past that, I haven't developed anything character based yet. On one hand, I think it'd be fun to add named characters and personal story lines for each, but I also like seeing what people can create on their own.

Let me know what you like! If you enjoy the process of making a character, or having one ready to play.

Jerry
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Joined: 11/01/2010
If I am playing a quick RPG

If I am playing a quick RPG (like betrayal at house on the hill), I like having a fleshed out character ready to go for me with starting stats, that can be improved upon as the game progresses.

That being said, developing your own character can be a lot of fun too. It brings another level of immersion to the game. you could have a "players sheet" with a named character on it, but stats starting at zero. (or players can allocate starting stats at the beginning of the game)

Although, having a pre-named character can also take away from the immersion I find, if I end up with a character whom I don't like their name.

I think finding a way to let players allocate starting stats and name their character may be the most entertaining way to go. it would be more work for you to do, but I think it might be worth at least testing it. You can always chuck the idea if it doesn't work out.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
There is a middle ground, but it's more work

You can include the machinery to generate characters, but also include sample characters (pre-generated following the same rules) that can be used immediately.

There are a couple things to consider:

1. How are character stats/skills/specials tracked and displayed? If we're talking about distributing twelve points, that could probably be done by putting tokens on a player board. Each special ability might have its own token so that you don't need to pre-print all of them on the player board. I'd prefer something like this to, say, a pencil-and-paper character sheet.

2. Will the stats and abilities interact strongly with the player's chosen Tower? Maybe the Towers themselves are equally useful to anyone, but the terrain surrounding them might favor some kinds of characters over others. If this is the case, the sample characters ought to have designated Towers (though not necessarily be fully optimized for that Tower).

CrosswindsGaming
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character mock card

With the few ideas I had, the characters themselves will not have stats, but victory perks that carry on to the next game. I made a quick mock character card as an example.

My idea (so far) is this: Keeper characters give some depth and life to the Tower they control, displaying the type of ruler they are (Anarchy, Democracy, etc), and the types on inhabitants that exist around them. As a Keeper, they are already in a position of absolute power, and their goal in the game is to eliminate their opponents.

In the game, each tower has a rival (Fire vs Ice, Black vs White) I did this intentionally to add some conflict. So opposing Towers and characters will get a bonus for inflicting damage or destroying events and such that belong to a rival.

As for the stats and perks, I came up with this idea a while ago, but only recently figured out how to apply it. Like any game, points are earned for completing objectives and such. Those points are used to gain perks for the next game played. This can be useful for a campaign setting, or just playing multiple games for a while. It adds that incentive to keep players going, whether they win or lose.

FrankM
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CrosswindsGaming wrote:I made

CrosswindsGaming wrote:
I made a quick mock character card as an example.

That kind of character doesn't lend itself well to players building their own. Maybe have N choices for each Tower (N probably being 2).

CrosswindsGaming
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forgot to mention

My mistake, the image was an example of a provided character, not a character creation setup.

Basically what my conundrum boils down to is, do I have readily available character cards/sheet made and included in the game? Or characters left out entirely? The character creation process, while it is awesome and fun, somewhat works in The 12 Towers, but I'm not 100% sure how yet.

Having pre made ones, and then additional characters made with later expansions is possible and quite fun, or do I cut that meat out entirely and not worry about it?

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