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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 202 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Fate: Character Creation  (Read 3382 times)
Delta1
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« on: January 09, 2005, 08:37:29 PM »

I am trying to put together a game for some friends one of who has Roleplayed all of whom love Lord of the Rings.

I have settled then on a Fourth Age setting and will be using the FATE Rules.

For those fate players/gms out there I would like to know how you ran your character creation session.  Was it structured i.e. with a list of preset Aspects or did you write a narrative an then construct the charcter from that?
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iago
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2005, 01:51:26 PM »

My experience has been almost entirely "tell your story, then choose an aspect appropriate to it" -- but I've heard plenty of feedback on how a list of aspects is very useful for players who suffer from the "blank page" phenomenon.

Mike Holmes may have some particular insights on this, though he's tackled this "problem" from an oblique angle, by encouraging folks to think about aspects in terms of broad categorizations...
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Delta1
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2005, 04:53:21 PM »

When I did a little test run on the system last year the players found it very hard to grasp aspects.  But then they are used to the standard rpg fare when it comes to character creation.  They ended up grasping hold of professions or classes as aspects.  So I ended up with two ronin, one barbarian and one witch in a pseudo warhammer/mordheim setting.



So this time (with a different group) I will try a mix of both ie.  I will provide a list of cultural aspects but not limit them to those I have written.  I will encourage them to write a story, or a least pen some concepts down.  Perhaps a better way would be o have a structured questionaire designed to elicit answers in the form of aspects/skills?

Thankyou for posting a reply.  This game of yours is deceptive in its simplicity, as I return to it each time it offers up something new.

Cheers

Sean
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iago
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2005, 07:22:24 PM »

Quote from: Delta1
I will provide a list of cultural aspects but not limit them to those I have written.  I will encourage them to write a story, or a least pen some concepts down.


Both good ideas.

Quote from: Delta1
Perhaps a better way would be o have a structured questionaire designed to elicit answers in the form of aspects/skills?


From my perspective, what's important is that there be some kind of structure there that's external to the players themselves, that the players can them come to own as they come to inhabit it through their characters.

This in the end is really the "point" of going timeline-based, but any sort of structure works, such as named or themed phases, a questionnaire (e.g., here are 10 questions; pick 5 of them and answer them with your aspect choice), etc.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2005, 10:20:58 AM »

I agree strongly with Fred, that the idea is to give players structure to be creative from, because a lack of structure, while theoretically freeing, actually tends to make creativity much harder. The timeline thing works because the player can look at the character's age, and think, "What would this guy be doing at this time, given the backdrop the GM has given me for the phase." If there's a war on, and the character is 18, then the player might decide that the character becomes a soldier.

Sans the framework, what makes soldier any more likely than wizard for the character? The framework gives inspiration.


To follow up on what Fred said, I wanted to try to have a rather "complete" looking outcome to characters, but didn't want to use the chronological phase system for my own reasons. So what I came up with was to give characters 12 aspects (with a flattened pyramid to keep their skill levels sane), no more than 4 of which could be in any of several categories. Those were: Form (body/genetic/development, etc), Cultural, Social, Professional, Potential (per the rules for Potential Aspects), and Other (included equipment aspects, magic, or anything that didn't fit in another category).

So this gives somewhat like the structure from D&D (which is one of the reasons for it's success). Chose a species/race, then develop the character's body and form based on that, then their culture based off who they grew up with (likely a culture of that race, but not neccessarily), then who they got to know, and what social class they were, then what they did in that society, or later on in life in other places, and lastly what odds and ends they picked up on the way. And if there were undeveloped areas of potential that characters had.

When complete, I think this gives you a very comprehensive picture of the character. Everyone seems so far to "get it," and the results have been good in play so far.

Mike
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