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Author Topic: Me & My Guy: Character Creation  (Read 2058 times)
« on: February 11, 2003, 02:28:52 AM »

I've noticed that there tends to be a major difference in how effective a player is at communicating a character concept based on whether they describe their character in terms of player wants or character description.

For example, "I want to play a badass loner who is trying to atone for his past" seems to often lead to a better communication than, "My guy is a highly skilled (fighter/ninja/pokemon master) with a dark past".  The former tends to lead into player desires for play, while the latter tends to go more into backstory and skills/abilities.

Has anyone else noticed a similar trend, and has it affected your character creation process and gameplay?  Did you find it easier to provide the players with the play style they wanted when they stated, "I want to play..." as opposed to "My guy is..." type statements?  Did  you find the character better communicated to other players in one over the other?  Was it easier to develop characters as a "cast" of characters rather than the mismatch band of adventurers?

Rob MacDougall

Posts: 160

« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2003, 05:00:53 AM »


In the example you give, the difference that jumps out at me is not between "I want..." and "My guy..." but "...is trying to atone for his past." and "...has a dark past." The first immediately tells us what the character is doing and is going to be doing. The second is only backstory.

Speaking more directly to your point though, maybe the "I want" construction encourages a degree of author stance in character generation, because it's more clear that the character only exists to facilitate desires of the player. The second might encourage adoption of actor stance as the character is thought of as more his own entity. (Is it meaningful to talk about stance in char gen?)

Or it might be more accurate to say that the "I want" construction is a sign of a player who embraces author stance and vice versa, since I don't expect the words themselves have that much power to shape the char gen process.



Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.

« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2003, 07:59:37 AM »


I think it might help you to get more into Actor stance, if you know what the character desires and how he acts; but Chris' question isn't "fair," IMO.

Take a situation where a player says this: "My guy is a highly skilled warrior with a dark past that he wants to atone for. He has a mean streak and is a loner."

This is the same thing as "I want to play a badass loner who is trying to atone for his past," except phrased in the "My guy..." method.

In either case, the real difference between the above, the original "I want..." statement Chris gives, and the "My guy..." statement I just gave are that in the latter two, the player gives more to run a character with -- motivation and personality which are missing from the initial example "My guy..." statement.

I would say a player who uses "I want" is probably more knowledgable about what she, herself wants to play and the kinds of stories she wants to experience/create, however; and we could even infer GNS preference from such, but I would hesitate to do so for (what I hope are) obvious reasons.

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2003, 10:51:42 AM »

Hi Raven,

You are correct, it is not a "fair" question.  What I am saying is based on my personal experiece with players, and I was asking if anyone else has noticed a similar phenomenon, or if its different, and any reasons or notable quirks about that kind of thing.  And you're also right that the player who says "I want..." may be a little more clear about their desired play experience, although my basic question is about the issue of communicating it without going into stance or GNS for players in general.

I think that the key difference is that the player is thinking about their personal goals during play, as opposed to trying to immerse in an imaginary character...which is about as different as an actor trying to portray someone effectively, and someone trying to tell someone about themselves...   Although, in all honesty, I could see this key difference being used for any stance, in any type of game.

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