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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 109 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Meat less Roleplaying  (Read 6996 times)
Ferry Bazelmans

Posts: 137

« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2001, 02:16:00 AM »


I'm really, really into game aesthetics (as evidenced by my posts, my games and my personal style when playing) and yes, it pisses me off to no end when I'm playing a game that should be dripping in style (er, Cyberpunk or Vampire) and NOBODY GETS IT.

Well, maybe some people get it. I hope I did. I bought Cyberspace by ICE in 1991 and I never ran games using huge cybermonstrosities. Although most of my players never got it, I was more into the: "Dark alleys, rolling mists and flickering neon" mode than the "breaking and entering to get some hot guns at a local corp". Actually, eventhough Cyberspace had huge amounts of critical tables, I think these even worked towards the style goal. Say what you will, but even the biggest baddest Jake Bullet-type characters ate dirt in their first firefight in that game.


The classic C-punk example, I'm the cool, wired badass with low-light eyes, a leather jacket and a pistol whereas everyone is a chromed monstrosity and/or merc soldier.

Okay, I'll be the savvy taxi-driver that knows everybody and has a deal running with most every lowlife crimeboss in the neon sprawl. Only the link to the Direct Neutral Interface device in the cab to call me cybered-up.


Vampire's even worse...putting a Y in your name does not make you a goth, people. Living in the 1980's and listening to Specimen and Aliex Sex Fiend DOES.

Does listening to Leaetherstrip, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Frontline Assembly and VNV Nation make me a goth? Or am to be labeled something else... *grin* :smile:



The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)

Posts: 2807

« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2001, 02:57:00 AM »

I suspect a fair number of my characters are "subsets" of my own personality.  There is a lot of me in them, but there is a lot of Other Stuff, which is not me, and the composite is a character in its own right.  Although I'm a hardcore, militant atheist, I have no difficultiues at all playing religious characters - partly because the presence of observable magic or divine interventionn is more than sufficient to suspend belief.

I have deliberately played characters that were my "savage side" and revelled in their physicality to a much greater extent than I do myself.  I have done others which were real hard-nosed "end justifies means" types, but non-physical, much more socially manipulative.  I once ran a character with artistic abilities deliberately to explore this aspect, which does not come to me naturally or easily.  A very interesting exercise.  My characters will usually not have some marvellous McGuffin or unusual ability - insiders not outsiders - which defines them, they are usually fairly "stock" characters with a proper history.

I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear I have rather form political views, but I'm not aware of this having been a significant influence on character play.  Certainly, I have played characters with political opinions diametrically opposed to mine; could not say for sure whether they were in practice charicatures or not; I hope not.  It is something of a concern with NPC play, though, and I try to ensure a certain distance there, but thats because a GM can so easily embed their prejudices in a world without realising it.

Possibly the artist character above is the one I found most interesting.  Probably the "savage" character was the one I identified with most, and I think this is symptomatic of my increasing alienation from Western "civilization".  On the other hand, there is a concentration of emphasis here in that I am much more likely to be a GM than a player, and I have had relatively few opportunities to play characters over a long period.

Impeach the bomber boys:

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Posts: 167

« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2001, 05:00:00 AM »

marco's comment about personal moral code, or whatever you'd like to call it, made sense to me -- I really wouldn't even consider certain character types, whereas those that differ in *preference* or *outlook* to me are game

a worthy point made by a friend of mine (who has managed to post here once, ever) during character creation was to have a concept that has a single item of interest or twist, fleshed out by the details of how that twist is implemented

for a bad example, the gay character I mentioned previously was designed to be specifically *different*: he was also 50 odd years old, overweight, financially secure, a bit too self-righteous and mildly racist; as a character he was a lot of fun to play, but it was difficult to keep up his bulky entirety in my head... the self-righteousness and racism dropped off quickly, mainly because I felt they detracted from the game (rather than doing nothing at all), and mutated into being mildly pompous (I can be that myself Smiley and playing up the "speaking loudly to foreigners" gag every now and then

finally, another "aye" for aesthetics; one of the few things that really irritates me at a game is obvious Pawn Stance, perhaps only because I'm very careful about not slipping into it myself


Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 10459

« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2001, 12:46:00 PM »

I don't consider myself when making a character, other than what I think might make an interesting character to me. So, does the character have the same morals as me? I don't care. Some do, and some don't. Just like when I go to the movies and some characters I like have my moral compass and others do not.

I make characters up solely on whether or not they will be entertaining to me. What is entertaining to me? Characters with contradictions are fun. Characters a bit out of the ordinary. But not caricatured; I despise that. They have to have a sense of reality and weight to them. And I don't play villains. Or rather on the few occasions that I have, I actively seek for them to meet their villainous demises.

Are my characters based on my experience? Well, of course, they don't come from Pluto. But are they me or an anti-me or something? Nope. They are whoever they are. Works of extermely crude art that I like to observe and ponder.


Member of Indie Netgaming
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Jason L Blair

Posts: 636

Nothing is sacred.

« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2001, 01:48:00 PM »

Mike Holmes was talking some smack about:
They are whoever they are. Works of extermely crude art that I like to observe and ponder.

Spot on. It's like we were separated at birth.

And should probably stay that way.

But seriously, I'm the same way. I create characters for RPGs the same as characters for poetry and prose. Someone who has an interesting voice.


Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
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