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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: "What You're Given," or "Gamism on the Fly  (Read 2857 times)
MachMoth
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« on: December 14, 2003, 02:21:35 PM »

When I DM a round of pure-gamist D&D, I've noticed three major types of character development, planned, extemporaneous, and on-the-fly.  

For example, many of the players sit down, and plan out what feats they intend on taking, and what classes produce the best combination with them.  They talk to each other, and plan out a dynamic and complimentary party style.  From previous experience, they know what types of characters they want, and what each can do.

However, when they kill the evil shaman, and I give them his staff of fireball.  They then have a short discussion, and decide who would benifit most from it.  If they later decide that someone else could use it better, they have that time, but not as much as, say, the character creation time period.

Then, we have the one shot, quick choices.  Your character has the choice between taking the strength boosting potion, or the constitution boosting potion.  He has to choose now, and can't take it back.

Well, I'm not trying to break this down, or define it.  I'd imagine that's either done, or not important enough.  I'm more interested in focusing on the last one or two.  In [D&D] Preventing gamism becoming 'solved'?, I mentioned a character creation clearance rack.  It was more or less a grab bag that gave the player a random chance at a discounted character ability/spell/feat/etc., possibly making some other option look more inviting than the 'pre-determined' character plan.  In practice, this helped to produce more dynamic characters, and was generally enjoyed by all.

So, is there anyother game that uses a on-the-fly character concept?  I think it would be interesting for a game to focus on 'unplanned' characters, where the players can't plan out the gamist intricacies of thier characters until the time comes for them to advance.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2003, 03:30:43 PM »

I'm not sure about things, so can I clarify; Are we talking about character concept or statistical model concept?

Just about all games give the statistical model creation chapter the missleading name of  'character creation'. Generating a strength score or a bonus to hit with swords doesn't create any character, of course.

I think you mean statistical model concepts, but with character mentioned so often I just wanted to be sure.
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MachMoth
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 03:59:58 PM »

Yeah, I'm talking about the statistical model.  I've already been given the tongue lashing that character development covers not just character, but also statistics.  Therefore, I don't often express distinction in them anymore.  Sorry for the confusion.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 04:50:27 PM »

Quote from: MachMoth
Yeah, I'm talking about the statistical model.  I've already been given the tongue lashing that character development covers not just character, but also statistics.  Therefore, I don't often express distinction in them anymore.  Sorry for the confusion.

Well whoever tongue lashed you is, IMO, a bit annoying. Statistical development does provide stimulous for character development. But hell, it doesn't ensure/force it to happen and thus doesn't 'cover it'. Anyway, that's a side point.

The main point: Wouldn't a system like that basically be creating weird characters. Eg I want to be an expert swordsman, but at advancement I find my best options are to become more like a butler or a coachman? Then again I guess if I don't have a character concept it wont be a matter of what satisfies me and instead about what satisfies the system/is efficient (where you'll get people picking the same structures a lot of the time). Sorry to raise these questions, as I'm not aware of a system which is more on the fly and I'm curious about other factors of your question.
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MachMoth
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 07:44:35 PM »

Well, I suppose it would depend on implimentation (the part I haven't put that much thought into yet).  Specifically, I'm picturing something that allows (maybe even rewards) a character to maintain a concept, while forcing impromptu choices in statistical advancement, as apposed to premeditated.  Honestly, I'd be a bit suprised (and scared) if no one had tried something like this before.
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