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Opinion on pre generated characters wanted

I really like using pre-generated characters in many systems, although I prefer to write my own background.

It certainly seemed to work for the original Dragonlance modules for AD&D, except for everyone fighting over who got to play Raistlin.

Yeah. Consensus is "no".

Then again... your justification is *also* pretty good.

You could always show what you want and see which players take the bait. But I'd strongly recommend you don't involve a high level Mage with anything other than other mages. I've never seen a player hold back a mage enough to keep it at level. If oWoD had a "tier" system the way D&D does. Mages would be the only T1 class. Demons and werewolves (and other breeds) the T2. Vamps T3. Everything else, T4. Except changelings and wraith- those are your T5.

Originally Posted by Gygaxphobia View Post
I really like using pre-generated characters in many systems, although I prefer to write my own background.
If I were going to use pre-generated characters to skip the trouble/learning curve of character creation with players, this is how I'd do it, especially if I were using a system flexible enough to let them refulff some of the mechanics as they liked.

This would not work as well, however, if the purpose of the pre-generated characters was to be sure the players were playing certain characters in a pre-defined story.

In GURPS, which has a notably infamous learning curve for character creation, I do occassionally run an amnesia game where all the characters are pregenerated and have amnesia. I've run several variations on this game, and players ussually have a lot of fun (also popular at conventions, as it skips spending time on character creation)

I've tried a few pre-generated DnD 3.5e games, both tabletop and PbP and the PbP games seem lackluster in comparison, like others have said before me. The tabletop games seem to work fine and similar to what Silveroak says and get better reception that way.

Overall, it's nice to be able to skip character creation on occasion, but it is definitely something that shouldn't be done all the time.

Originally Posted by Melverne View Post
OK the general consesus to this is no. What I had in mind was a high powered Werewolf the Apocalypse game with one Mage. I have specific roles I need to be filled. With the high end characters I needed a control of some type. I am aiming towards an active input towards character generation. This will probably be the best route. Thanks for the input.
I think that cooperative character building with the players is probably your best bet. You probably can even get your players to make characters to play the specific roles that you need... i.e. "Hey, Jack. I need someone to play a [BLANK], do you have any ideas about a character that can be that?"

Here is the concept using the old WoD. The weaver spun out of control and the world is in jeopardy (pretty standard). This world's fate is doomed. In a desperate bid to salvage the world a Silent Strider delves deep into the Umbra to find something to tip the balance. The Silent Strider finds a "pure" world. He petitions a powerful mage to return with him to save their world.

It is the return journey where things go wrong. The Silent Strider and Mage are seperated possibly returning in different time periods. The mage could possibly have amnesia or even be rebirthed without an inkling of his / her power. The werewolves will be unique themselves. I had a metis without a flaw (any deformities) in mind. Something which would be controversial given that breeding between werewolves is taboo. Perhaps a Silver Fang that is the reincarnation of a legendary hero. There were some other pretty high end ideas floating around.

My greatest concern would be for the Mage. That character could be unbalancing to the game. There is just so much that you can do with a mage. It really is just a limit of your imagination. The werewolves would be easier to deal with especially if they were pregenerated or I had a hand in what they could do.

I'm tempted to put a cap on the points allowed for skills. Ask the players to invest the majority of the points in attributes and advantages. It would be easier to just make the characters and give them x number of points for skills and active input to altering advantages, if there is something they wish to change.

I have both run and participated in Pre-Gen games IRL and really enjoyed the heck out of them, even with systems I was already familiar with. It gave me a chance to be someone I wouldn't normally think to play. The problem with this in regards to PBP games is that a person is going to stuck with a character possibly for years if the game is successful, rather than just four hours or so.

Here is what I would suggest for making this game a PBP success:

1) Get players that you know and trust to be consistent posters and good at developing characters. Invite people to the game specifically rather than opening it up to all and sundry. Although a lot of folks might see the appeal during the game ad process, if some of them lose interest later you may be out a plot-central character.

2) Work with your players to create their characters for the role you need them to play. Don't give them free reign with the fluff, but don't box them in either. Folks invest a lot of time in character creation and that helps them feel invested and interested in the game, so I don't think you should skip that. One problem I've seen with pregens is that there will be skills spent or feats taken that I think aren't right for the character or won't be useful. By building the characters with your chosen players, you can explain why they have certain abilities and take the player's opinions into consideration.

3) Talk about, but do not force, the character's progression. Once you hand it over to the player, the character should be theirs, and if they decide to cross class their warrior into a few levels of wizard (or whatever the equivalent is in the system you choose) then they should feel like they have the freedom to do so, even if you thought the next logical step was knight of the realm. Part of the fun of roleplaying is letting your characters grow and change. Pregen characters shouldn't lose that.

That's my two copper pieces.


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