Do You Like Lifepaths? - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Do You Like Lifepaths?

   
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Do you like or dislike lifepath character generation and why?
Yes, because it's the ultimate anti-murderhobo tool. 2 25.00%
Yes, because it produces characters that are grounded in the setting. 5 62.50%
Yes, because it produces believable characters. 4 50.00%
Yes, because it's got the right amount of randomness and guided. 3 37.50%
Yes, because even if I don't get to play, it doesn't feel like I didn't have any fun. 3 37.50%
Yes, because it prevents munchkinism! 2 25.00%
Yes, but my reasons shall remain a secret! Mwahahaha! 1 12.50%
Yes (other, will specify below). 3 37.50%
No. Too slow for me. Give me 3d6 in order or other purely random! 1 12.50%
No. Not enough control. Point-buy for the win, baby! 2 25.00%
No, because I want RPGs to be about escapist fun, not being part of a setting. 0 0%
No, because reasons (other reasons). Will specify in the thread. 1 12.50%


I'm torn. On one hand, yes, if you do it well enough, life paths can be super neat. You get to experience the setting from the ground up as a child, sometimes even get to know the social problems going on assuming the DM cared enough about the world to implement them.

On the other hand, well... I'm with the crowd that says that they enjoyed that you could get rid of bad characters before you went through the torture of playing them in CT. Because for all the nice and good RP it can give you, it can also be a mechanical nightmare, especially if someone has the best of luck while the others don't.

I mean, it's better than prefab characters, but not really by much. In my experience it can be a neat thing if the DM actually abides by the rolls just as much as the player does (well, Aroden grabbed the Star Stone by pure luck, so did Cayden, I sure hope I'm gonna get to do that d% luck as well), but... that's not how it works out. Basically ever.

So, I suppose I'm gonna give it a solid "yes" on the concept and a likely "no" on the execution.

really depends on the system some have great life path systems some have awful ones.

@Knight of Holy Wor care to mention examples of both? I'm not going to dispute your tastes, I promise!

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Originally Posted by BugMeNot View Post
I'm torn. On one hand, yes, if you do it well enough, life paths can be super neat. You get to experience the setting from the ground up as a child, sometimes even get to know the social problems going on assuming the DM cared enough about the world to implement them.
Yup!

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On the other hand, well... I'm with the crowd that says that they enjoyed that you could get rid of bad characters before you went through the torture of playing them in CT. Because for all the nice and good RP it can give you, it can also be a mechanical nightmare, especially if someone has the best of luck while the others don't.
Also agreed. Besides, if you push long enough, and the character persists in not dying, you'll either end up with a character that works or

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I mean, it's better than prefab characters, but not really by much. In my experience it can be a neat thing if the DM actually abides by the rolls just as much as the player does (well, Aroden grabbed the Star Stone by pure luck, so did Cayden, I sure hope I'm gonna get to do that d% luck as well), but... that's not how it works out. Basically ever.
Uhm...if not, that's a GMing problem, IMO. And how exactly does any other chargen alleviate that issue?

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So, I suppose I'm gonna give it a solid "yes" on the concept and a likely "no" on the execution.
That's too bad...

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Originally Posted by Max7238 View Post
Speaking from the perspective of writing books, I actually would rather create the character first, THEN ask questions about how they got there. Letting your brain expand the grid and providing it with rules or the template to do so can create a deeply rooted character - past, present, AND future - and it's at THAT point that the stats start to matter.
Of course! But that's basically point-buy (and probably the reason why all the narrative systems have a point-buy character generation).
So if you approach RPGs as writing books...you should go for point-buy. Me, I prefer RPGs as simulation.

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If you combine the two methods, the creation of a character first, THEN the simulation of their life to that point to determine their goal in the world, THEN you apply your stats... Well, I can at least say it led to the single best session of DnD I've ever played, wherein each player was fully invested in their character, stayed in character almost the entire session, and had genuine emotional reactions to the goings-on of the world around them.
Sounds great!

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If you want a murder-homo smasher, just tell people leveling is milestone and do away with EXP entirely. If you want a debate, I think THAT's where you start one.
I'm not exactly sure what kind of debate you mean. Care to clarify? If it's "which method is better"...I'll pass, thank you!

I mean, you have your way, and say it works for you. I have my way, and it works for me. Neither of us is looking for other options at the moment. Why the debate? At most, we can note whether we're using the same solutions!

But I'll note that your approach seems great only if you want a story-based anti-murderhobo approach. A lifepath combined with mandatory goals, set in a sandbox, is my preferred approach to that.
Especially when working on your goals (and major successes) is tied to your XP...

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Regardless of how you decide stats (rolls, PB, SA) or how you create characters (randomize, lifepath, or just straight from your own head), those kinds of players will exist. Some people only see a game, not a set of tools for creating worlds and telling stories. The only way to reign those people in that I've ever seen is milestone levels - so they can't get stronger unless they help advance the story. It makes for interesting RP, too, watching such a player try to stay in character while fighting against using player-knowledge to push things along.
Since I started running games the way I do, they've never been a problem. Before that, well, they were the dedicated combat specialists in the party.

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And those people help offset the other one at the table who might want 45 minutes of RP with every NPC they meet, right?
I don't find they need offsetting, but YMMV.

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Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post


True, but isn't that applicable to basically all mechanics?
True, I probably have higher expectations for mechanics that can affect every game play session. Bad mechanics are easier to tolerate (and work around) if they rarely appear in game play.

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Originally Posted by Rakle View Post
True, I probably have higher expectations for mechanics that can affect every game play session. Bad mechanics are easier to tolerate (and work around) if they rarely appear in game play.
My point was that you can mess up point-buy and purely random chargen, too. So hating bad implementation isn't a problem with lifepath chargen, it's just a reasonable feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post
@Knight of Holy Wor care to mention examples of both? I'm not going to dispute your tastes, I promise!
The warhammer 40K rpg ones were enjoyable (Dark Heresy I, Rogue trader RPG, etc) as they were about player choice at every turn and none even when they gave negatives provided something to give your character teeth. The new witcher system that recently came out is the opposite. It's possible to roll nothing but negatives at every step, with nothing in return effectively crippling your character in curses, injuries, enemies gunning for you so as to make the character effectively unplayable/force you to play a character you don't want to play or simply take away the fun on playing them because there were way too many negatives to always contend with.







 

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