Friday, August 19, 2011

Creating a character with a guy totally unfamiliar to roleplaying games using YDIN

Next post right after this will be how totally new person to roleplaying games created his first p&p character ever using YDIN. It is really interesting how he managed to make the character even though there are some freedom to create character and some parts you need to use your own ideas.
Read next post to find out, how it happened!

That text is from my previous post. In this post I will tell in detail how a friend of mine new to roleplaying games created a character with me for YDIN. This was just a test drive to see how simple YDIN character creation is.

(Originally I posted this report to rpg discussion forum, and this is a translation of that post. You can find original topic here: I have slightly modified the text to suit the blog post better.)

Creating YDIN Character With My P&P RPG Virgin Friend

I decided to as one of my internet friends would he like to create a character for my own roleplaying game system and he agreed to.

We share roleplaying history together in internet from mmorpgs and he has played roleplaying games with both computer and consoles. However he didn't have basically any knowledge about pen-and-paper roleplaying games other than what I have described to him.

Creating a character started with basics. What different sections in character sheet mean. Basically that numerical values tell is character good or bad in something. Is he or isn't he able to do something and how well he can do it etc. I explained how to assign points and what it means. Before that I wanted him to think about a concept for his character, what kind of character he would like to create. I told that his character will be made in modern world as a demo and there are no ready character classes or concepts. He could create a character as he pleases from pizza delivery guy to secret agent.

He pondered a while and told he wanted to create Chinese plumber. At first I thought that he was just fooling around and thought this whole thing was just a joke but I thought I'd go with him because i started it.

Determining attributes. Plumber became sharp in perception and agile but in social events he would be unnoticed. Based on attributes we determined other secondary attributes as "hit points" what was just a simple calculation.

After this we moved to skills. I told him that putting points to skills is basically similar to putting points to attributes and he got it right even though the scale in skills is a bit different. All skills he chose were logical to plumber.

After skills we moved to hobbies and I told him that they are know-hows outside of skills list which player can determine himself to individualize and color his character. A little of thinking, because there is no list for these. The hobbies he came up with catched me unaware.

Another of these hobbies was reading Mao's Red book out loud with 2 points and another was inventing catchphrases (Communist). They really did give character a touch and it reminded be about beginners asset to think outside of the box and not to necessarily optimize character for best performance in rules wise.

After hobbies there was again time to let this newbie to invent things by his own. This time gifts, special knowledges what give bonuses. Other was HVAC engineering and other plumbing the ducts. This plumber has natural talent in his work.

Last starting equipment which are based on skills. There are three initial skill levels and with skill level 2 you get minor equipment related to skill and with skill level 3 major item related to skill. Again he got to use his imagination comparing possible equipment based on his skill levels. And I was positively surprised.

Funniest and wittiest items were promotion ticket to Mao's Red Book part 2, keys to Scania R730 (heavy vehicles skill level 2. He doesn't own his own truck but it could be from his work) and pocket size encyclopedia. In my opinion these were fun little insights what made character concept better rather than rules technically making character better. Weapons character didn't possess.

After all this experiment was really nice. It was nice to spend some time together while doing what I like to do. And of course the best part was that he took this all seriously. Also I witnessed how sometimes beginner can come up with better ideas than veterans. Beginner doesn't necessarily optimize his character but instead makes it with passion. At first I was a bit worried that he only agreed to create character out of obligation because I asked him but he really was thrown into creating plumber also in rule mechanics.

Unfortunately story of this Chinese communist plumber stopped there even though he started to tell small details when I asked him about his character (World of Darkness prelude style "gaming). He started to describe his characters history etc. Unfortunately he ran out of time as he had to get back to army otherwise I would have tenderly slip a bit roleplaying in the aftermath of character creation.

Overall creating a character with roleplaying virgin was a fun experience. In its own way it widened my perception on character creation. This teatched that creating a character you do really create a character, not just a tool to interact in gaming world.

It was great!

Final Words

Apologies for translation. I did write that text in Finnish originally, but somehow translating text is a bit hard to do quickly. I didn't include all rules mechanic details to that report. Just the thoughts about the process.

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