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Patrick Zoch
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A question suggested by

Roger Hobden
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Do you prefer to design your own characters, or are you willing to submit to the tyranny of random dice rolls?

Why do you prefer one over the other?


Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Alex Bokser
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pdzoch wrote:
A question suggested by

Roger Hobden
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Do you prefer to design your own characters, or are you willing to submit to the tyranny of random dice rolls?

Why do you prefer one over the other?


You make that sound so appealing.

Character creation is an essential part of the experience for me. If I can avoid rolling dice during this stage, I avoid it.
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Alain Curato
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The only moment I would consider rolling dice is in L5R when you can make Heritage rolls (for the unitiated, these rolls can give you either a virtue of your ancestry, or a curse from the ancient past).
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Patrick Zoch
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bxrrr wrote:


You make that sound so appealing.


I liked Roger's turn of phrase.
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For D&D and derived games, not really either. The old method of roll 3d6 and use in the order rolled could create some rather odd characters, but such as "here is an array of numbers, assign them how you like" seems to create characters who are, for want of a better terms, bland. Their stats are above average, but in a rather average way. You don't get any truly exceptional characters with 18 scores (unless using a system that allows upping scores for lowering others more).

I think I prefer rolling, but in a more heroic way. Such as 4d6, take the three highest and assign as liked. Or perhaps 2d6+6.
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Mario Silva
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For me the best character creation is choose OR roll, at every step...
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Eric Clason
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I prefer to submit to the tyranny of random dice rolls for character creation. I don't start character creation with a notion of what type of character I want to play. I enjoy fleshing out a character based on random dice rolls.
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I'm going to go with option 3, point-based system, occasionally roll on custom tables if I don't have a concept in mind.
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3rik de πrik
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I have no preference, though char gen ideally shouldn't take very long.
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Patrick Zoch
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There is something about rolling dice to make a character I just like. It feels more unique.
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Patrick Zoch
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via Imgflip Meme Generator
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Ryan Ahr
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It's a bit of both for me. I always have an idea going in but some times I don't always know what additional bits I want to add to flesh the character out. I also find it a fun challenge to figure out how to best distribute state rolls because I like to think in terms of both practicality for my class/role and how it would fit the character's personality.
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DMSamuel
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My preference depends on the kind of game that is being run. It doesn't depend on system, though, for me, it depends on the GM and the setting and the theme of the game. I've played and run 4e D&D games that used random rolls during character generation because that suited the campaign. I've also done point buy or set attribute arrays in that system, because it fit the campaign.

The same is true for other modern games that I run/play. If I play an older version, like B/X D&D (or Labyrinth Lord) or 1e AD&D, then I prefer rolling IF it fits the campaign. I've played 1e campaigns where the premise was that we were already big damn heroes, and so we had (non-rolled)stats to match - as odd as that sounds in 1e, it worked for the campaign.

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Bifford the Youngest (Sam)
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It really depends on the game and what I want from the game.

Some games, such as DCC and Fiasco are so much more fun with random rolls.


But games likes D&D, Pathfinder, Exalted, etc I want to be able to dictate what my character is going to be.

Having said that, I quite often employ a 50/50 version. So for example with the D&D game we've just genned characters for I started off by choosing my race and character type via a dice roll but then honed that character into someone I would be happy to play via personal choices rather than randomness - though it was slightly dictated by the STATs rolls.
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I pride myself in believing I can play any character as successfully as I can create them for my stories. So to that end, I like the challenge of rolling up a random arch-type and playing it as the dice fall.
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Kevin
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3rik wrote:
I have no preference, though char gen ideally shouldn't take very long.


This is me, exactly. Just get to playing already!
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Scott Trudeau
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I prefer to design my own characters. Some of that may be random, of course, like rolling attributes, but I like having control over the rest. I'm the one who has to play the character, so yeah, I'd like a heavy hand in creating the character.

That being said, I've had a lot of fun creating a couple of Traveller characters (the first one died during the game, not during character creation!) and it was really cool to see how the character developed through the creation process (which is definitely submitting to the tyranny of random dice rolls!). However, most games don't have the kind of character creation depth Traveller does.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Random dice rolls for character creation have zero appeal to me. I'll play a character that is randomly drawn from a batch of pre-gens, but I really dislike rolling dice during character creation.

I associated with lots of players who loved random character creation when I was university game club advisor. They seemed to throw out half their randomly rolled characters because they were no good. The few times I joined them in such games (Gamma World, mostly), I kept what I got - and they always protested I was hurting the party because my characters were useless! What's the point of randomly rolling if you're not going to use what you get?
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True Blue Jon
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I prefer designing as you play.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Definitely design my own characters so I can mid-max.
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GeoffreyB wrote:
Definitely design my own characters so I can mid-max.


Ah yes, the well-known gamer practice of paying the most average possible price for high stats.
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Lev
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I love random character generation especially when nearly hopeless characters are the result. It makes role playing so much easier.
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Mark Wilson
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For one-shots, I prefer random. It's a great way to try something out that you wouldn't come up with on your own, or would be hesitant to play for a full campaign. Anything longer, it's all me.

But really, how often are we truly connected to a character before play? I bet I - and others - would be fine with entirely randomized characters more often than we realize.
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Professor of Pain
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I like both and my preference depends on the game system and what others are doing. For D&D I like the roll 4d6 and keep the best three dice.
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Dave Terhune
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This is a blatant example of frivolous geek gold spending.
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I spent 100 geek gold and all I got was this lousy overtext.
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I started to type this answer up about three or four times with varying degrees of dislike for random character generation, only to come to the realization it doesn't quite matter as much as I thought it did.

As a general rule, I prefer to design my characters, especially if I'm going to be playing them in a long-term campaign. But there are exceptions to every rule, and I've had several characters that were mostly the result of random rolls that I enjoyed very much.

So while it's a preference, it's not so strong as to prevent me from playing a game with some amount of randomness in character creation.
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