Character Creation

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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Character Creation

OK, so here is my current situation. After a few weeks of pouring over the EP Core Book I have decided to attempt to run a game. On Monday I will be getting my group. Haven't actually met any of them, its a Uni Club thing and supposedly we have a tonne of newbies this year.

What I am worried about is how long Character Creation is going to take. Mainly the Skills bit. I expect some of the players will be good with playing one of the pre-genned, and I might make a few more, but no doubt someone will want to play a custom one. Anyone who has started their own game have any general times that their group took to char-gen? I am not that worried about actually running out of time all together, I have about 3 or so hours in total, but I dont want to be sitting with half the group in char-gen while the other half has picked pregenned and are twiddling their thumbs.

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Cardul Cardul's picture
Re: Character Creation

First, advice I give to any new GM(from my own experience)
is to have a session devoted SOLELY to Chargen. Why? It
allows the players to has out ideas with each other, and
make it so their specialties do not overlap(I remember the
horror of a Shadowrun 2E game where I did not do that, and
we ended up with 2 Deckers, a Rigger, and a Samurai...you
see where that went..)

Second, and this is what I do with any new system I like,
sit down, imagine a character YOU would want to play in
the setting. In fact..imagine a whole bunch...pick one
of every archetype you can think of..and build one. As
the GM, you should know the intricacies of chargen, so
you can help the new players.

Third, try and build a character that utterly and completely
breaks the system. No, really, it is OK. You likely will not
find everything, but you attempting to break the system allows
you to understand the system.

Finally, make sure you give the players this EP Specific advice:
Expect to die. Think VERY hard about Morph Traits, as, likely, you
will not have them when you re-sleeve. In fact, your new Morph
might not even be the same one you are in right now...So, do
not build your character where it needs the Morph and Morph Traits.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

The above poster's 'EP-specific advise' is really more playstyle-specific. There is no reason that any EP game will be particularly hard on morphs unless that's how the GM wishes to run it. If this is the case, then certainly tell the players so. However, as a GM, realize that some players will not find such a methodolgy appealing and you could end up killing your game if player dissatisfaction builds from it.

Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Re: Character Creation

Isn't this all in the approach? If you use morph loss as punishment while making it almost impossible to avoid, certainly it is gonna build dissatisfaction.
But if you use morph loss as a roleplay element, and for character development I definitely think most players will find it interesting (and painful, ofcourse).

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

Many players don't like to have their equipment dictated by the GM. If a D&D player likes his magical pick and the GMtakes it away and 'forces him' to use a magical sword, they may be unhappy. In EP, forcing an unwanted change of morph is much the same, but since we are only humans playing at transhumanism, a 'theft of body' is likely to be viewed as much more intrusive than changing out a weapon.

Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Re: Character Creation

but if a player uses his magic pick as a magic door opener, and the magic pick shatters?

I wasn't talking about a GM enforcing his own desires on a player, but as a side effect of adventuring bad things happen. And as such, if you as a GM makes an effort to prevent unecessary loss such a thing can instead be a positive experience.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

Tearlach wrote:
but if a player uses his magic pick as a magic door opener, and the magic pick shatters?

That depends entirely on whether or not the GM created the scene in such a way that the only real outcome is to use and lose the pick in such a manner.

In EP, I've seen suggestions that the GM can and should run the game at high lethality because 'morphs be damned, get another' is a viable way to play it. For some groups, this might work, but for just as many, this will rankle players the wrong way if there isn't adequate compensation - typically the ability to return to a morph that the player condsiders a part of his character concept in a reasonably short period of time.

And if we want to continue to use the 'D&D magic pick' analogy, perhaps we should instead consider the old D&D spell of Reincarnation. Nothing like a slip of bad luck to turn your character into a form that's so disdvantaged in whatevr you're doing that you might as well retire...

Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Re: Character Creation

Yeah, ofcourse. I've been talking about the difference between you as a GM punishing or forcing your will on the player and you using something that happens to further improve their experience.

But using loss to further enhance roleplaying is a good thing. This is not a technique you use on new players, first you need them to trust that you won't pull something shitty on them just because you can.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

Tearlach wrote:
But using loss to further enhance roleplaying is a good thing. This is not a technique you use on new players, first you need them to trust that you won't pull something shitty on them just because you can.

It might be a good thing for some, but totally inappropriate for others. Much as roleplaying out a torture or rape scene might be beneficial to someone out there, it is still likely something better left unexplored regardless of the good intentions of the GM.
Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Re: Character Creation

Nevermind, nothing will come out of continuing this discussion.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

You're actually making my arguments for me.

I'm suggesting that the loss of a body is not a trivial thing to most people. In many ways it can be every bit as traumatic as rape or torture (the two are similar in many ways). Both of these are acts against the body first - the ego is then left to deal with the mental/emotional/spiritual fallout. In this way, both acts of violation are the same, so why do you consider the loss of a body (a significant violation of self) as something less important than rape? Is it because you can resleeve? If the fact that you can get a new body is what makes it OK for a transhuman to have a morph forcibly taken from him, then the idea of psychosurgery/memory editing should make rape OK to transhumans too, right?

As for not assuming, you are the one doing that. You assume that I am attempting to limit all playstyles, but this is not the case. I'm saying that it's important not to assume that it is OK to push a default playstyle that supports killing off morphs trivially as one of the adventure writers suggested. It may be a possible way to play, but I'm suggesting that perhaps it should not be the default.

ShimmerGeek ShimmerGeek's picture
Re: Character Creation

Because people are very unlikely to have had their entire body lost and then replaced, yet it's highly possible they or someone close to them have been raped.

If that situation existed, I agree, it could be very traumatic. But right now, it doesn't. Rape does.

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To be honest, I wouldn't let a player use a Pre-genned character. When you're going to be gaming for a year, it's worth taking the time to make someone you like who embodies your own ideas. It maybe wouldn't be worth it if it was just for a few weeks or a few months, but when the campaign is going to run for 4 hours a week for a whole year... I dunno, I just wouldn't let anyone. It makes for boring Roleplaying imo - it's more fun if someone has a character exactly how they want/imagine, they tend to care about them more.

You should be able to get Character Gen done in the 3 hours I think; to be honest most games I've run before (even for all-newbie groups) have had character gen done in 1-2 hours - I don't think any of them have topped 2 1/2.

If you (and they) aren't sure about everything, I'd go with a policy of majorly big deal things can't be changed; medium-ish things can be changed if they're changed quickly (within a couple of sessions) if someone realises it doesn't feel right or work for them; and minor things have a month or two's limit on them if someone realises it doesn't go/they've never used it.

To help with that I'd suggest making the first adventure/mission go quite fast, taking 1-2 sessions; so that everyone gets a feel for the game, their character and the group dynamic; so they can make any changes pretty quickly if something isn't working for them.

(P.S. Can I have a spot if UA is full? ^^ I'd really love to play)

ShimmerGeek ShimmerGeek's picture
Re: Character Creation

Oh, and I'd make sure they're warned about how you plan to handle re-sleeving/it's insurance etc.

That might bug people if they invest a lot of points in a cool sleeve and lose it.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

ShimmerGeek wrote:
Because people are very unlikely to have had their entire body lost and then replaced, yet it's highly possible they or someone close to them have been raped.

I guess my viewpoint is somewhat different because, as a nurse at a military hospital, I've seen young men come in with two limbs blown off, a need to amputate a third limb, massive trauma to the genitals, and burn scars covering good portions of their bodies. That's pretty close to a total body loss and they often seem much more traumatized than some of the rape victims I've had to work with in the past.
Graf Graf's picture
Re: Character Creation

EP as presented (see the short story Lack in the begining) seems to presume that players will be challenged by the loss of "significant" items (especially morphs).

As some people in this thread have made clear they come from a traditional roleplaying background that's focused (obsessed?) with being-on-the-bleeding-edge-of-the-power-curve. They want to play EP just like DnD/Shadowrun/etc where they always have their +5 magic sword, power armor, etc.

And there will be people who want to roleplay messed up people in a strange world and want their GM to push them. To put them in weird situations and roleplay out the resolution.

Over time there will be two "tracks"; if you will. A "traditional" DnD style game and a "indie" style roleplaying-oriented game.
This isn't uncommon in games with a lot going on. Call of Cthulhu has "pulp" style play and "tradional" style play.

Originally there were a lot of "CoC is this" "CoC is that" and the community eventually stablized. DnD is going through a "this is DnD" "this isn't DnD" thing too. It will eventually (probably) stablize.

EP is a niche game; it will be a small community. People should be tolerant of the gaming styles of others, AND aware that some players/GMs will only be able to accept one style of play.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

Graf wrote:
EP as presented (see the short story Lack in the begining) seems to presume that players will be challenged by the loss of "significant" items (especially morphs).

I never base game expectations off of a single piece of setting fiction. Quite often the game doesn't play out the same way that the fluff makes it appear. Shadowrun made this quite clear in places, and D&D does too. Lack isn't a bad story, but there is no reason to believe that it describes a 'typical' EP play experience nor that it should.
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Character Creation

Quick sneaky in:

Already said you can Shimm ^^ In fact honestly I would prefer if you did, if only so I know *someone* who is playing. I am cool with an all newbie group, and hopefully I might grab a few of the experienced players.

(By the way, do you know what room we are in tommorow? 5th floor? Do you know if there are plug sockets about? My laptop battery is good for many 2-3 hours, but I dont want it running out halfway through gen)

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Graf Graf's picture
Re: Character Creation

[quote=HappyDaze]
I never base game expectations off of a single piece of setting fiction. Quite often the game doesn't play out the same way that the fluff makes it appear. Shadowrun made this quite clear in places, and D&D does too. Lack isn't a bad story, but there is no reason to believe that it describes a 'typical' EP play experience nor that it should.[/quote]

The danger of posting after only reading a portion of someone's post is you look sort of silly.

Re-read my original post. I was arguing that it was one of two likely tracks.

Or are you arguing that the first 20 pages of the book should be ignored (presumably because they don't fit in with the narrow view of how the game should be played that you've adopted)?
That the short story is somehow an accident that randomly appeared on the page through no intent on the part of the authors? ;)
That's amusing. I think... unlikely... but amusing.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

Graf, I did read your post - I just didn't bother to comment on your 'two tracks' idea because I find it simplistic, loaded, and - to use your word choice - silly.

As for the story, I don't think it was an 'accident' or a 'random' selection but I also don't see it as a primer on how to play the game.

BTW, are you trying to be inflammatory and condescending in your posts towards me?

puke puke's picture
Re: Character Creation

i'd guess that he is, but probably only because every post of yours i've seen on these forums is inflamatory and condesending towards someone else.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Character Creation

puke wrote:
i'd guess that he is, but probably only because every post of yours i've seen on these forums is inflamatory and condesending towards someone else.

Really? Would you care to quote some specific examples?

Please tell me if I have I offended you, because that is certainly not my intention when I post here. However, unless you are more specific we can't really have a meaningful discussion, and you're just engaging in more mud-flinging.

ShimmerGeek ShimmerGeek's picture
Re: Character Creation

I would really like to play... I've sortof been looking forward to Unknown Armies for about a year though, so ... ARGH!!! ... tbh I'll probably wind up seeing what it's like on the day for people / how much more awesome Eclipse Phase gets as I continue to read ;) But yeah, I would really really appreciate a spot saved - thanks dude.

I think we're in the 5th Floor actually; I'm not sure if there are plug sockets, but I'll bring my laptop with Eclipse Phase on it, and keep it off until yours runs out (just in case there aren't)

If I do play, though, we can do character gen at my flat if you want - it'll take 15 mins to walk there, but I also live 1 minute from the bus station - so you could leave for the bus much later. (And my flat definitely has plug sockets :P)

(Also, you can come over to mine before the game if you want - D said you'd arrive at 6:15 or something? I live right next to the bus station, and then we could get the car up to the Union at 6:35ish)

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Character Creation

Aye, about then. Hanging out at your flat before hand would be handy, means I dont have to wonder about Dundee for an hour or so looking for something to do

(Sorry about the slight derail :p)

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ShimmerGeek ShimmerGeek's picture
Re: Character Creation

Heh, s'not really a derail, it's your 'help with Character Gen' thread - you not being in the cold is helpful to you :D

Give me a PM on here or RPGNet or a buzz on Steam and I'll give you my address dude ^^