Question: How would you characterize the moments in this account in which stats are referenced or dice are rolled? What is happening in these moments? How do they differ from the rest of the account? How do they differ from each other (that is, how are the stats lookups different from the dice rolls)?
Stats and dice rolls are characterized as decision points that will guide diverges in the otherwise linear storyline/game play. A stats lookup is a conscious decision on what to focus on, while a dice roll is random chance – the butterfly effect in the game.
Imagine what kind of person you’ve just created based on these attributes. What personality is created by combining these attributes? Do you know anyone in real life who matches this mix of characteristics? How would you describe someone like this to a friend? What jobs would they thrive in? What are some situations in which they’d be really out of place? Write a paragraph describing your character as if they were a real person. Pretend you’re describing a friend or professor of yours to someone you know.
Character 1 – Jake
Jake is sharp. He can quickly understand the context of a concept, conversation, or joke. He’s very good at seeing other people’s point of view. He has good taste and a respect for quality. He would be friends with the jocks in high school, but not be one of them. He listens to all types of music that aren’t “country”. He loves adventure, but it also set in his ways. He wants to explore the world, but he likes eating the same thing for lunch every day. He uses an iPhone.
Now move the numbers around and do this again. Try to create a character who’s very different from your first character without just being the exact inverse.
Character 2 – Brad
Brad is an ambitious guy. He wants to be well liked, and could be described as a “networking”-type, but he doesn’t like that label. He cares about other people’s opinions more than he should, and he knows it. He takes good care of himself, waking up at 6am to do his morning jog. He occasionally chooses friends based on their popularity. He doesn’t like school, but gets good grades, just like all of the other social people.
Select a class for your character. While considering options try imagining a person with your character’s attributes in each of the 12 classes. How would they have ended up doing that job? How would they make it work even if it might seem wildly inappropriate on the surface?
Jake is a sorcerer. He has some charisma, but what he really brings to the table is an understanding of others. He can predict what his friends and enemies will do by understanding their motivation. While there are other sorcerers that have more charisma and better bloodlines, Jake always surprises others with how well he can keep up.
Brad is a fighter. He fell into this position he doesn’t love it. However, it’s admired in the community, and Brad always fights his way to the top, so he is usually considered the top dog.
As you read through the race descriptions, try each one on for size. How would they fit with the character you’ve been building? What story would you make up to explain your character’s experience growing up within this culture? Maybe they were emigrants so they didn’t grow up amongst too many people of their kind. How would that change their attitudes to their race’s mainstream values? Would they romanticize them or be embarrassed of the traits that made them different from their surroundings?
Jake is a human. In a world filled with eccentric creatures, Jake comes across as quite plain at first. Only when you get to know him on more than a shallow level do you learn about his passions, ambitions, and plans for the future. Jake sometimes wishes he wasn’t just a human, but realizes that this gives him the ability to play the underdog. When he hits, no one will have seen it coming.
Brad is a dragonborn. As Mr. Popular, he is proud of being a dragon born, and doesn’t really want to interact with half-rocs or high elves. Of course, he will be polite if he needs to be, but he’ll keep his distance so that others don’t notice his association’s with others.
Now select an alignment for your character. As should be familiar by now, start by exploring each option and imagining how you’d incorporate it into the existing portrait you’ve been building for your character. What stories can you come up with to make them make sense? Are there any alignments that seem to match particularly well with your character’s attributes, class, and relationship to their race?
Jake is chaotic good. He is light hearted, fun, and passionate. He wants to help others, so he does his best to do what he thinks is right. But he has no respect for the status quo, and no respect for rules. He doesn’t care what other people see as right or wrong, because those people often lack the perspective to see the big picture.
Brad is true neutral. He does what he thinks other people will want him to do. If it’s popular, it doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. He cares about being liked above all else.
For each one that you pick, write down what you think their strength, charisma, wisdom, intelligence, dexterity, and constitutions scores are. What’s the closest class to what they do in real life? What race’s traditions or aesthetic matches them? What alignment are they?
Martin Luther King, Jr.