Character Rosters



  • Okay.. I've been pondering this while I slowly work on theme for my place. Very slowly since it is just me.

    Now, I want to do a roster system and not in the 'typical' way (IE like Firan's or most mu*s in general).

    My thoughts on it is:

    1. They are not characters who hold any positions or power.
    2. They are more of a gateway into seeing if the mu* is for you/understanding theme.
    3. Their purpose is also for those that do not like to CG things (You can enjoy RP but not everyone likes creating characters)
    4. The roster would give a decent amount of insight to what staff expects from a CG for those who want to

    Over all the roster would be throw away characters, so to speak. Once taken it does not return. Either the player can keep it or it 'fades into the background' or used in some plot purposes. Either way it does not return to the list of rostered bits.

    The bits start as fluff bits but if a player perma keeps them staff can totally help them stop being fluff bits designed to introduce to the game. A footsoldier would not suddenly become a commander or something but maybe a General decides to randomly assign this private footsoldier to lead a mission and if they succeed they get promoted.



  • My brief 2c, I see no reason to have 'throw away' roster characters. If I'm going to play something lame like a tailor nobody gives a damn about, with no interesting motivations or secrets, I'd probably just want to make them myself, so I can dictate their personality/description/name.



  • You're also setting yourself up for a LOT of staff overhead with that. If you want a roster of throwaways, you'll constantly be restocking them. And if you aren't putting good work into them (as I sure wouldn't for a roster full of throwaways), are they really a good example of what you expect out of CGs?



  • @Kanye-Qwest I think it would be because then you see how staff expects backgrounds done what they consider 'balanced' numbers, how much details on descriptions, personality stuff, etc. Basically what you would need to do to get approved swiftly. And I don't think it would constantly need replenishing. Setting a 'X is the lowest amount of PCs on the roster.' makes it not need constant updating.

    @Tempest Not everyone /wants/ to put effort into a CG bit if they are trying out a game. Some don't even /like/ to make a CG but they like to take bits places.



  • People jumping into the RP genre typically don't need help fleshing out their own characters. Roster characters succeed when they are specifically seeded to fill a position in a staff metaplot, i.e., opening up 5 slots for a special antagonist clan or something. They fail when they're pre-written characters people will look at and go 'I can execute this better my own way'.

    If you want to specifically help newbies get into the game, it'd be better to sheet up starter templates and let people do the creative work themselves. E.g., stat a typical soldier, stat a typical crafter, etc.



  • @acceleration I know lotsa people who would prefer not to CG on a new game until they get a feel for the game and don't look for the 'important positions' until they get a feel. Might be just the types of people/places we roll with.



  • @icanbeyourmuse

    If the issue you want to address is people not liking chargen, your chargen requirements may be too clunky and/or are encouraging people to write novels about a PC's background. Trimming it to a minimum will get characters on grid faster and RPing faster, which in turn is the best way to get people to understand the setting.

    Encouraging PC turnaround ICly via not punishing death particularly hard and making death/retirement happen a lot is also a good method as it weeds out dinosaurs and gets players to feel more comfortable apping characters if they don't feel they're going to be super locked in, but that's a side tangent.


  • Pitcrew

    @icanbeyourmuse said in Character Rosters:

    @acceleration I know lotsa people who would prefer not to CG on a new game until they get a feel for the game and don't look for the 'important positions' until they get a feel. Might be just the types of people/places we roll with.

    Why bother asking people what they think when you already have all the answers and are just going to respond like this?


  • Pitcrew

    @Sunny Looking for bias confirmation. People like when people agree and if you think you're right about something you like to hear other people say the same.



  • This is a concept that I can get behind. Non-named, statted, with a blurb about what they are and people can just grab-and-go. We're doing this for the Tremere-specific game our LARP has coming this next weekend with things like 'The Modernizer' or 'The Antimagic Experiment' or 'The Archaeologist' which keeps the gender and stuff fluid and able to be played by any player.


  • Pitcrew

    @Bobotron
    I have seen something like that done for larps a few times. One of the local guys would run short term larps (3 to 5 sessions) and then make all the characters up but leave the backgrounds and personalities open.



  • @ThatGuyThere
    It's what we do for convention LARPs or special event LARPs like this one.


  • Pitcrew

    @Bobotron Right, it works well in Larping, because often people will drag their friends along, or people will come at the last moment or the ST/Ref wants people to get a feel for the game before they come to a chargen meeting.

    One of my best larping experiences was going to a WoD larp for the first time and getting pre-generated characters. Golcanda was coming, vampires had made themselves known and I was a mortal camera man and my best friend was a reporter. I kept pushing him and egging him to ask and say more and more dangerous and awkward things to 'get the shot'.


  • Pitcrew

    @Bobotron
    These were college based, so he would start them up about a month into the semester when there was free time a plenty then have them wrap up right around mid-terms, then repeat the next semester.



  • @DnvnQuinn
    Yeah. That sounds like a fun concept.

    Now, the roster concept of 'disposable' PCs could work if, say, the baselines were extremely simple. Build the PCs at a baseline (so, for example, my vampire game I'm building, they'd all be built as base PCs without the XP floor, essentially as 'trial' characters, already done up by staff with blurbs about what they are, a LITTLE personality, and some other info). Give people two options: play and return the temp PC (if they die, then they die), or they can 'upgrade' it to a normal PC, and then go through the last part of chargen.

    I think it could work, really.



  • @Sunny I am just responding with my thoughts on it and /why/ it is why I was thinking like that. I am not certain to how I am 'stopping people from giving their thoughts. I don't care if people agree or not. @Kanye-Qwest asked a question and I responded.

    @acceleration I've not fully decided how I am going to do my chargen. The people I have talked too (and still do) on a semi-regular basis are a lot of the sorts who hate to CG in general, as in they even hate going on a place like Shangrila and don't enjoy CG. I know /I/ would prefer a game where I can pick a bit, knowing staff did it, to 'test the waters' before deciding if I want to take the time to CG. Although, at the same time I, in general, prefer to CG. having the option there is a lot more interesting, to me. The reason I am not a fan of 'returning' bits to the 'roster' is because, often there's the 'That's not how Y was played previously' and people trying to control how someone plays a bit.

    I am not against filling important positions with rostered bits I just worry about the fact, say, PlayerA wants to be the Queen of England but said Queen is a bit on roster. So, PlayerA might think obtaining that title is impossible because it is 'already filled.'

    I admit I am very much a worrywort.


  • Pitcrew

    Here's my actual view. CG in my view is such a integral part of Mush's. Muds can get away with shitty CG, all you're usually doing is powerstatting anyways. But with Mush's and Moo's, you're developing a character whose going to help tell stories. If you're not going to put in the work to develop a character, then how can I believe you're going to put in the work to tell a story with me? Even if you grab a pre-made character to test it out, if you have the option to keep it, well you're still not putting in any effort in the end. You're just moving a puppet instead of playing a person.



  • I personally have a love/hate response to most rosters on mu*s. I love them because it can give me a chance to dive into a game (assuming it's a roster you can just pick from and hop IC immediately and not have to do anything CG related with them) and give things a try. I also hate them because you're stuck with all the past history unless the game has some kind of reboot policy that allows you to ignore all the past RP and all that. Yes, I know that you can technically take the rostered character in another direction from that point on, but yeah.



  • I like rosters if they don't go into too much detail about a character. Just give me a name, a concept, and a pre-made +sheet, and that's awesome. Gives me an easy jump-off point to make something m y own. Give me a background filled with details I can't deviate from and map out every relationship for me? I'm NOPE! on that.



  • What you're describing with the 'queen' scenario seems like something that could be handled with something else, kinda. I hate always pointing to Shang, but they have the +gov setup, which lists available positions. If there's an NPC in the position it's noted, if it's open it's noted, and if there's a PC in the slot, it's named. Something like that might work out for what you're wanting.



  • @Apu Same here! It's nice to have a jump in buit and make them my own. Hence why I don't want them to go back to roster because then it eliminates the past PC interactions and trying to live up to some ideal way of playing the PC.

    @DnvnQuinn Totally makes sense to me. Though, at the same time I have seen amazing background stories that are in depth and well done but then the PC falls flat. So, I don't know that how people CG is hugely indicative to how they will RP and the effort they will put in. So, I think both roster and no roster have pros and cons in that aspect.


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