…because the creation of a character is a game in itself

So, was reading a thread on the RPGsite,  http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=22579 (Why I think GURPS and Hero are having popularity problems), one poster said…

You know what I notice? The prevalent theme in this thread is character creation is too involved. Hate to bring another game into this but the prevalent theme for 5e is that the playtesters are saying over and over is KISS, I wonder if they have a point ….I’ll be over here thinking on it…..
To be fair I blank out if character creation takes more than 30 minutes. And that means for any point based system, my patience is far shorter concerning class based systems and their ilk..just sittin’ here in the corner don’t mind me…
Edit: Traveller. Burning Wheel, and the old game Swords and Sorcery/Castles and Crusades or Warhammer gets a pass because the creation of a character is a game in itself.

That mirrors something of what I have been thinking about in regards to The character creation vis-à-vis background/career template design in O:COTEC.  Originally I was going to have a detailed points-based super robust character creation system, built from the bottom up to merge with the high-level world design stuff. But over time that has seemed less appropriate. I have been thinking of ways to creating a ‘high-level’ language that can easily be converted into fine-detail at the character creation level.  So by using language like… The Brother Knights of Temelke are ‘Very skilled’ with sword-fighting and wield black-powder weapons, etc.  The idea is to provide some keyworded stuff that you can then translate into hard numbers based on a dial too. (i.e. that would give 10 or 12 skill score.

Of course, then it wouldn’t mesh with a ‘term-based’ life-path type system. So I am still working on how to manage the two (Ideally, the term based life-path mini-game should be able to provide a more detailed version of a career template, or whatever. It would be useful for the game if you could both whip out a templated description (city guard) or whatever, as well as do a multi-year lifepath.

In order to accommodate this, I pretty much have to chuck a classic point based system ala Hero/GURPS. Which I at first balked at, but now have decided is just fine. There can’t be any multiple levels of currency between saying, 1 term of the ‘brother knight of temelke’  career gives you +1 to sword-fighting, black-powder weapons, heavy armor profieincy, Lore(Temelke) etc. etc., as opposed to you can x points to spend on y category according to schedule z.

So I can see this as an area of major work for the design. Marrying high-level collaborative design language that can be easily converted into low-level character stats and such, without requring a bunch of point-balancing.

The only other thing, about the mini-game, especially with GURPS, is how having certain advantages lets you acquire skills etc, quicker or easier. Which is an element of GURPS character modeling I like. My super-genius dude got his pHD at 17 etc. My amazing talent for sword-fighting made me the best in the land. So maybe a simple rule that you gain +1 to your aptitude when opening a skill etc.

Something like this would be cool. Even if it is fairly simple, like having this advantage lets you add x to your stat score for determining when it costs you two skill increases to raise a level, etc.  (Thinking that letting your first training/increase in a skill grant you a base skill score equal to the related aptitude, with some minor mods. so I can provide a bit of tinkering/modeling in it, without super-detailed skill point costing.

Will post on Mystic Empyrean soon.

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