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    Your Most Liberating Character

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    psychoticbarber
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    Your Most Liberating Character

    Post  psychoticbarber on Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:21 am

    I talked with Silverwulfmoon about this, but I want to hear what other folks have to say as well. It may not have come across yet, but building characters and character concepts is one of my favourite parts of gaming. I enjoy it because I've lived my time building the cliches that we all know and love (and hate, in some cases, like the Uptight Lawful Jerk Paladin), and for a long time now I've tried to find and build more varied, quirky, and outside-the-box characters.

    My question for you is: What was the character you created that you feel has freed up your imaginative insights in character creation the most?

    I'll give you my answer, so you get a sense of the question I'm asking.

    My character was a D&D 3.5 Half Orc Cleric of Death. Who was Neutral Good. Ignoring the fact that this might technically break an alignment rule, as we played fast and loose with those already, what began as a character created with the intention of finding the most internally conflicted character I could play eventually turned into a powerful realization that synthesizing seemingly-opposing values can be a great way to build a very strong character.

    Though he was a Cleric of Death, he very much took the belief that death is a part of life and ran with it. He called the personification of death "Grandmother," and described death in the terms of being lovingly embraced when the time was right. He was a healer as well; at first many of the other players found that an ironic juxtaposition, but over time it became the only way we could view the character. His catch phrase, if you could even say he had one, was "No. Now is not your time. Return and live."

    The arc of this character culminated for me in a particularly moving scene wherein he was unable to prevent the death of a beloved NPC, and so he gave the NPC his equivalent of last rites. At the end of some very moving roleplay work between myself and the DM, a hush fell upon the group, and we sat there in silence. Nobody cried, though I think I might have, if I hadn't been in the pastoral role I was playing. After about ten or fifteen seconds of silence, the DM said, "Huh... death is...nice? I never would have thought about it that way."

    Having the experience of this character liberated me to try combinations of things which didn't seem like they belonged together, only to find that almost any combination is possible with the right characterization.

    What was your most liberating character?


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    lordrahvin
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    Re: Your Most Liberating Character

    Post  lordrahvin on Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:44 am

    One of my players had a REALLY interesting character for the Birthright game back in the AD&D 2e days. We never really got a chance to play much beyond the first session, but he and I went through a private 1 on 1 session as well one time when we were bored.

    He wanted to play a Vos Paladin which was technically against the rules, but it was such a cool character we designed together than I had to allow it. The Vos are a tribal, barbaric, even savage race with their own weird honor system -- they are the legacy of a an evil army that lost a grand war ages ago. Now they live in the wintery northlands worshipping evil gods and fighting amongst themselves.

    Well, the background of this character involved this travelling paladin who was on a quest to destroy this evil warlord guy for crimes committed against his temple. They encountered eachother in the snowy north and they fought for three days, until the Vos barbarian finally lost. Rather than kill him, the paladin nursed him back to health and shared food and fire with him. The two travelled together and the Vos, misunderstanding the Paladin's quest to be a wholly appropriate (to his way of thinking) thirst for vengeance, took up the same quest. Along their travels the Paladin taught him strange concepts of mercy and protecting the week, and opened his eyes to a new religion. The paladin eventually died in a confrontation with the warlord, and the barbarian completed the quest.

    Now, unsure of what to do with himself, he adornes himself with the holy symbol and written works of his fallen comrade and journeys back to the land of Anuire with the body of the fallen paladin (which he routinely hides away when he's approaching a town). And thus, he attempts to serve the Light... as best he knows how.

    The player himself had a book (which was a random book that I pulled out of my backpack) and whenever he was unsure of what to do, he would open to a random page and read a couple of sentences in a proclaiming matter and would attempt to derive his answer from that. It was hilarious.

    "Should we rescue the princess or go after the dragon?"

    "Umm.. the Book of Light says 'Two men had entered the rough shelter. One of them, the older of the pair, was wearing a thick, fleece lined coat of black-dyed leather and he had an angry scowling face."

    "So...?"

    "We split up. You and I will go into the cave after the princess. The pretty two, you will chase the dragon."

    "Hey!"

    It made for a hilarious game dynamic that was very in theme and led to some interesting results every now and then. (The quote above was just an example of how it might work. I think the actual session we played involved a haunted house or something -- it was a long time ago and I remember the characters more than I remember the plot.)

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