I mentioned in a previous post (The Lonely Rogue) about once retiring a character on the grounds of redundancy. If you’ll forgive “the let me tell you about my character” post, I’ll go into a little bit more detail.
The Star Wars D20 group in question was a reasonable size and we had a good spread of skills and classes. This was in the early days of my roleplaying so I had yet to fully understand what makes a good character versus an efficient device for solving puzzles. To start with the protocol droid character I created was very good at not a lot. As the game progressed, it got very good at hacking but not much else. Its meagre combat role was to use a large energy shield to block fire. Less a tank, more of a mobile wall. Unfortunately, it also had as much personality as a wall.
As I was shyer at the time, this lack of characterisation wasn’t much of a problem. But as I watched the characters in the rest of group become emotionally involved in the plot and expand their characters, I got increasingly tired of my character’s motivation being “because my owner says so”. The character was also beginning to become too good at its specialities, blocking out other characters and causing redundancies which I felt were reducing the opportunities of others.
In creating the replacement character I tried to make a personality first and then skills second, as it should be done. HiFi Bose is a gungan, an ex-detective who’s turned to booze to cope with his exile from Naboo. He wears a hat and smokes. Oh, and he speaks with a thick southern US drawl. As a scout, he’s actually quite competent in combat and has some useful skills. Unfortunately, since he’s never out of the bottle he’s normally so pissed he can barely walk straight. He overreacts, he’s prejudice and he gets angry. In HiFi I found what I didn’t know I was missing from roleplay games – the acting and the story.
So now I play a drunk frog and I love it.
Image Credit – Green Tree Frog by Stephen Micheal Barnett – CC BY 2.0