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Novice players, I implore you: Please don't load your character down with backstory. Family, friends, love interests, five back-to-back pages of your poorly-written history, hopes and accomplishments...Don't bother with that shit. As a DM, I will never use it, because I have to deal with the other four retards at the table, all of whom want spotlight too.

You are not the main character. None of you are, but especially not you, the guy who can't understand this simple rule. It's an ensemble cast at best, and I don't want you in tears when you get eaten by rats after an unlucky roll has you die in a pit trap.
Instead, just make a SIMPLE character, with not too much baggage. Let this, his FIRST adventure, be the most important event in his life, and have him develop organically.

I'm fucking begging you here, on my knees. I already have to pretend you idiots are heroes, don't force to pretend I don't hate you.
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>>79716886
>five back-to-back pages
That's fucked up, who the fuck writes 5 back to back pages? Anyone worth their salt on /tg/ is doing at least triple that.
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>>79716898
I wouldn't complain if it wasn't so shit
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>>79716927
Wouldn't even matter if it was great, as you said you still wouldn't use it because of the four other players at the table.
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>>79716947
Well, yeah. But at least I wouldn't have a sense of sinking dread when I have to read your backstory and how you killed your master after selling your soul to the devil for Stormbringer.
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>>79716949
>and how you killed your master after selling your soul to the devil for Stormbringer.
He had it coming. If he was a good master then I wouldn't have needed to sell my soul to the Devil. Learning to save the world from a guy with Profession (Baker) was a mistake.
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>>79716961
You're LEVEL ONE!
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>>79716992
Then I definitely picked the wrong master if he died to a level one Baker's apprentice.
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>I can't use your history for hooks because there's five whole players!

Shit GM. Lazy. And if your players get salty about spotlight they're shit too. Fuck all ya.
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>>79717054
Whatever you say. So...You still interested in getting through the Whispering Cairn? David wants your slot.
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>>79717081
>implying I'm not a GM myself
Yeah sure let him have it. I'm too busy doing stuff behind the screen here to enhance my players' experience and make them feel connected to the world, yknow since they obviously want that from their actions.

You just run door kicker lootshit anyways. Kinda boring.
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>>79717135
Whatever works for you, man. As long as we get through the campaign, everything else is just gravy. Let's continue this fucking Bataan Death March through the Age of Worms.
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>>79716886
I don't play DnD and I don't play with retards, so I actually WANT my players to have backstories.
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>>79717172
I bet you play Changeling, you fucking faggot
you sound like that kind of drama queen
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The amount of contempt people hold for their "players" on this board is pretty unfortunate. If your players want to play for the creative outlet and heavy role playing and you spurn that because you feel above it maybe the problem is with you. You are the common denominator at that point.

I've gmed for my personal friends for roughly a decade and have never had an issue "worrying about the other retards at the table"
It's a game, you don't have a deadline.
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>>79717188
You just cried about doing the basics if dming and called someone complaining less a "drama queen"
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>>79717202
> It's a game, you don't have a deadline.
that's where you're wrong, there's a deadline. 90% of games end with the group breaking up when everyone gets bored
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>>79717202
Players must be bullied into submission.
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>>79716886
Solid advice is
> create goals
> create backstory explaining your skills and shit
> create no more than three friendly backstory characters
> create no more than three antagonistic backstory characters
> each backstory character only needs TWO sentences
That is it. As a GM, that's what I require from my players and usually use at least one or two characters from their backstory, adding some quirks to them.
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>>79717202
> If your players want to play for the creative outlet and heavy role playing and you spurn that because you feel above it maybe the problem is with you.
PCs don't actually know what they want, because they're not honest with themselves. They don't actually like heavy roleplaying, they're lying to themselves and each other. I've been doing this for a decade, and they're happiest when they're killing shit.
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>>79717188
Changeling is probably a better game than DnD to be honest. Then again anything that's not FATAL or RaHoWa is probably a better game than modern DnD.

When THIS is the face of modern DnD, you don't get to complain about your players wanting to play Deviantart OCs.
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>>79717297
This hurts me right in the soul
look at that hideous gay clown parade
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>>79717318
I have no problem with the character being gay.

I have a big problem with the character and his party being total fucking faggots.
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>>79717330
I have problems with both, he's both a faggot and also a faggot.
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>>79716886
>Don't bother with that shit. As a DM, I will never use it.
Thanks for letting us know right off the bat that you're a shit DM. I'm sure it saves your prospective players alot of time too.

Meanwhile I'm sitting over eagerly consuming my players backstories as they write out campaign plot arcs for me. Oh, someone killed your brother? You can bet I'm gonna work that into the campaign at some point. Oh, you've always to revolutionize the world with your research, yeah I think you might have the chance to get funding from some rich benefactors who also want your research. Maybe they won't all have the best intentions for your research, it'll be fun to see what unfolds and how you deal with it.

I can't understand DMs who don't want their players to write FREE CONTENT for them. Like, I get it, we were all 15 once and burned by cringy teenagers writing god-awful stuff on fanfiction forums, but if you're playing with friends or adults or anything that's NOT ransom teenagers on the internet, it shouldn't be a problem.
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>>79717738
the bigger issue is when mr level 1 there killed three dragons by himself
either they were piss easy babby dragons or he's the sole survivor of three funnel campaigns
or he's a massive liar and braggart, which is an excellent character trait to work in but the player isn't thinking that way
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>>79717818
> the bigger issue is when mr level 1 there killed three dragons by himself
This, some of those backstories are fucking ridiculous
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>>79716886
>he doesn’t write an entire novel for his character backstory
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>>79717858
Literally no-one's going to read it. Ironically or not, I can't think of anything that's a bigger turn-off. If your application is longer than two pages, it's going in the trash.
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>>79716898
Not OP, but consider this:
I'm running games in local library as a side-project to my normal work there. On average, in every even-number group that forms, at least one person will have multi-page backstory. Regardless of game in question (because there are situations where long backstory is good, just rarely so). And despite not being asked for any backstory whatsoever.
Some people just do it because, for no apparent reason.
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>>79718646
And to clarify:
Good in sense of fitting the game in question, not good in sense of being well-written.
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>>79716898
>30 pages
Yeah I’m not reading that
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>>79718646
> Some people just do it because, for no apparent reason.
Some people are just really fucking dumb and attention-craving.
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>>79717202
>The amount of contempt people hold for their "players" on this board is pretty unfortunate
It's because the onlyplays faggots on this board are obnoxious as fuck
>Player characters are special snowflakes, you're a bad DM if you don't let them play as whatever freakshit race class combination they want
>Player characters are the main characters, they can't just be ordinary denizens of the world
>You shouldn't kill player characters, that's "boring"!
>Player characters should never die as a result of the dice, goblins/kobolds/rats are supposed to be fodder!
>Player characters should only die if they are stupid or "deserve it". Read: MY character shouldn't ever die unless I give explicit permission!
>We are at the table only to be entertained and have fun! It's impossible to derive enjoyment from playing the game well.
>Player characters shouldn't die from random encounters or undramatic moments, it's like a character in a novel randomly dying halfway through a book! Because we aren't playing a game, we're storytelling!

It's like these fuckers forgot they were playing a roleplaying GAME, and they came to the table to freeform roleplay and only use the game rules as a threat to prevent playground arguments.
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>>79720155
> It's like these fuckers forgot they were playing a roleplaying GAME, and they came to the table to freeform roleplay and only use the game rules as a threat to prevent playground arguments.
This, a roleplaying GAME means that something you die in hilariously pathetic ways.
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>>79716886
What if I write ten pages of character description & small life events that are of no significance but are feelsy pieces that identify his principles & desires in life, like Tom Sawyer painting his fence?
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>>79716886
If I have to put up with a hundred pages of your poorly-written novel over the course of the next year, you can handle a not-appreciably-worse character history that's way shorter than your shit. None of us are James Joyce, so don't act like your shit doesn't stink.
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>>79716886
>five back-to-back pages of your poorly-written history
Worst thing is when they always talk about how colorful their back story is, but don't let anyone read it. And you just know they're going to use the story of your campaign to base their own little fanfic on, except the other characters also all become furries.
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>>79716886
You sound like an unbearable cunt. I need to write mt backstory because it helps me figure out how to act as my character.
Moreovee, I put effort into my writing and think maybe if the GM is into it, he can read it. He doesn't have to, but its there.

That said, I wouldn't write a whole novel, but I dont know how much backstory isnreasonable for RPGs anyway and dont really care. Get gud.

Also, my experience is that no one fucking writes out backstory except me anyway.
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>>79716886
You're an asshole OP.
You sound like an absolute joyless, cocksucker.
If you, as a DM, organize a setting and story, and are getting your friends excited to join; and then you go out of your way to completely stifle their creativity so they can get fucked to death in your "magical realm". All because you're uninterested; you're a cocksucker.

But the real truth is, this didn't happen. Cock eaters like you don't have friends, and at best can trick some retards on Roll20 to join you for a 2-3 hour session.
And if it did happen, then you're a complete faggot for having to come here and complain. Instead of just talking to the player causing this "issue". But you know you're in the wrong, so you come here to shit up /tg/ like every faggot that plays D&D.
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>>79718544
>application
>Dnd is a job interview now
Just fucking make some friends. Theyre not as bad ad you seem to think, even if they're not Shakespeare.
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>>79716886
Half a page minimum, maximum one page it should contain
>early life
>teens
>up to present day
For me a players backstory is so I can incorporate them easier into the world and make their characters interested into the world
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>>79721116
Filtered
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>>79721303
Have you seen the number of pages in a job interview? Also, my friends have the decency not to waste my time with essays.
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>>79721116
> If you, as a DM, organize a setting and story, and are getting your friends excited to join; and then you go out of your way to completely stifle their creativity so they can get fucked to death in your "magical realm".
Confirmed for never, ever, not even once, having run a game. I'm sorry you've never actually played a tabletop game in your life, and live vicariously through lies and anecdotes.
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>>79717738
The free content is bad. No one wants to read your self-insert fanfic.
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>>79716886

>using written backstory

What's the year again, 1991?

That being said, if you don't GM as the PC are the main characters you shouldn't play.
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>>79722896
Reading comprehension
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>>79722773
Don't act like your own free content isn't just as bad, if not worse.
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>>79716886
I feel so bad for idiots who take your advice seriously, because I WILL give the spotlight to the player who has the best backstory, and I WILL show preference to them in designing and framing encounters.
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>>79717836
These backstories would fit in 4e, because 4e gets ridiculous with powerlevels.
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>>79723287
4e is also literally an mmo
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>>79724198
Wrong again, faggot.
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>>79717836
this is why mongrelmen need to be a thing
>>79720155
>they came to the table to freeform roleplay and only use the game rules as a threat to prevent playground arguments
That's exactly what it is. Personalities are pushing ttrpgs in that direction hard, mechanics are an unfortunate necessity to be tolerated and it's all about having a conversation between the DM and player. Thing is this happened before in the 90s and it damn near killed the industry, would have done so if it wasn't for 3e dropping and throwing these people's shit back in their faces with it's success focused on crunch and clearing dungeons.
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>>79716886
You see, I do the exact opposite: I actually REQUIRE players write at least ten page backstories, and that is the bare minimum. If it's under twenty pages, I end up ignoring it straight out. This lets me know the players are invested

Then I ignore most of it and make sure that at least one person, if not more dies every other session.
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>>79722597
>buzzwords buzzwords uhhhh buzzwords
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>>79716886
Based
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>>79721303
I wouldn't even read my own friend's novel if I was forced to, faggot.
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>>79716886
> It's an ensemble cast at best, and I don't want you in tears when you get eaten by rats after an unlucky roll has you die in a pit trap.
Sounds like a story in the making.
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>>79733365
In brief, everyone starts out fairly generic. Like 'Bob, the Fighter'.
Bob can only reveal himself as the King's son when he reaches Level 10 or something, because the King's son would never go down like a bitch: He's immune to being eaten by rats or whatever. His inherent kingliness just shines through when he's high-level. If he died, he was never the King's son, just a no-name.

At low-levels, you're nobody important as your PC might die. It makes sense to retroactively introduce them as you get higher-level. For instance, going "I'm the King's bastard son!" is going to fuck up the plot if you get eaten by rats at Level 1.
However, getting to say, Level 5 and going "I'm the King's son!" makes a lot more sense since you might actually see out your plot arc.
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>>79716886
>You are not the main character. None of you are...
I understand your pain but this isn’t true. Your players are the main characters to any game you run (not a hard rule but in general.) Honestly, it would be incredible rude to force the other people at your table to the side for an NPC.
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>>79733431
None of the PCs get to be THE protagonist. It's the GROUP that are the heroes. It's always 'The Heroes of the Lance' or some shit like that, never 'The Chosen One'.
It's the collective that is relevant. The PCs are just moving bits of it.

No single PC gets to have all the big hero moments, it's the party that is, collectively, the hero.
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>>79733392
How the fuck does it not make sense that a low-level character would be the son of some king?
>Everyone starts out fairly generic
This isn't how ROLEPLAYING works. You can make interesting low level characters with backstory, its just that their backstory can't involve experience or prowess that necessitates a higher level.

As for the whole letting them go thing is concerned, that's always a problem. Though, actually even then, there are ways around it. For example, in one well-received DnD pre-made campaign, they say that if you die to certain low-level enemies somehow, you actually just end up going getting rescued.

If you would even allow such high level nobility as that as a GM at all, then actually caring about whether or not a low-level PC is the King's son is just fucking lazy, as is not having any other way to satisfy a character who you would otherwise have to inexplicably and suddenly make the King's son even though there are many other ways for a character to gain that sort of position.
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>>79716886
Sounds like a guy who plays dnd. Any GM worth his salt loves this.
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>>79733588
Only high-level people get to be nobility.
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>>79716886
Newfags, ignore OP. He's a faggot choking on cock who (provided he even has games, he probably doesn't) is a shitty GM who will use the game as a power trip to dunk on you, or will run a boring, repetitive dungeon crawl where the world feels dead because he was too lazy to come up with any lore or existing places in the setting.

The player characters SHOULD BE the main characters and the focus of the game. They should be heroic - unless you're in a game focused on being evil, in which case you aren't stupid evil. You recognize the value of your party and their usefulness and don't stab them in the back.

While you might not need five back-to-back pages of backstory for a level one character, you should probably consider your character's friends, family, any love interests they might have back home, ask the GM what settlements best fit your character and their background, and you should also have a list of long term and short term goals, 3-4, for your character as well as acomplishments fitting of their level. If you start at 5th level for example (or the system's equivalent) the character will be well-known on a local level, RAW in D&D and should generally be recognized for their strength and skill otherwise.

A good GM will look at your backstory, work with you to make sure your character fits in the world, and do things - other than murder - with your family/friends/etc. A bad GM will either use your backstory as a way to try and hurt your character for cheap drama or just ignore it all and make you play the game THEY want, railroading you into whatever inane, poorly-written bullshit they've come up with. As a GM, I love it when players actually put in effort - it means they care about the game and want to try.

So ignore OP. Make characters who are actually grounded in the setting. And if your GM doesn't appreciate the effort? Find a new one. Because you aren't going to have a fun game, you're going to get railroaded through the GM's shitty novel.
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not trying to be mean but it sounds like you hate DMing and probably just shouldn't do it
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>>79720155
As someone who's done and still does plenty of GMing, let me rebuke you faggot:
>Player characters are special snowflakes, you're a bad DM if you don't let them play as whatever freakshit race class combination they want
If you put unreasonable restrictions on a group who want something different, you aren't a good fit for them. Play with people who like what you like.
>Player characters are the main characters, they can't just be ordinary denizens of the world
They are the main characters. Nobody cares about your shitty GMPC.
>You shouldn't kill player characters, that's "boring"!
If your main goal as the GM is to kill your players, you're a shitty GM and it is boring. Why? Because you have god mode on and can literally rocks fall them if you want, and throwing something way beyond their league and murdering them is just as bad.
>Player characters should never die as a result of the dice, goblins/kobolds/rats are supposed to be fodder!
If you don't want to leave things to chance, don't have them roll. I'd never make a PC roll to kill a normal fucking rat for example. It's a fucking rat. I could kill a rat.
>Player characters should only die if they are stupid or "deserve it".
Yes, if they play stupid games they should win stupid prizes.
>We are at the table only to be entertained and have fun! It's impossible to derive enjoyment from playing the game well.
It isn't, but if all you care about is mechanics and none of the actual roleplaying/narrative, you might find you have more fun playing wargames.
>Player characters shouldn't die from random encounters or undramatic moments, it's like a character in a novel randomly dying halfway through a book!
Yeah if your random encounters are so tough they can TPK the party with little effort, you're probably shit at building encounters.
>they came to the table to freeform roleplay and only use the game rules as a threat to prevent playground arguments.
That's what TTRPGs have always been retard.
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>>79733458
Whenever I game, I know that I am in a group, but your rant about no one being the chosen one seems to forget that you CAN give characters big moments. You just have to check in with the party later.

Honestly, sometimes, if someone is good enough at roleplaying or just on the ball enough that night, some extra dialog from them can be let slide if he doesn't hurt everyone's enjoyment. Everyone is the hero within the story they created so long as it doesn't interfere with the party's goals and its shitty and boring if PCs don't get to have things like speeches and backstories. Like, seriously, speaking of my own enjoyment as a player as well as my enjoyment every other PC as myself, fuck that.

Fuck that. I'm sick of going into parties and having no idea who is who and having to literally ask "uhh wait what was your thing again?"
Everyone needs to BE something. You talk about no one being The Chosen One, but The Matrix had Morpheus, too. The Justice League features Superman and Batman side by side. The X-Men has a nigh-invincible wolverine guy next to two crazy mind-readers and a woman who can absorb all the powers.

Yes, they're groups, but individually, they are all Chosen Ones, and if they're not their fucking boring, forgettable PCs that politely pass things onto me, yet bore me whenever they take their turn in combat or state some short boring snatch of dialog.

I've seen PCs that would give speeches to help the party and act to help the party, but reacted to my bandit character's conflict with how they treated money by just going "oh that's alright".

Fuck that shit. Everyone needs back story, everyone needs to be their own Chosen One just so long as they don't have a fucking Mary Sue that takes over the whole story.
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>>79733639
Explain how that makes sense.
Why does prowess instantly make someone nobility that is literally not how that works.
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>>79733746
What of it doesn't make sense to you? You start with a party of guys. However, one guy is clearly a born survivor / fighter. As he gets more magical weaponry and becomes increasingly hard-bitten, it's clear that he's someone special.

Then, at a dramatically appropriate point, he goes "I'm the King's son, and I'm here to reclaim the throne from the usurper!" And that makes sense, because you're already primed to go "Oh right, that's why he's a badass."
Someone without noble blood doesn't even have that potential, he would die like a redshirt. A character with a heroic bloodline doesn't die randomly.
Ergo, any low-level PC who died is categorically not of a heroic lineage. If he claimed to be of noble blood, he's lying or delusional.
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>>79717738
First of all
>but if you're playing with friends or adults or anything that's NOT ransom teenagers on the internet, it shouldn't be a problem.
You can probably guess many of us have problems, some which confer yet more problems. You know how it is.
Secondly, you can probably guess that we're not the only ones with problems. When grown ass adults come to me with their tweenage anime backstory for their characters, that I like to suspect they wrote as a teenager (but am likely wrong about that), it's a problem. When said adult is also a friend, well, you guessed it.

Thirdly, the backstories you're talking about are at best, ONE page, and the exact kind of backstories that aren't going to be a pain to juggle. You know who OP is talking about: [My] adult friends who write like teenagers, that's who he's talking about.

And I say problem a lot as if it's a big deal because to me, long ass backstories like that are a red flag. They indicate to me that the player isn't going to take losing, at what is essentially a game of chance, very well. With all that investment in their own character and their own power fantasy, dice are harbingers of the violation of that power fantasy, and the saboteurs of that investment. It's a recipe for disaster, and if the player of that character is a friend of yours, it's a fucking problem, yeah? Because now I have to juggle this obligation to my friend, but also fight it so the storm doesn't rip the group apart.
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>>79736181
> When grown ass adults come to me with their tweenage anime backstory for their characters, that I like to suspect they wrote as a teenager (but am likely wrong about that), it's a problem.

This. I'm actually afraid to play with my friends. I don't think I could see them the same way afterwards.
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>>79736220
There's no need to worry about that. Friends that write tweenage backstories for their characters are very noticably the kind of droks who you would expect to do such a thing. Give them the PSA for writing a terse backstory anyway, in case one of them gets the wrong idea.
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>>79716886
>i am a shit DM that thing i am the main character
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>>79736685
No you fucking idiot, the GROUP is the main character. No one PC gets to steal all the spotlight.
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>>79737524
That is YOUR JOB TO DO
AS WELL AS INTEGRATING THEIR BACKSTORIES IN THE WORLD CREATING HOOKS AND A REAL ENGAGING TO YOUR PLAYERS WORLD
IF AM JUST A RANDOM PESEANT OFC ILL TURN INTO A VIOLENT MAURADER
If i fight for my family or some backstory crap i have a goal and a reason to fight and be an actual hero
No wonder your players are just shitting around
They dont give a shit for the world
Yhey dont have a horse in the race so they dont give a shit
And i bet they dont care about their characters either and thats 100% on you
You are a bad DM and you limit their imagination on a game that requires imagination
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>>79737643
You don't have a game, anyway. What are you even complaining about?
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>>79733711
>They are the main characters. Nobody cares about your shitty GMPC.
You're dumb as fuck and a shitty DM if you think that line was about DMPCs and not about the player characters place in the world.
>If your main goal as the GM is to kill your players, you're a shitty GM and it is boring
Disregarding the rest of your post, you're clearly retarded if you think that was advocating adversarial DMing
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>>79716886
I'm sorry to hear that your players have to deal with a faggot like you
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>>79734319
Are you a fucking hardcore traditional English conservative or something?
Not everyone who is special has noble blood unless that's... a thing in your setting? In which case, wow that's retarded and boring unless you spent considerably time on that one fact.

Its more interesting to acknowledge the simple fact that nobility, whether or not they happen to have better base stats, are not inherently better than anyone else in the end. If anything, I would just make the noble blood thing based off of base stats, but genes are random so I don't know why someone couldn't hypothetically do it. I mean, if I GM'd and someone asked, maybe I'd want some clarification if it seems that might become an issue and, if he would have influence or whatever that would break the setting, explain that and have him cool down that particular idea.
>Someone without noble blood doesn't even have that potential
This isn't true. Commoners can marry royal if they get super lucky or be treated as special.
As far as stats are concerned, they can get lucky with that.

Also, we say bastards are different and don't have to have special stats... why? That makes no sense. Even someone with only partial god-blood like Hercules ascended to Godhood in Greek mythology, and that's an extreme example where we're actually talking about gods.

I don't understand why a setting absolutely must have the king be part of some crazy bloodline of ubermensch. Even the weakest monarch can have an army. Its all about how the rest of that realm is set up to receive a monarch.
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>>79737739
>n-nogames lol!
i hate DMs like you.
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>>79734319
>>79738425
In fact, commoners can become better than monarchs under the right circumstances; they can let this person act as King. They can have tremendous influence over him. In fact, some monarchs are installed in various ways by the powerful or lucky just so they can be a puppet.

Non-nobles can become employed at the castle, take charge of the army, perform assassinations, etc etc. There is nothing inherently and intrinsically special about monarchs other than the fact that they happen to have been born under the right bloodline.

You seem to think that for nobility, the second they're child pops out of their mothers vag, they are instantly a 20th level adult with max stats.

How fucking boring to think that no one could be any stronger in any way or in anyway rival nobility. That's the same as never having vampire killers or having gods in your setting, but never letting your characters actually be gods until suddenly one day they inexplicably write down on their character sheet "me prince now" and somehow this is not something an experienced RPer wouldn't just find was a terrible and frustrating thing that could affect so many aspects of everything that character did in the campaign.
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>>79717297
Mhmh.
Tell me, what was so cool about how the firbolg initially looked before being corrupted intro this?
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>>79716886
I'm currently in a campaign with my very first character, and I think I actually did the opposite problem, having too little backstory. I've been working on it since, very broad strokes ideas so the DM could fit the character into his world. Actually worked out well, turns out the character fit right into some existing world elements. There is one named character in my character's backstory, though that's partially because I have him planned as a backup character in case my current character gets killed or captured.
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>>79720330
>>79720155
Characters don't even need to die to fail. Why don't people get this?
Design it so that when death is a risk, ita interesting. Even then, if its such a problem the player would stop having fun, you can just let them make the character again
>B-but he's dead
Right. This is just for troubleshooting unideal situations. Even if the characters know this, both the GM and player both know when a character aught to die. The risk of death is still there. The player can be encouraged to think of a way to make it work.

>B-b-but anon bluh bluh bluh spdcial snowflakes bleh bleh blah risk of death

Shut the fuck up. Everyone knows TTRPGs are a little bit fixed/designed. Traditional dungeon crawling games don't make you care about the character because if they did the player won't have dun dying unless you design it right. Its been like qhat? 30, 40 years since DnD was released? We have video games now. If you want to learn how to design a campaign, there's all kinds of inspiration for that
>Inb4 video games have save points
But we know you can design around death, we know you can design areas and plot choices. Even though video games are designed differently, they still provide a plethora of ideas for as well as proof that you can engineer games in the direction that players want in many, many ways.


But honestly you're a faggot that needs to stop trying to "solve" death. Isn't this why people like TTRPGs? Because they're informal and malleable and not fucking video games?
If you want a traditional dungeon crawler GO PLAY ONE ON PC

For everyone else, we will continue to mix player creativity with GM design because why the fuck would you do elsewise? TTRPGs require the players to be fun characters. Sometimes, a GM has, or feels he has, to kill one to emphasize risk or whatever. Sometimes, this is just bad dice rolls. If a character is genuinely unhappy with it but nice about it, work with them. If they're a cunt and you can't reason with them, kick them
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>>79738965
>dun
*fun
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>>79738965
"You don't actually die, you get captured and imprisoned instead" isn't as interesting as you think it is, especially when it's the only real alternative to death.
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>>79717252
Then you're either just not a great roleplay GM, or an exceptionally good battle designer. I've had much more fun, or rather at least my fun has more to do, with character conflict, making my character's backstory, doing dialog, etc then I have doing battle. Battle is nice, maybe I have fun there, but that doesn't mean I don't need to care about my characters to have the most fun even then.

And honestly, I've had games where thr antics I engage in, the sunterfuge I do, are better than the battles.
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>>79738044
>You're dumb as fuck and a shitty DM if you think that line was about DMPCs and not about the player characters place in the world.
The characters' place in the world is as the focus of the story being told at the table. They are the focus, not whatever NPC/GMPC you fancy should be the focus. They should be the driving force of change in the world.
>Disregarding the rest of your post
The only retard here is you for doing that.
>if you think that was advocating adversarial DMing
You're literally bitching that anyone who doesn't try to kill their players isn't even a GM. Fuck off with that bullshit.
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>>79738566
> You seem to think that for nobility, the second they're child pops out of their mothers vag, they are instantly a 20th level adult with max stats.
Only nobles have the potential to reach those heights. Most people cap out around Level 3 or so. Only the right blood lets you go beyond that.
90% of people in the world are worthless fodder.
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>>79739190
>The characters' place in the world is as the focus of the story being told at the table. They are the focus, not whatever NPC/GMPC you fancy should be the focus. They should be the driving force of change in the world.
>He still doesn't get it
I guess you'll never understand because you fundamentally misunderstand my GMing style
The player characters aren't the driving force for anything other than themselves or what they have the power to effect. Simple as.
I'm not going to say the evil lord who wants to kill the party decides to imprison them and gloat and allow the party a chance to escape when he could have just as easily slaughtered them in the battle he already won, unless it's specifically that NPCs personality or it's advantageous to publicly execute captives.
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>>79739078
I wasnt even considering that, but that sounds actually amazing if done right. Ive played games where you have to escape a prison or have trouble with the law etc and they are actually very fun so I dont know what the fuck you're on about there.
If thats not the case, then that is why I said, or at least meant to say, its for troubleshooting issues or for situations where it would leave a bad taste, like they just started out.

Yeah, maybe to you its not very exciting if characters consistently don't actually die when they die, but if you need to, you can do keep them alive or just clandestinely work with the death rolls.

But yes, in some games this means your precious PC might get killed. Encourage the players to suck it up and have fun with a different character. Sometimes, I like death and try to ask for a noble one because I'm sick of playing a particular character and want to do something different.
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>>79739237
>they are actually very fun so I dont know what the fuck you're on about there.
It's not fun when it happens literally every time because it's the only reasonable alternative to a hostile force not killing you immediately.
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>>79739247
Read my post for once. I said its for troubleshooting. When a player gets very unlucky, or whatever the case. Of course irs not good if it happesn every single fucking time, but id you need it to happn every single fucking time, you're a shit GM.
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>>79739236
>The player characters aren't the driving force for anything other than themselves or what they have the power to effect
If they don't have the power to affect the world at large, what's the point of having them then? You're making them listen to your shitty failed novel with your NPCs being the main characters/protagonists instead of the players. It's no better than a GM using his GMPC to solve all the players' problems for them and then jerking them off. Nobody cares about your failed novel, shut the fuck up and run the game. If the players do something you didn't plan for, the answer isn't "no you can't do that" or "Rocks fall, everyone dies" you react and adapt. If they want to change the world, you give them the means to do so.
>I'm not going to say the evil lord who wants to kill the party decides to imprison them and gloat and allow the party a chance to escape
>he could have just as easily slaughtered them in the battle he already won
Then you're a shit GM. You're literally "Rocks falling" your players which is absolutely railroading and you just wanking off to your personal power fantasy because you're a weak, pathetic, powerless person in real life who has no control over anything and has to get that feeling of control from abusing his players. I hope they all dump your stupid ass and find a good GM.

You are That GM, and you don't deserve to have players.

>>79739247
>Enemy decides you aren't worth the trouble
>Enemy gets a message they're to leave you alive from someone above them and withdraws
>Something more urgent comes up they need to attend to, cutting the battle short
>NPC allies arrive and force the enemy to retreat
>Keeping the PCs alive and free but pushing them is somehow useful to the villain
Plenty of other ways it can go.
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Players shouldn't give me anything more than a paragraph summarizing their character.
I'd rather like to hear them talk about their character for an hour or two and input my opinion here and there, rather than them giving me their five page text info dump.
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>>79739374
A paragraph or two is really all you need unless you're starting at a higher level/whatever your system has instead. You just need those paragraphs to answer a lot of questions:
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How as well as some information that grounds your character in the setting; family, friends, where they're from, etc. I want my players' characters to feel like they actually belong in the setting and didn't just materialize out of nowhere.
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>>79739236
Which is fine if you let them have some control. The most powerful characters can usually be worked with so that they don't have a lucldicrous effect on the world. They way you erite this makes ir sound like you just want your villain to win or like you actuallt DO have a GMPC or a eh... GMPC group that acts as a GMPC to affect the story. If thats thr case, if your PCs have no effect on the story and no choices, then what the fuck are you doing?

I mean, yeah, you can design it so they pick certain things and have it only turn out a certain way that you designed even if they go to the "other", or even """wrong""" mountain, but if they're actually doomed to fail and you dont tell them that, or you do tell them that, but they cant fail in an interesting way, then thats on you.

PCs are major characters. Like it or not, thats the nature of GMing.
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>>79739412
>unless you're starting at a higher level/whatever your system has instead.
(Not the anon you responded to)
I agree with the idea that characters dont need long profiles to explain who they are, but if you think a starting character, even with the worst stats, can't have a colorful backstory that sounds like you're problem.
I basically agree or have no issue with everything else you said, but I'm just saying this idea pervading parts of this thread that only strong characters can have development is so fucking retarded.
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>>79739197
...okay so you're a troll. Noted.
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>>79716886
Damn, man, you're an awful DM.
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>>79739663
>I agree with the idea that characters dont need long profiles to explain who they are, but if you think a starting character, even with the worst stats, can't have a colorful backstory that sounds like you're problem.
It's more that I don't need your character's entire life story - just the important footnotes. Furthermore, lower-level/lower-power characters won't have the means to achieve the same things as a higher level character. If your Level 1 Fighter in D&D has already slain 10 adult dragons with ease, first of all that makes no fucking sense and second of all it leaves basically nowhere for them to go.
>I'm just saying this idea pervading parts of this thread that only strong characters can have development is so fucking retarded.
I find it's the other way around, weaker characters tend to have more development because their power grows. Stronger characters will, logically, have more under their belt in terms of actual achievements however.
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>>79739197
Based and nobilitypilled
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>>79739237
It's absolutely not. It sounds dull as shit, the GM pulling punches because otherwise the campaign is wrecked. I'd rather die, because at least that way I know my actions have consequences.
>>79739247
This, it feels absurdly contrived.
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>>79739768
>I'd rather die, because at least that way I know my actions have consequences.
If your actions have led you to the point where your only outcome is death, either you or the GM or both of your are That Guy.
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>>79739680
I'm entirely serious. Look at Exalted, where most people in Creation amount to absolutely nothing. The best way to get power is to be born into it (i.e. Terrestial bloodline, Godblooded, Ghostblooded and so on).
If there's a ruling caste, it's based on their ability to reach heights others can't. Life is not fair: the majority of people are completely worthless.

No one is special 'just because', the most reasonable explanation is that there's something special about their bloodline. Nobles are logically high-level, because they have the training, wealth and pedigree to make it so. Obviously the King is a high-level individual, though perhaps not the most optimized. Being Level 12 or so is a good representation of his power.
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>>79722581
>Have you seen the number of pages ina job interview?
I don't see the relevence
>Waste of time
>Essay
Theyre not writing technical manuals dipshit.
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>>79739811
Or, you know, because death is a logical consequence of combat. You're fighting evil monsters or equally dangerous opponents, when you go down they finish you off to stop you from getting back up.
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>>79739854
>Or, you know, because death is a logical consequence of combat.
Maybe if you like meatgrinders. I just run systems that don't have player death as an option for the most part, not really anyway. Death is boring to me as a GM because now I have to either wait an hour for the guy to put together a new character in the systems I run or he just sits there with his thumb up his ass. Fuck that shit.
>You're fighting evil monsters or equally dangerous opponents
Have you tried not playing D&D?
>when you go down they finish you off to stop you from getting back up.
If every enemy does this regardless of intelligence, you're That GM.
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>>79739909
> I just run systems that don't have player death as an option for the most part, not really anyway.
Confirmed for Critical Role bootlicker and 'narrative game' freeform enjoyer
You should fuck off back to your ERP ghetto like the rest of them.
Come back when you're actually interested in playing RPGs.
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>>79739909
> Maybe if you like meatgrinders. I just run systems that don't have player death as an option for the most part, not really anyway. Death is boring to me as a GM because now I have to either wait an hour for the guy to put together a new character in the systems I run or he just sits there with his thumb up his ass. Fuck that shit.
What kind of chickenshit carebear games are you even running? Oh that's right, you don't actually play any.
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Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>79716886
i don't give a shit about your autistic setting and gay plot hooks either, fag
i'm just here to ROLL DICE
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>>79739922
>Confirmed for Critical Role bootlicker
I tried watching season 1 and 2 and got about 15 minutes in before dropping it because I was bored.
>'narrative game' freeform enjoyer
And that makes you the average 'wargame' fan, which by your own admission makes me better than you.
>You should fuck off back to your ERP ghetto like the rest of them.
ERP is retarded, and you should fuck off back to wargames since all you care about is brutal, bloody combat where there's no rhyme or reason to any of it.
>Come back when you're actually interested in playing RPGs.
Clearly more interested than you because I've run and played enough that I know failure can take many forms and that death isn't a requirement for defeat.
>>79739946
>What kind of chickenshit carebear games are you even running?
Digimon Digital Adventures for one, Digimon can technically "die" but they just turn into an egg and reincarnate after some time passes (read: when the GM deems the PC has learned from the mistake that led to this outcome, which considering humans are shit in a fight means the PC gets cucked for being stupid) whereas humans are just knocked unconscious at 0 Wound Boxes and are taken out of the fight.
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>>79739987
> Digimon Digital Adventures
fucking hell
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>>79739909
Holy shit anon, Dora the Explorer has more narrative tension than whatever the fuck you're running.
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>>79740008
It's better designed and runs and plays better than anything you play, I can tell you that right now. D6-based, classless point buy, plenty of options and variant rules to customize things to your taste, and mechanics that actually support narrative play by encouraging characters to act in-character and giving mechanical support to character traits (unlike shit like D&D where your character is completely divorced from your mechanics unless you actively go out of your way to intertwine the two).
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>>79739837
>Life is not fair: the majority of people are completely worthless.
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>>79740030
>Dora the Explorer has more narrative tension than whatever the fuck you're running.
Dora the Explorer has more narrative tension than whatever low-effort meatgrinder you've put together too. At least in my games there are stakes that constantly matter. Your characters might not be in danger, but the same cannot be said for the people they care about or innocent bystanders. Now if you're a selfish that-guy who makes a loner edgelord in all his games (certainly not mine, be cause I'd shoot your character down at the gate) with no family and no friends in his backstory (or no backstory at all thus meaning you have no ties to the setting) I can get that you wouldn't care about other characters or even be able to roleplay caring because you're a sociopath, but for normal, well-adjusted humans it's something that's actually a threat and creates stakes.
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>>79739837
> Obviously the King is a high-level individual, though perhaps not the most optimized.
The King has to be high-level to at least avoid being shanked. If he can't even survive the occasional assassination attempt, it would make no sense for him to be King.
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>>79740076
Please stop, every word makes you sound more retarded.
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>>79740122
>>79740076
No, please continue, I haven't had this much fun on /tg/ in a very long time
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>>79740122
>NOOOO YOU CAN'T HAVE A LIVING, BREATHING WORLD WHERE PEOPLE OTHER THAN THE PCS EXIST AND THEY HAVE PEOPLE THEY CARE ABOUT!
>NOOOO THE PCS CANT CARE ABOUT OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE WORLD THEY'RE PLAYING IN THEY JUST NEED TO GO THROUGH MY SUPER BRUTAL DUNGEON WITH A MILLION HIDDEN TRAPS THAT CAN'T BE DETECTED NO MATTER WHAT WITH SUPER-DEADLY MONSTERS THEY CAN'T BEAT!
Fuck off faggot.
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>>79740076
> Your characters might not be in danger, but the same cannot be said for the people they care about or innocent bystanders.
> Your characters might not be in danger
> Your characters might not be in danger
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>>79739909
Not gonna lie, this sounds terrible. It sounds like all the things people despise about RPGs, including the inability to actually be honestly defeated.
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>>79740269
You can still lose a fight, but again if your PC only cares about themselves and/or the player can't roleplay a character who cares about the world they live in and the people around them, you might just be a sociopath and need to get shoved in a padded cell before you snap and shoot up a school.
>>79740310
>It sounds like all the things people despise about RPGs
You mean all the things (you) despise about RPGs - that is, the role-playing elements and collective storytelling experience, which most people these days seem to care more about. You're in the minority.
>including the inability to actually be honestly defeated.
You can be defeated without dying, and it can be done honestly due to losing a fight. Again, only lazy GMs or That GMs think that PC death is the most interesting outcome of a fight or even the most interesting "defeat" condition.
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>>79716992
A level 1 fighter is a life-threatening entity that could take out multiple lv1 NPCs
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>>79740517
No. No they really aren't. If a Level 1 fighter can get thrashed by shitty goblins (they can, easily) then Commoners with flat 10s across the board would win pretty easily.
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>>79740076
Anon, all those "stakes" are just cop-outs. They would be good for Saturday morning cartoons or generic capeshit where you cannot challenge the status quo of your main characters or your whole story is going to tumble down.
No matter the amount of relatives and innocent bystanders you kill, the heroes are never directly threatened. Because if you do and they lose - your whole campaign crumbles down.
Your world is built around the players - they are not a part of it.
And your generic, run-of-the-mill player will be equally invested, no matter whether it's his character's or his relative's life is at stake. As such there is no downside to considering a world where Bob the barbarian is executed by hobgoblin warlord instead of being imprisoned and how that affects the world - but alas, it seems like it is impossible for you to consider such a thing.
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>>79739340
>>79739556
The story is what happens at the table you failed writer faggots.
I don't prepare anything other than some plot hooks that might directly effect the players interests or content that is directly related to the players actions.
All of your examples of alternatives to deaths are absolutely retarded by the way.
>Hostile force inexplicable decides to abandon a fight they have a distinct advantage
Why were they fighting in the first place?
How do they answer to their allies who got injuries or died in the process?
Nonsense, I doubt you even run games.
>PCs are major characters. Like it or not, thats the nature of GMing.
No, player characters are the players characters. They are the same as any other inhabitant in the world. Everyone follows the same rules in the setting.
> You're literally "Rocks falling" your players which is absolutely railroading
lol retard every post you prove you're more and more stupid
>The only way for player characters to die is if they were railroaded into it.
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>>79740037
>furfaggot anime roleplayer
That explains everything about your opinions
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>>79739837
You're not a troll, yet you ignored everything single point I made that that's fucking boring and shitty for the most part. Or more importantly, its narrow-minded, as if no other setting could ever be interesting.

People don't usually play just any person because that's not fucking fun. No one cares about your supposed realism; they want to play something interesting and if its not impossible and doesn't interfere with how you set things up then why the fuck not just let them do what they want?
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>>79739837
>No one gets lucky
>No one is born into wealth
>Genes aren't random
>People can't have situations that emphasize only very specific traits about them
>Eugenics is reasonable
>Nobility never has power because of prior inherited power and their line is never watered down
God just shut up. Sure, you can born into power and sure, some bloodlines might do that, but not fucking everyone has to have truly special blood just to qualify for the ruling elite.

Fucking britfag.
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>>79742754
>>79739837
To clarify, I get when we are literally talking about gods or special things like that, but
>a) These are generally rare. If they are not, then the characters actually could just be these things because it would be normal
>b) Gods and whatever generally don't rule over the land proper. They often live secluded from normal races, and the ones that don't like Greek Gods live in special locations and preside over the realm differently
>c) Why do you still not understand the concept of luck and randomness?
>d) Why do you not understand the very reason democracy works?
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>>79742754
>just to qualify for the ruling elite

Oh no, now I did it. Now he's gonna fucking mistake my entire post and go after this one banal, pedantic mistake I made.
Well, before you do that, moron that you are, I will clarify that I meant to say have some similar traits to the ruling elite, but I know based on your posts, that this will only prolong this retarded debate where you essentially argue for the merits of absolute monarchism.

I can't think of a transition, so just go ahead and make the point I already know you're about to make.
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>>79717135
>I'm too busy doing stuff behind the screen here to enhance my players' experience
Ah yes you are too "busy" doing "stuff" to enhance your "players" "experience".
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>>79733588
>>79733746
No one gives a single solitary fuck if you're the old kings bastard son unless you're actually in a position to enforce that claim, which a low level character is not. The king probably has a lot of bastard sons, most did, but unless you can put together enough promises and shows of force to support you and act as an equal to those in power who would stand to lose their own influence from your ascendance, the nobility are under no obligation to recognise you.
If you create a character who knows from the start he's royalty, and they die, then that whole narrative is shot in the foot. It's just not a relevant detail for anyone until they're in a position to do something about it.
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>Play with my friends
>Discuss expectations with players before the session starts proper
>Have no problem with players writing backstories however the fuck long they want and intergrating it into the campaign while keeping everything else in check
>mfw
I guess I'm just built different OP.
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>>79743299
Only one of my players came up with a deep backstory. Don't really want him to become the main character of the campaign so I've avoided it altogether. Tried to prompt the other players into quests which concern their past but they've shot them down. Arseholes.
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This is a bait thread
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>>79743158
Okay, so I guess you aren't going that direction I started to wonder about, so that's good. I think I lost my head for a second.

But anyway, I just don't know about that. Being the king's son comes with a number of possibilities for how the character would act in and react to adventures, and their death can create narrative.

That's assuming he is the King's son. I can understand the issue of putting such a person in an adventuring group, but... I guess the real issue is that for me, I want to really develop my PCs and think through their past all the way through the campaign. If I don't do that, then they're just random characters who developed traits based on how I play and RP by default. I don't want to just play and RP by default; I want to make an interesting character with an interesting personality.

If we're just doing dungeon crawling, I guess that's one thing (and I don't really get pure traditional dungeon crawling in the age of video games), but if we are to roleplay, I want something to start with so my characters don't all turn out the same.

I suppose weak commoners can have personality and such too, but maybe I just feel that suddenly springing that on the party just comes off wrong? Then again, I do tend to rewrite my characters, so maybe that can make sense.

But I mean, I don't know how I can have fun and also not at least try make a character that I wouldn't want dead for first level. Still, it usually takes me a few sessions to develop my profile even though that's not ideal for me. Maybe I'd have to play a few games like that to get an idea how that plays out for me.

Of course, I'm more of a theater of mind roleplayer who would just suck up death if need be, and if the first level is too difficult or long or there's no guarantee I can RP a fun character that I would probably hate to have die, then that's not a game for me.
I want strategy and creativity with balance, but I NEED fun RP



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