Least sensible character concepts...

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
characters and games, not intentional silliness.)

By least sensible, I mean choices of advantage or disadvantage or
skills that make no sense in light of what the character is supposed to
be doing or the situation, or that are counterproductive. True, some
intense roleplayers might deliberately like the challenge of a
mismatched character, but it's usually clear what was intentional hard
roleplaying and what just made no sense.

That could include suggested characters that the GM vetoed, too.

For ex: a vampire hunter character who chooses hemophilia and Weak
Will as disads, or a character who is supposed to be an experienced
infantry soldier with Combat Paralysis and a Phobia of loud noises and
blood and mud, and no weapons skills.

Or perhaps a character who will be playing a TL7 naval officer, who
puts all his pts into Desert Survival and Forestry. Things like that.

Shermanlee
13 answers Last reply
More about least character concepts
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Well, not so much least sensable, but I have been in two games now where I
    brought in a character, only to have it rendered useless by circumstances
    ingame.

    The first one was years ago when we were told to build characters for a
    modern game. So I built mine with all sorts of useful modern skills - I
    think she was a photojournalist or something - and a complete equipment
    list.

    Then, not even ten minutes into session one, we find our characters
    transported into a futuristic setting with only the clothes on our backs and
    what we were carrying, where we're caught in the middle of a galaxtic war!
    Trust me, I was NOT impressed!

    The next time was when I had to switch characters in an L5R game. I had
    been playing a Scorpian clan samurai character, and decided to switch over
    and play a Crain clan artisan. Unfortunatly, when I brought the character
    in, we were still in Winter Court, so I brought someone with lots of
    diplomatic and court intrigue skills into the game; next thing I know, our
    characters are off to a war skirmish setting, and I'm left there twiddling
    my thumbs most of the night because my character is berift of combat skills.

    (Yes, I had talked things over with the GM before bringing in the new
    character.)

    Dave
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On 2005-06-14, Johnny1a <shermanlee1@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    > sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    > or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    > characters and games, not intentional silliness.)

    Well, there's the time I started a game, and the GM had a rep for
    Illuminated games. It was my first time playing GURPS, so I picked a
    character I thought would be interesting, a cop. I'd have to work my day
    job while investigating the cultists or the cabal or whatever. I was
    looking forward to that kind of personal conflict. Especailly since he
    was trying to make ther SWAT team in his day job, so we'd have access to
    neat weaponry if I really needed it. In the first game session, magic
    comes back to the world, and I'm transformed into a midget with
    cannibalistic tendencies. Modern weapons and technology don't work any
    more. Society collapses, along with most civilization. I'm so glad I
    agonized over investigation skills, buying up police rank, weapon
    skills, and contacts in the department.

    When I went insane and decided to run a Traveller game right after the
    debut of GURPS 4th Ed., my wife decded to get back into gaming. I had
    everyone else a really good idea of how they fit into the crew. But my
    wife, who had Firefly on the brain, decided to play a rich woman who
    decided to leave the family business, and become a cargo handler. When
    other characters were trying to find some saboteurs who were messing
    with a patron's warehouses, she decided to go out partying, and took the
    muscle along with her in case of trouble.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Johnny1a wrote:
    > The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    > sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    > or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    > characters and games, not intentional silliness.)
    >
    > By least sensible, I mean choices of advantage or disadvantage or
    > skills that make no sense in light of what the character is supposed to
    > be doing or the situation, or that are counterproductive. True, some
    > intense roleplayers might deliberately like the challenge of a
    > mismatched character, but it's usually clear what was intentional hard
    > roleplaying and what just made no sense.
    >
    > That could include suggested characters that the GM vetoed, too.
    >
    > For ex: a vampire hunter character who chooses hemophilia and Weak
    > Will as disads, or a character who is supposed to be an experienced
    > infantry soldier with Combat Paralysis and a Phobia of loud noises and
    > blood and mud, and no weapons skills.
    >
    > Or perhaps a character who will be playing a TL7 naval officer, who
    > puts all his pts into Desert Survival and Forestry. Things like that.
    >
    > Shermanlee
    >
    Well the one time we are told to make characters for Shadowrun 3rd (yeah
    not GURPS but...) so I decide to avoid as much as possible the standard
    combat monsters and archtypicalness of the whole thing, I make a
    Detective crossed with a Physical Adapt (but a physical adept with no
    awesome hand to hand abilities, most of it was enhanced sense with a bit
    of firearm boost (pistols), for those playing attention yes this is
    roughly the Sentinal from TV). Well turns out it is not a street game
    but a corporate game (yeah I'm almost totally useless). Then we get to
    fight some monster that is immune to non-magical attacks (now I'm
    completely useless). Whats worse is that all the other players are
    encouraging me to engage it in hand to hand combat because "Your the
    Physical Adept and you can hurt it with your fists." *sigh* (note it is
    not that I was bad at combat, just that all of my combat skills revolved
    around guns, mostly pistols; "I aim, I shot him, 15 dice looking for 2's").
    Ken
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    "Johnny1a" <shermanlee1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1118723897.615117.88180@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    > sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    > or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    > characters and games, not intentional silliness.)
    >
    > By least sensible, I mean choices of advantage or disadvantage or
    > skills that make no sense in light of what the character is supposed to
    > be doing or the situation, or that are counterproductive. True, some
    > intense roleplayers might deliberately like the challenge of a
    > mismatched character, but it's usually clear what was intentional hard
    > roleplaying and what just made no sense.
    >
    > That could include suggested characters that the GM vetoed, too.
    >
    > For ex: a vampire hunter character who chooses hemophilia and Weak
    > Will as disads, or a character who is supposed to be an experienced
    > infantry soldier with Combat Paralysis and a Phobia of loud noises and
    > blood and mud, and no weapons skills.
    >
    > Or perhaps a character who will be playing a TL7 naval officer, who
    > puts all his pts into Desert Survival and Forestry. Things like that.
    >
    > Shermanlee
    >
    An imaginary Bigfoot that most people can't see, and those that saw it,
    didn't believe. It just lurked. That's it.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Johnny1a wrote:
    > The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    > sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    > or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    > characters and games, not intentional silliness.)
    >
    > By least sensible, I mean choices of advantage or disadvantage or
    > skills that make no sense in light of what the character is supposed to
    > be doing or the situation, or that are counterproductive. True, some
    > intense roleplayers might deliberately like the challenge of a
    > mismatched character, but it's usually clear what was intentional hard
    > roleplaying and what just made no sense.

    Old GURPS Fantasy campaign. 100 point starting character. Player insists that
    his character is an archer. Gets upset when another (more experienced)
    character is a better shot that his character, because, after all, his character
    was "designed to be an archer".

    Did I mention that his character bought the Weretiger advantage? For (then) 40
    points (out of 100)? And never used his were form, because the character felt
    that it was a source of shame? But couldn't understand why his (effectively) 60
    point character was less effective than another (probably at that point) 110 or
    120 point character?

    He later got slightly put out when the fact that he was a were was revealed, and
    none of the other characters hated him for it. (They all thought it was cool)

    I all fairness, he was a very well designed 60 point archer. It's just ...

    --
    Andy Luddy
    Remove appendix to reply
    aluddy.appendix@adelphia.net
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:13:20 -0400, Ken Vale <k3nv4l3@r0g3r5.com>
    wrote:

    >Johnny1a wrote:
    >> The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    >> sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    >> or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    >> characters and games, not intentional silliness.)
    >>
    >> By least sensible, I mean choices of advantage or disadvantage or
    >> skills that make no sense in light of what the character is supposed to
    >> be doing or the situation, or that are counterproductive. True, some
    >> intense roleplayers might deliberately like the challenge of a
    >> mismatched character, but it's usually clear what was intentional hard
    >> roleplaying and what just made no sense.
    >>
    >> That could include suggested characters that the GM vetoed, too.
    >>
    >> For ex: a vampire hunter character who chooses hemophilia and Weak
    >> Will as disads, or a character who is supposed to be an experienced
    >> infantry soldier with Combat Paralysis and a Phobia of loud noises and
    >> blood and mud, and no weapons skills.
    >>
    >> Or perhaps a character who will be playing a TL7 naval officer, who
    >> puts all his pts into Desert Survival and Forestry. Things like that.
    >>
    >> Shermanlee
    >>
    >Well the one time we are told to make characters for Shadowrun 3rd (yeah
    >not GURPS but...) so I decide to avoid as much as possible the standard
    >combat monsters and archtypicalness of the whole thing, I make a
    >Detective crossed with a Physical Adapt (but a physical adept with no
    >awesome hand to hand abilities, most of it was enhanced sense with a bit
    >of firearm boost (pistols), for those playing attention yes this is
    >roughly the Sentinal from TV). Well turns out it is not a street game
    >but a corporate game (yeah I'm almost totally useless). Then we get to
    >fight some monster that is immune to non-magical attacks (now I'm
    >completely useless). Whats worse is that all the other players are
    >encouraging me to engage it in hand to hand combat because "Your the
    >Physical Adept and you can hurt it with your fists." *sigh* (note it is
    >not that I was bad at combat, just that all of my combat skills revolved
    >around guns, mostly pistols; "I aim, I shot him, 15 dice looking for 2's").
    >Ken


    continuing with the shadowrun i played with a chap who had bogart on
    the brain. he played a private eye right out of the maltese falcon
    genre with his one concession to shadowrun was that he chose for some
    reason to be a negamage. negamage is essentially a person who is
    impervious to magic and as far as magical forces go simply does not
    exist. now of course to get this he had to forgo any manner of cyber
    goodies. he also didn't wear any body armour for some reason.
    basically if there was a fight he was dead last to go every single
    time and exploded like a meat balloon if he got hit. spent about half
    the campaign getting very expensive medical care (to preserve his
    negamage status). he was immune to a number of spells including all
    healing hehe but the heavy damage causing spells create a physical
    effect to which he was not immune to (should have heard the bitching
    first time he got fireballed). the only time it paid off for him was
    when a villain tried to sic an elemental on him which led to a sort of
    demented who's on first routine as the ele tried to figure out what in
    heck the boss wanted him to kill.

    never could really figure out why the other char kept that guy around
    because he was virtually useless.
    --
    "Ineffective, unfocused violence leads to more violence. Limp,
    panicky half-measures lead to more violence. However, complete,
    fully-thought-through, professional, well-executed violence
    never leads to more violence because, you see, afterwards, the
    other guys are all dead."
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Johnny1a <shermanlee1@hotmail.com> wrote:
    : The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    : sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    : or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    : characters and games, not intentional silliness.)

    Well one of mine that was a 100 point gurps fantasy character. I
    though we were going to play a city kind of game and created this
    guy with 25 pts Very Handsome, 10 pts Voice, 15 pts Danger Sense,
    15 pts Luck kind of guy whose primary interest was in wooing
    ladies. He had Danger Sense and Luck to get him out of house
    _before_ the husband gets in :)

    Of course in the first campaign we go into woods and do not see a
    single living and intelligent creature in the course of the game
    (apart from those few that try to kill us). And the GM keeps
    forgetting that my char has Danger Sense...


    --
    Mikko Särelä
    "I find that good security people are D&D players"
    - Bruce Schneier
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On 13 Jun 2005 21:38:17 -0700, "Johnny1a" <shermanlee1@hotmail.com>
    wrote:

    Well I had a friend who had a penchant for making weird-ass
    characters. In a Space/Magic GURPS game, he was a dwarf with dwarfism
    (so he only stood about 1-foot-nothing and made for a nice chew toy
    for security dogs). Then we had a fantasy game where he decided to be
    a hobbit with gigantism, so the hobbit was 6-foot tall...

    * Robinson
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    forkliftramp.com <Brian_knowspam.McDonald@shaw.ca> wrote:
    > On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:13:20 -0400, Ken Vale <k3nv4l3@r0g3r5.com>
    > wrote:
    >>>
    >>Well the one time we are told to make characters for Shadowrun 3rd (yeah
    >>not GURPS but...) so I decide to avoid as much as possible the standard
    >>combat monsters and archtypicalness of the whole thing, I make a
    >>Detective crossed with a Physical Adapt (but a physical adept with no
    >>awesome hand to hand abilities, most of it was enhanced sense with a bit
    >>of firearm boost (pistols), for those playing attention yes this is
    >>roughly the Sentinal from TV). Well turns out it is not a street game
    >>but a corporate game (yeah I'm almost totally useless).
    >
    > continuing with the shadowrun i played with a chap who had bogart on
    > the brain. he played a private eye right out of the maltese falcon
    > genre with his one concession to shadowrun was that he chose for some
    > reason to be a negamage. negamage is essentially a person who is
    > impervious to magic and as far as magical forces go simply does not
    > exist. now of course to get this he had to forgo any manner of cyber
    > goodies. he also didn't wear any body armour for some reason.

    For my first Shadowrun character (1st edition, I think) I decided not
    to make one of those boring streetsamurai or mages or shamans. It was
    a dwarf with a gun, a workshop, a helicopter, and generally some pretty
    cool stuff had this been a GURPS campaign. In Shadowrun combat, however,
    he was completely useless. Everybody else was just so much better,
    because they were streetsamurai, mages and shamans.

    Another, more sensible useless Shadowrun character was a fixer. She
    was still useless in combat, but at least she had lots and lots of
    contacts and could find almost anything.

    As revenge for my first useless character, I also once made the ultimate
    Shadowrun killer character: a shaman with dozens of spell locks, a power
    focus, one bit of cyberware that magic couldn't duplicate (the +2 bonus
    on guns). In combat, she could fly invisibly and fire on full auto with
    her AK-98 with stupidly high initiative, and she could still cast spells
    whenever that was needed. She couldn't summon spirits, though.

    Fortunately, spell locks were nerfed at the next edition.


    mcv.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    I had a player in my first campaign build his combat abilities around
    using puppets. When he later quit the group I made his character an
    insane NPC villian, and it was way creepy.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    Kent Allard wrote:
    > It seems to be that more than half of the "Least sensible character concepts"
    > were generated by players who didn't know what game they were playing thanks to
    > D*mb *ss GMs.

    And then there are the *unfocused* GMs. I still like my Werewolf
    character, at least in part because I based him on myself, in the false
    expectation--as it turned out--of having to LARP with him. So he was
    fifty-something, just barely came into his were powers, explaining why
    he was my age but skillwise a cub. Ragabash [the trickster aspect],
    because that's my actual birth moon--looked it up in an ephemeris.
    Glasswalker--the urban tribe--CFO [Chief Financial Officer] of the big
    telephone company in our state: A fixer. Yes, talked it over with the
    others and especially the GM.

    So we never did Live-Action Role-Playing, and there were accessible NPCs
    who were way more competent fixers in the milieu.

    Someday I'd like to play him in a game where inter- and intra-tribe
    politics matters. White Wolf provides some rich background for this,
    but I'm not good enough to produce an adventure from it.

    --Harrison Debenham Redsmith, III, at your service. Call me Harry!
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 01:48:38 -0400, "Dave"
    <dgreenlaw_no_spam@rogers.com> wrote:

    >Well, not so much least sensable, but I have been in two games now where I
    >brought in a character, only to have it rendered useless by circumstances
    >ingame.
    >
    >The first one was years ago when we were told to build characters for a
    >modern game. So I built mine with all sorts of useful modern skills - I
    >think she was a photojournalist or something - and a complete equipment
    >list.
    >
    >Then, not even ten minutes into session one, we find our characters
    >transported into a futuristic setting with only the clothes on our backs and
    >what we were carrying, where we're caught in the middle of a galaxtic war!
    >Trust me, I was NOT impressed!
    >
    >The next time was when I had to switch characters in an L5R game. I had
    >been playing a Scorpian clan samurai character, and decided to switch over
    >and play a Crain clan artisan. Unfortunatly, when I brought the character
    >in, we were still in Winter Court, so I brought someone with lots of
    >diplomatic and court intrigue skills into the game; next thing I know, our
    >characters are off to a war skirmish setting, and I'm left there twiddling
    >my thumbs most of the night because my character is berift of combat skills.
    >
    >(Yes, I had talked things over with the GM before bringing in the new
    >character.)
    >
    >Dave

    I think we've all had this kind of thing happen to us. It can be
    pretty amusing to role-play your character but eventually it
    dawns of you that a) the other PCs would not want to associate
    with someone so useless and b) for your own safety you should
    not be confronting Demons and Undead (for example) all the time
    when you have neither combat skills nor any effective magic to
    counter these creatures with. The narrative more or less demands
    that you retire the character no matter how fond you are of
    them. Looking back I find a good third of my characters are
    useless to varying degrees.
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

    In article <1118723897.615117.88180@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> on 13
    Jun 2005 21:38:17 -0700, shermanlee1@hotmail.com (Johnny1a) wrote:

    > The point optimization discussion got me curious: what are the _least_
    > sensible character concepts that people have encountered, etiher as GMs
    > or players or other players, etc? (I mean for fairly serious
    > characters and games, not intentional silliness.)

    Fire mage with Pyromania. In a no-mana-zone, which he knew 90% of the
    campaign would be in.

    I learnt to rule out stupid characters after that.

    --
    Richard Gadsden
    "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death
    your right to say it" - Attributed to Voltaire
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