Volume 7: Character Classes & Role Playing Score
Volume 7: Character Classes & Role Playing Score
Salutations! I hope you are all having a great day! (and night!)
In the following post I will be introducing one of my Character Classes to you and with it, one of the new flair ideas I have for tabletop gaming as a whole, something I call RPS.
Character Classes are ‘playable’ character types designed to be used in a tabletop gaming experience. MOST of the time when showing a new character class there are a lot of stats and numbers etc..., and I do have those, and badly badly want to give them to you ha ha. However initially I will not post these with the entire added minutia because I don’t want to overwhelm anyone just getting into this for the first time. What (I hope) will happen in the future is that we will have enough people interested and that there will be requests for the stats that go with character classes and I’ll be able to provide that info in supplemental posts.
Character classes allow you to see more of the story in the same way the character bios will. It’s allowing you to know an entire “class” of people in a more intimate way. One of these classes will of course be the “Multiverse Warriors” we met recently in Raine’s Bio. They will of course be getting their own Character Class write up shortly.
Lastly let’s take a moment to talk about RPS. This stands for Role Playing Score. It is not something I have ever seen in gaming before and something I believe it’s high time we had in the community. RPS is a measure of how difficult a particular class is to ‘play well.’ I base this score on both the technical difficulty of playing the character as well as the difficulty in role playing the character correctly. Because the fact is, some characters are just harder to play!
I think this is important for many reasons but I’ll just share a few here. To begin, I think one mistake a lot of Game Master’s & Dungeon Master’s make with new players is telling them they can play “anything they want” on their very first go. While this is true, Game Master’s & Dungeon Master’s SHOULD (IMO) be encouraging new players for their first FEW characters to play ‘easier character classes’ and here is why. First, it allows new players to ease into the game without trying to figure out all sorts of skills, and spells, and all sorts of nuanced role playing that may be called for in a particular class, and it allows the new player to concentrate on the basics and the FUN of tabletop gaming. This also in general allows new players to try several classes in a short time to get a “feel” for what type of play they really like, because let’s be honest, few people find their “favorite character” they’ve ever played on their first couple of characters anyway. New players should also be encouraged to make “bold play choices” with these first few characters. In most games these characters are designed to be heroes from the start and are capable of incredible things, but new players feel held back from trying bold, sometimes innovative, things because they are worried about “dying.”
I say, let loose the leash with new players. Cushion those stat rolls a little. Give them a few magical items. Let them see the fun things that can be done in this genre of play. Tell them upfront to expect to go through three or more characters at first. Tell them upfront you want them to try whatever they want to try and once you know how you want to play, we will make you a “real character” and build a legend around them. This is how we will bring new people into the tabletop gaming experience. The best classes for people to start off with IMO are Warriors, Thieves, Monks, and Bards, truthfully, in that order. I think EVERYONE’S first character should be a buffed up Thief or Warrior. Because it’s exciting to learn the game mechanics while you’re running around smashing things with a giant enchanted war hammer or hiding in the shadows and jumping out with the stabby stab with a +2 dagger and running amok. Monks and Bards offer a nice transition to a bit of a higher level of play because they offer a way to start learning about spells and special skills.
One final example I’ll give to drive the point home will be a personal pet peeve of mine. This is expecting new players to play Clerics and Priests. All spell casters (and psionic users) IMO rate at least mid to high on the Role Playing Score ranking scale. This is because there is a lot that of thought that needs to go into spell use ESPECIALLY at early levels. Priests and Clerics doubly so. It is unfair, and probably not fun, for your newest play to be shouldered with the burden of holding Death’s Scythe at bay, when they are un-tubing dice that have never known a roll in their existence right in front of you. More to the point, this class requires significant amount of role playing. A Priest or Cleric is getting their abilities and spells from some kind of “higher power” and if it’s not being role played you’re just playing a Wizard with healing spells. Playing a Priest or Cleric requires a player to KNOW about what their “god” wants them to do, not to do, what alignment decisions need to be made, does their ‘god’ expect them to gather followers, should they be sowing discord wherever they go, the list goes on and on. Not to mention most Clerics and Priests usually have a ton of other roleplaying challenges like, rival gods, how do I react to their followers, how do I react to certain animals or monsters associated with my god, what behaviors will I tolerate in my fellow players characters? It’s simply too much for a new player to be able to play effectively and, more to the point, play well.
In closing I want to say that Role Playing Score is in NO WAY a measure of how fun a character is or how AWESOME a character class is. One of my favorite characters I have EVER played was an Elven Thief and it was glorious. I have played with incredibly seasoned amazing gamers playing EVERY CLASS from Barbarian Warrior to Alien Lich. ALL CLASSES can be fun and have something to offer. The Role Playing Score is simply a tool for both players and Game Master’s & Dungeon Master’s to use as a guide for how difficult a character is to play well on a technical and roleplaying level.