When I decided to run a game with my son and his friends I knew this wasn’t going to be a sophisticated acting group. This was highlighted by one of the boys naming his character Dildo Saggins. Knowing this I did not stress some of the more complex (some might say important) pieces of character creation. Just flat skipping out on the Inspiration section of the book. This week I took stock and realized that they have begun to establish their own characters, and it might be a fun exercise to sit down and capture where they are.
Character 1, female Elven fighter:
Originally this was a straight forward Elven fighter, with long bow and long sword, chain mail, etc. By the second session however things changed. She had swapped out the longbow for a heavy crossbow, and the long sword for a great axe. When she moved to third level she opted for the Champion archetype, and from there began to get more flashy and showy in combat, doing flips, somersaults etc.
Having this now I can look at the Inspiration rules and will add the Performer background. She came from a family of performers: dancers and acrobats. But her spirit led her to the martial skills, and an urge to use her skills to protect. So she wields the axe almost like a cheerleader twirling a baton. I envision this scene:
The actress who is in that fight is a dancer by training and you can see it in the way she moves. And that is what I envision this character being like.
Character 2, Elven Sorcerer
The boy wanted to play a spell caster, but not a Cleric, ended up being a Sorcerer, with the Draconic blood heritage. After figuring out his cantrips and spells he fell in love with the Fire Bolt cantrip. And that became his go to combat method, since he can cast it an unlimited number of times.
I haven’t totally figured out his inspiration but I figure that his character has reasons for not trusting his spells. He has this power, it is something that is a part of him. But he just doesn’t trust it and is afraid of the more powerful elements, so he falls back on the simple stuff like a basic cantrip. And also why he will try to use a bow instead of casting a spell, he just doesn’t trust or understand how powerful he is yet. And that is actually very cool, and almost a cliche of many fantasy novels.
Character 3, Elven Paladin
On some level the most experienced player, he wanted to try the challenge of a difficult class. And he did his best. But having reached 3rd level, where he chooses an archetype he is faltering in his interest in the character. So he might change classes, which could actually be very interesting.
I figure he started as an Acolyte, trained in his religion, and taking up arms as a holy warrior. But as he has become more experienced that approach has lost it’s appeal. The life of a holy warrior is not for everyone so he will change directions. He will still have the elementary religious knowledge and training, but is heading in a different direction. Again, the idea of the holy warrior who loses his way is another common staple of fantasy literature.
As they progress I will add to this, and their stories. It helps me decide how to run the game and ways to challenge and bring the best out in the players when I put things in these terms.