This week I return to my friend’s game in Denver. As I wrote last time I had a good time when I played, his games are a lot of fun. And a unique style of ‘role playing’. But something happened that prompted me to thinking about fit.
I designed a character that I had been thinking about since I first got the 5E Players Handbook. It was a Gnome Monk, named Flower Bright. My idea was to play him as a Yoda type of character (obviously younger and less powerful.) I still think that is a cool character concept, and would be fun to play in the right game.
But it was not the right fit for this game. The game style is based around combat, and the more outlandish the character the better, often expressed during combat. From the war priest of Thor who is trying to model his character on every story about Thor out there. To the female Paladin, or the tricksy Gnome illusionist. They all really expressed themselves with how they fought or dealt with combat. And a withdrawn Gnome Monk is not going to match up with that.
So I created a new character (which my friend said was okay since it was still early.) His name is Viper, a Half Orc Ranger, who hate Orcs (he is the product of a rape.) He is an archer, who spends most of his time in the wilderness and his animal companion is a pit viper. And he prefers to poison his weapons, with natural poisons, thinking of it as Nature’s wrath. He will definitely get more out of this game, which again is more about expressing your character in combat.
But that got me thinking about fit. There are different kinds of fit in role playing. First and foremost do you as a player (or DM) fit in with the rest of the group? If you want to talk, and solve riddles, and play in character, but the rest of the group just wants to fight maybe that isn’t the group for you. Second, did you create a character that will fit in with the group. I had a player in several games I ran in Graduate school who did everything in his power to push the envelope, while the rest of the players wanted to be heroic, good guys, he wanted to play the evil character. That is going to cause trouble, if your character clashes with the group. And the last fit: the simple piece of do you want to help the group, if everyone is a fighter but there are no Mages or Clerics there will be trouble. That is sometimes the hardest, because not every player wants to be the complementary character who rounds out the group. But in a good group you can usually find someone willing to take that role.
In the end fit is just about the most important piece to good role playing. From getting the right group of players. To designing the right type of game. To getting the players to create fun, but complementary, characters.