After the big battle on Sunday, as we were browsing through the loot pile, thinking of good some of these things were the topic of what we should have came up. Jimmy, the voice of inexperience, was the one just looking at things and wanting what seemed to be the most powerful items in the pile. But one of the other players, an old hand, told him that you shouldn’t just grab what you liked.
And that is a very valid point. I have talked a lot on here about character creation, a hobby of mine within the hobby. I love creating characters, and enjoy making them in my spare time occasionally. And I always start with the concept first, what (or who) will this character be? And then I move on from there, what will the stats allow me, what class(es) work best, those kinds of questions.
But the question at hand is what do you do once you have that character? How do you stick with that concept? In some systems, like Pathfinder, a character is as much defined by choices made after creation as those made during creation. You have skills to build and acquire. You have Feats to choose. But there is one more thing that I think makes just as big of a difference: what stuff you get or buy.
For example this old hand in the Denver game plays a Priest of Thor (the traditional Thor, not the Marvel Thor.) So he holds to certain things because they fit that concept. His only weapon is a hammer. He only wears chainmail, and carries a round shield. He has had chances for far more effective weapons, stronger armor, but they do not fit his character.
I have fiddled a little with my character some in that game. At times veering to the acrobatic archer ranger a la Legolas. And now I am returning to something closer to my original idea, a dangerous, scary looking, snake worshiper. And that means giving up my elven cloak, never wearing metal armor, and forsaking bigger blades in favor of my scimitar and bow.
That is one of the reasons Jimmy and I spent a good portion of the drive home going over options for items that he wants for his character. He cannot just want a suit of armor because it is better, does it fit with what his character would wield? It is one of the lessons I am trying to teach him, and the other boys.
This is one reason why I was happy when the one kid who is playing the dwarven warrior with a troubled past and serious chip on his shoulder chose a warhammer for his primary weapon. Because that is fitting a brute who approaches every problem like it is a nail, and he is the hammer. And he was beginning to really get the idea too.
What it boils down to, is you can play the game of min/max. Always trading out what you have for the next big thing. Treating your equipment like a cell phone. But, unless that is specifically your character type, it is more interesting to have a set type of weapon, spell type, etc. that you stick to.