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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    jaappleton's Avatar

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    Default Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    I've reached a point where no character concept seems exciting to play.

    And I have no idea what to do.

    I've either played it or built it a hundred times over. Super optimized, min-maxed, to off the wall crazy ideas that just sounded fun. And I've had a blast either building characters or playing them.

    And now its at a point where nothing sounds exciting, and this feeling sucks.

    I don't know what happened. Is it because I'm building optimization playstyle concepts and not characters?

    It's been a few weeks now and I can't think of any way to bust myself out of this slump. Any ideas, playgrounders?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    QuickLyRaiNbow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    It's been a few weeks now and I can't think of any way to bust myself out of this slump. Any ideas, playgrounders?
    Do something else for a while. If you're actively involved in a game, great!, but if not, don't seek one out for a minute. Take a small step back, catch up on the reading you've been meaning to do, play a video game, repaint the trim in the living room, go to the gym, whatever. The cure for burnout is relaxation and diversification. The game and the ideas will still be there when you're refreshed and ready again.

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    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Is there any major event going on in your life right now? Are you feeling generally down and uninspired?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Don't play builds
    Play people

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    Is it because I'm building optimization playstyle concepts and not characters?
    Possibly, try making a character instead of a build. Try to see how much fun you can have with for example a human champion fighter, if you focus on making an interesting personality...

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Sounds like it's time to put on the DM hat.

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    You optimized the fun out of the game. As others have said play the character not the numbers. Play something other than D&D for a while and don't over analyze the character and how exactly its going to Do anything.

    One of my most enjoyable PCs has been a Archivist (later a Cloistered Cleric due to DM problems) who spent a lengthy period as a Werewolf and picked up some barbarian levels to fill that bestial hole in his soul that was left when the curse was removed. Im not an optimizer and i know from these boards the mere thought of a full caster taking several non caster levels would make them weep at loss of Optimal but it makes for a better character than merely resuming what it was before.
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Just play the character you want to play. Don't feel the need to squeeze every point out of the build.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    Is it because I'm building optimization playstyle concepts and not characters?
    I'd say it's probable.

    Aside from taking a pause or read/watch/play other works for inspiration, maybe looking at D&D from another angle could help you?

    Have you read the "Let's Read the Monster Manual" threads on this forum? They have a lot of plot hooks that could inspire you.

    Otherwise, yes, try making and playing characters, not builds.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Make a character not a build. Roll up a wizard or a sorcerer with spells you wouldn't normal take. This will force you to get a bit more Creative with your actions.

    Unoptimized characters are fun too. Instead of tossing a fireball. Try casting melf's minute meteors. Then next turn cast Tidal wave then meteors as bonus action for disadvantage theres saves.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    jaappleton's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Ok.

    This is... oddly enough, the first time I've ever asked this. I've been playing D&D for about 5 years, and I've never asked this.

    How do you create a character?

    We all know how to fill out a character sheet, that's not what I'm asking.

    I've made hundreds of PCs. I've put on the DM hat and I've made tons of NPCs. They were all, 'This person is X Class and they like Y and Z, and dislike A, B', etc. It's typically "I want to be a Wizard, so let's make a Wizard, and figure out what kind of Wizard this person is after".

    How do you do it? How do you draw inspiration for the character, their personality? Do you start with that and work out the class from there?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    How do you create a character?
    A really simple tool is, you think of something they're bad at, and that defines their life.
    • You can make an outwardly nice guy who is secretly suffering from PTSD.
    • You can make an amnesiac who can speak an exotic language and has no idea why.
    • You can make a widower who is doing everything to resurrect his wife, whom he killed.
    • You can make someone who fell in love with someone who doesn't love them back.


    Here's their D&D incarnations:
    • A Wild Magic Sorcerer who gets along with everybody.
    • A Barbarian with the Linguist Feat.
    • A Necromancer Wizard.
    • An Archfey Patron Warlock.


    The key is to make them vulnerable. If possible, don't kill their families, so that the DM can try to kill them in front of you (and you can save them).
    Last edited by LeonBH; 2017-12-06 at 10:33 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    Ok.

    This is... oddly enough, the first time I've ever asked this. I've been playing D&D for about 5 years, and I've never asked this.

    How do you create a character?

    We all know how to fill out a character sheet, that's not what I'm asking.

    I've made hundreds of PCs. I've put on the DM hat and I've made tons of NPCs. They were all, 'This person is X Class and they like Y and Z, and dislike A, B', etc. It's typically "I want to be a Wizard, so let's make a Wizard, and figure out what kind of Wizard this person is after".

    How do you do it? How do you draw inspiration for the character, their personality? Do you start with that and work out the class from there?
    Well it depends.

    Sometime I see a character in a work and go "man, it could be fun to play someone like that", or I see/read something and go "man, it could be fun if instead of X this went in Y direction" (ex: "it could be fun to have a Dwarf inspired by Jack Sparrow").

    Other times I read a piece of D&D lore and think "this would be interesting to explore", "that will subvert the players' expectations, it can be memorable" or "you could make it something interesting if X thing happened with Y" (ex: prideful hobgoblin captain targeting an half-elf adventurer to force their elven parent to surrender).

    And yet other times I just think of characters and story plot I'd be interested in seeing, as I would if I was trying to write a story, and think if they would fit the world or not.

    A Paladin who loves gold but who is still a good guy, a ruthless pirate who managed to capture a sea serpent and is using it to power a monstrous ship, a pugilist who's searching for giants to defeat, an high elf bard who's constantly trying to rope people into risky ventures, a goblin who wants to be a knight, all could be characters in a campaign, as NPCs or PCs, just as they could be characters in any fictional work.

    So, the question is, jaappleton, what kind of character would you like to see in a story?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    The key is to make them vulnerable. If possible, don't kill their families, so that the DM can try to kill them in front of you (and you can save them).
    Eh, I disagree with this. Making them vulnerable is not the key, it's just a non-automatic consequence of making them people .

    Some people are vulnerable, others aren't. Some people were marked by tragedies in their lives, others dealt with them differently or simply didn't have such tragedies.

    For exemple, Aquaman from Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a boisterous, hammy, nice man who will support his friends to the end and who has little in the "personal drama" department. It doesn't make him a lesser character.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-12-06 at 10:49 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    I was going to come here and suggest you take a break from the game, but now that I've read your post I also recommend that you actually try making a character that exists in the world instead of a stat block. That is probably my greatest desire as a DM and the thing I work hardest on for my players. Unless you're just playing a game that has dungeon after dungeon, and no interactions or roleplay elements, I think that adding character to the character you play is a great thing.

    As humans, we are driven by motivations and held back by insecurities. What motivates your character, and what are their problems? Just think of them as a real person, with depth and issues and fears, and it should come to you. Also, I suggest you try to play something a fair bit different from yourself. I find most people that are mostly into min/max just play an idealized version of themselves. Instead play someone unlike you, so instead of spending your time bored by the class choices, your focus is on what your character would do next. Good luck! And if you're still bored, try a different game or take a break for a while. We all burn out sometimes, not every hobby can last forever.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    I will tend to pick a part of the world (this relies on input from the DM of course, if it's homebrew, which my games usually are), and ask about the culture and things that happen in the area. If I'm not inspired by that (and I usually am, but I have imaginative DMs), I'll take a peek through random backgrounds, and try to apply that template to the area/culture.

    another thing I do is if I have a vague idea for a thing like "spellcaster" or "armored guy" I'll just log on to pinterest and search for those terms, and there's usually tons of character art that can also provide a kickstart.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    You can also create a character "from the ground up" by looking at where they came from and who they were before we meet them. Note: To some extent this can be difficult if you lack the context of a world, but a lot of things can be abstracted.

    Where were they born? (Doesn't need to be a specific place, but a description like "A major trade city" or "A frontier settlement" or whatever work well.)
    Who were their parents?
    What kind of formative events happened to them during their youth? Who were their friends? What did they learn to hate or love?
    Why did they decide to become an adventurer?
    Did they decide this before or after they acquired the skills to do so?
    How did they acquire those skills?
    Why those particular skills? (Try to avoid bland, useless options like "He had a natural talent for magic, so he became a wizard!" Even the trite old chestnut of "Had frail constitution, so spent a lot of time in the library." is better than that, because it raises the question of "Why did they stop just hanging out in the library?")
    Who taught them? Why?

    Then take the answers to these questions and ask more questions about the ("Why?" is usually a good one)

    And then you can do all the goofy "character building" stuff like "What are they afraid of?" or whatever that all the "How to build a more interesting character" type blog posts always suggest. Or you can just do those, but if you need more "Help" this method can sometimes bootstrap things up.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    i may not be the best person to ask on the matter, but I think that the solution to your problem is easier than you think. Create a character based on a role playing concept instead of a mechanical concept. Don’t start with creating a character that works interestingly on a mechanical level, think of something that you would like to role play as, then choose mechanics which make sense for that character. It does not matter whether it is optimized or not, just make it interesting for you to play.

    For example, how many people on this forum would refuse to play a champion fighter because its boring? You may find this a surprise, but my most favorite character I ever played was a champion halfling. On a mechanical level, he did abosuletely nothing interesting. He would stay close the wizard and hit whatever target came too close and hit it with his rapier every turn. If the target was out of range, he would throw daggers. That was it, every single combat turn. Over the course of a cumulative 24 hours I think he shoved an enemy once and took the dodge action once, the rest of them were all stabbing and throwing. He was the most boring possible character mechanics- wise.

    But he was also the most favorite of the table. He was not even that dynamic role play wise either, he was literally just an archeologist who wanted to explore. Both parents were alive, no tragic backstory or anything, jsut a simple explorer. But everyone liked him because he developed his own (slightly overly paranoid) personality. He was actually rather logical and almost spockish, but his assessments were always incorrect due to terrible rolls and misunderstandings. The entire table can still remember when he questioned the quest giver for half an hour after they requested him to take down some yuan-ti (he was convinced the quest-giver only wanted them dead to gain a political advantage). And the table all still laugh at the time where he tried to get past a set of ankle-chopping blades in a tomb by standing on the flat side of his shield and intentionally activating the trap (He though the shield was wide enough to put him at a high enough position). He has a peg leg now and won the title “limpy”.

    Were I to suggest this halfling sword and board champion to this forum, they would all berate me for how boring and useless my character is, but he turned out to be one of the most distinct characters at the table. Things that are mechanically boring are not necessarily disinteresting in actual play. You have to actively make your character’s personality come out.

    But it even appears you have trouble with creating a personality too. That kind of thing comes naturally to me, but if it does not for you, than base it off of a character from another source of media or even a person from real life. This character does not have to come from a fantasy or even an action source, I once played a paladin who behaved like Atticus Finch (TKaM). And if that even fails too, than think of a rather specific action that you specifically wanted a character to be able to do better than anyone else. It does not not have even have to be relevant in the slightest bit, I once DMed for someone who played a Druid based entirely on the concept “I want to become the rock climbing champion”. I also once saw someone become a beast master ranger because they wanted to “become the world’s best bird tamer”. There is many things you can do here.



    I think perhaps you have just become too used to seeing a role playing game as a game that you have forget that role playing is a crucial part. Think of whatever you may want to role play, no matter how straight up ridiculous, and then build mechanics.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    I'm not an original thinker. I get stuck in conceptual ruts. I steal everything.

    So when I sit down to a character, here's what I do:

    1. The Seed
    This is the point of inspiration. It's a personality, an archetype, a character from another story, a proof-of-concept combination, or a straight up Playing With Tropes idea.
    - Guts from Berserk
    - The Perfect Physician
    - The gadabout deal-maker
    - Hey, wanna be a kobold?
    - Warlock + Crossbow Expert = Ersatz Monk
    - Robert Johnson
    - A frontline blocker

    2. The Spike
    Expanding or twisting the seed concept. For 5e, backgrounds come into play here.
    - Guts... as a halfling
    - A Physician taught by Giants
    - Sounds Warlocky - but let's make Fairy contracts instead of Infernal pacts
    - Kobold + Hamlet + Beggin' Strips
    - Is he a failure, or a faker?
    - This ain't the delta. What brings you here?

    3. The Fiddly bits
    How we transition from the seed into a character - taking the missing bits (personality, role, class) and filling them in.
    - Assigning numbers to a basic build idea
    - pegging the class(es) to emulate a character idea
    - what sort of person would think this combination of features was a good idea?

    4. The Hooks
    - Connecting the character to the world - filling in the people, places, and events that tie the character to the game. This can be filling in blanks left in the background, or adding elements to the world.
    - make sure there are at least 3 potential plot hooks for the DM to use.
    - often, elements of the above change as the connections are made. "Tentacle Rod, Melee Warlock" ends up losing his, er, "sea monster" aesthetic when his city guard Background morphs into retired city guard, and a tragic pact-story is added.
    Why yes, Warlock is my solution for everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    A Paladin who loves gold but who is still a good guy, a ruthless pirate who managed to capture a sea serpent and is using it to power a monstrous ship, a pugilist who's searching for giants to defeat, an high elf bard who's constantly trying to rope people into risky ventures, a goblin who wants to be a knight, all could be characters in a campaign, as NPCs or PCs, just as they could be characters in any fictional work.
    I disagree with this. This is already what the OP is doing. It's in the style of [Class X] wants to do [Thing Y] and likes [A] and dislikes [B]. They're not people, they're concepts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Eh, I disagree with this. Making them vulnerable is not the key, it's just a non-automatic consequence of making them people .

    Some people are vulnerable, others aren't. Some people were marked by tragedies in their lives, others dealt with them differently or simply didn't have such tragedies.

    For exemple, Aquaman from Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a boisterous, hammy, nice man who will support his friends to the end and who has little in the "personal drama" department. It doesn't make him a lesser character.
    I've never read that but Aquaman is a fictional character. That makes him a lesser person from the perspective of reality. In reality, everyone has issues, whether you see it or not.

    The point is, your character needs internal conflict, which informs their actions and world view. Otherwise, they are just a concept you're playing out.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    I don't know what happened. Is it because I'm building optimization playstyle concepts and not characters?
    Probably.
    Build a person first, with a personality and goals and fears and passions. A real person. Warts and all. And I don't mean "my goal is to become the greatest fighter in the history of the realms!" That's garbage. I'm talking about: "My name is Bob, and I am the middle child of three. I like to fish, and I'm scared of spiders. I have a bit of a dry sense of humor, and few people understand my sarcasm so I usually come off as a jerk. I really love pie, and I cannot resist making fun of short people, even though I know it's wrong. I cannot abide any woman being disrespected or assaulted, under any circumstances. One day I hope to open a bakery, like my father before me, but these damn kobolds terrorizing the countryside have put that on hold until I know that my wife and children are safe."
    And then play that guy at the table.

    Don't even think about a class or a role in the group. That comes later. Figure out who you are as an individual first, before any other consideration.
    Is Bob a Rogue, or a Wizard, or a Paladin? He could be any class. He's a person first.

    Personality is who he/she is (BGs factor into this, but only after the "person" exists).
    The role he/she will play in the party is what he/she does.
    Class is how he/she accomplishes it.

    Build your character in that order. Most people these days do it completely backwards. If you do it in the order suggested, you'll be much more invested and usually have much more fun.
    Who > What > How. In that order. That's the recipe for a good character.
    Last edited by DivisibleByZero; 2017-12-06 at 11:27 AM.
    If you quote me and ask me questions,
    and I continue to not respond,
    it's probably because I have
    you on my Ignore list.
    Congratulations.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Nice advice, Requilac, but one part intrigued me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Requilac View Post
    This character does not have to come from a fantasy or even an action source, I once played a paladin who behaved like Atticus Finch (TKaM).
    What do you mean by that? A paladin who doesn't care if a lower class man is abusive with his children, to the point of probably raping his daughter? A paladin who's ok with his acquaintances being homicidal racists if given half a chance? A paladin who's ready to falsify evidences to spare someone he likes a trial they'd likely have won?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    The point is, your character needs internal conflict, which informs their actions and world view. Otherwise, they are just a concept you're playing out.
    this!

    Internal Conflict is pretty vital. It's one of the best things to use to grow a character. It doesn't even have to be resolved during play - so long as it creates tension, or drama, or a reason to consider your actions beyond just the numbers attached to it.
    Last edited by alchahest; 2017-12-06 at 11:21 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    Any ideas, playgrounders?
    DM for a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritorix View Post
    Sounds like it's time to put on the DM hat.
    Aha, I see I am not alone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    Don't play builds
    Play people
    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaappleton View Post
    How do you create a character?
    I write a back story. Before I write the story, I ask the Dm a little bit about the world so that I have an idea for the setting of the character's back story. Here's an example.
    I do a bit of iterative process in this way, as I look for a background that fits the class and my back story. Here's another one, about a Ranger called Zam.
    Spoiler: Zam I am, not a childrens story
    Show
    Zam, I am
    I lost my horse to the mastiffs, so I had to drag the damned body for three days to collect the reward. He was wanted dead or alive. Or so I thought, as written on the poster.
    Dead or alive, huh? Looks like they changed their minds. The bounty was for “alive, 50 pieces of gold.” As it worked out, “dead” got me 10 gold pieces when I showed them the hand bill that I’d pulled off of the wall at the trading post. Maybe the blood stains swayed them. He’d been using up good air for too long I reckon.

    Marzol wasn’t just rustling cattle, he was rustling people – the bodies and chains that I found in that hole under his barn told me that. Did they believe me? No. Captain of the guard said I was a killer by preference; said there was blood on my hands; said I needed to clear out of town, before he changed his mind. He had enough pike men with him that I didn’t argue.
    Blood on my hands? Yeah, there’s been blood on my hands, has been since I can remember. Pa taught me to hunt. Taught me to butcher and skin my own game, only kill what you can eat, get rid of varmints, and keep an eye open when you sleep. (That last part’s trickier than it sounds). I cook my own food, not all fancy like these town folk.
    Blood on my hands. I’d laugh if it hadn’t cost me my horse. I brought Marzol in, as posted, but now they wanted “justice” and a trial so they could hang him. Pa taught me to get rid of varmints, and I did - I do. Might have done it for free if it were my goats, my sheep, and my oxen he’d been rustling, or if it had been my folk he’d been selling to flesh merchants.
    After picking up his sign, I’d say that my arrows brought him justice. Old Marzol sure looked surprised, sitting there looking up at me, and back at the arrow in his chest while he was still grabbing the one in the back of his knee. I think he saw my blades covered in his hired hands’ blood when he ran. I must have looked a sight, with his dog’s blood all over me. I didn’t take too kindly to having to put down my horse.

    His hired help, the three with the axes and shovels? There was no bounty on them. I didn’t tell those city fools about burying them all proper, the way we buried Ma and cousin Lemuel -- the way I buried Pa. I doubt Marzol treated them well – men like him use folks, or abuse them. He paid ‘em, they were loyal. I told them to back off, but they still came at me. A decent burial was fair and proper.

    I played the same song on my pipes over their graves that I played over Lemuel’s. Asleep Under the Moon. Seemed fitting. Buried the dogs too. They were loyal, and it was a shame to kill them but they tore up my horse something bad. They’d have done me as well if they could. I was in their marked territory. Fair deal, all the way around.
    Carrying Marzol into town was for show. I dragged him on a litter most of the way. The guards at the gate weren’t happy to see me, but were happy to report that Marzol had been taken. I’d have liked to stay for a few pints but that Captain was insistent that I leave.
    I don’t borrow trouble. There’s bound to be someone who needs a man like me pretty soon. This world’s full of filth like Marzol. Like Pa said to me, *you kill the varmints to keep your place clean*
    Ranger, human, background of bounty hunter. Proficiency in pipes (sort of like pan pipes).
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-12-06 at 11:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also quite handsome) or so I am told ... by 2D8HP

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Have you looked at the backstory tables in XGE? I'd say roll two or three parameters and use them to flesh out an idea.

    Alternatively, have you considered trying out a role-playing system like FATE where the need to optimize isn't so dominant? It's a nice change of pace and I've found it really changed my style as a 5e DM so that I'm more flexible with players.

    Diaspora is a great FATE-based system where players not only generate their characters but the planets of the system they adventure in. Characters are generated together in phases so that players decide how their characters' backstories interact. Doing this as a group lets you take inspiration from others' ideas and vice-versa. It's a fun process I've considered adapting for a 5e session zero.

    Here's a link if you want to learn more: http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora/diaspora-srd.html
    Last edited by clem; 2017-12-06 at 11:31 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    1. Pick two fictional character concepts you like.

    Ok, I'm picking Mulan from disney and... Edward Elric from FMA brotherhood.

    2. Now, pull out your favorite traits you like from both those guys.

    Well, I like how Mulan tries to do the right thing, heedless of preserving herself. I also like how dutiful she is to her family.
    I like how Edward is cocky in his abilities to an extreme degree and also incredibly annoyed by people who underestimate him.

    So as far as traits go we have:
    Dutiful.
    Selfless.
    Cocky to the point of recklessness.
    Short-man complex.

    3. Build your character's history.

    Well, they're both from a rural environment, so my character will be as well. Yeah, from a rural environment and the character was a big **** there, which is the reason for the cockiness. The character needs to have living family so that there's a touchstone for my character's trait of 'duty.' A noble, maybe, to reinforce the idea of 'duty'? Yeah, a disgraced one though, which is where the short-man complex comes from.

    4. 'Wrap' the character with mechanics and race, etc.

    So I'm thinking a female for personal preference. A human female, since she's from a dirt-farming region. The character is cocky in her own skill, so a warlock, sorcerer, or cleric really don't make much sense. A monk, paladin, fighter, or wizard, I guess. No good way to justify a wizard learning in a dirt-farming region. Don't like the fighter class. Guess I'll go monk. Fits well with both Ed's and Mulan's fighting styles anyway.

    5. have fun! A big key here is to never forget your character's quirks. Its easy to pick up a session and just start playing your character as 'generic adventurer #266, forgetting all that work you did.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2017-12-06 at 12:19 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    I disagree with this. This is already what the OP is doing. It's in the style of [Class X] wants to do [Thing Y] and likes [A] and dislikes [B]. They're not people, they're concepts.
    No, they're the starts of characters. It's not [class X] wants to do [thing Y], it's [X person who happens to have a profession or fit an archetype] is involved in [Z story hook]. Then you add personality, appearance, history, and such and such, to make them more well-rounded character.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    I've never read that but Aquaman is a fictional character. That makes him a lesser person from the perspective of reality.
    It mays shock you, but D&D characters are in fact, fictional characters.


    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    In reality, everyone has issues, whether you see it or not.
    And? They don't need to be major issues caused by horrible tragedies, nor do they have to be the starting point of a character.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    The point is, your character needs internal conflict, which informs their actions and world view. Otherwise, they are just a concept you're playing out.
    No, not at all. A character needs a personality, some kind of goal, and to interact with the world and the story. Conflict is what happen when the character interact with the world or the story in a way that put them in an unfavorable position. A young conqueror who wants to show their might and rule their country as a benevolent ruler will probably be confronted to the fact they'll have to kill people to obtain and maintain their dominion, but this internal conflict can be solved once they reach their decision to go forth with their conquests or not.

    In the same way that the gold-loving paladin I mentioned earlier could have a strong internal conflict between their greed and their desire to help others, but they wouldn't be a lesser character if this trait wasn't problematic and if they just got grouchy when they had to pass up on gaining gold.

    Not all characters are driven by massive drama. Hamlet is a character, but so are Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. And some people prefer playing characters who are an adventure-loving swashbuckler who needs to pay their bills or an exasperated bodyguard who's trying to keep his foolish boss alive rather than playing the conflicted heir of a kingdom that got usurped.

    Sure, having difficulties and problems to overcome or live with is a good way to make a character have depth, but you first need to have an outline of who they are.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    No, they're the starts of characters. It's not [class X] wants to do [thing Y], it's [X person who happens to have a profession or fit an archetype] is involved in [Z story hook]. Then you add personality, appearance, history, and such and such, to make them more well-rounded character.
    This is already what he's doing, building a mechanical concept first and tacking character onto it after.
    It isn't working for him.
    Doing it the other way around always, and I do mean always, leads to the player being more invested in the actual character (rather than the mechanics of the character). Character first. Mechanics later. That's how you avoid burnout, because you actually care about the "person" and what happens, instead of caring about where the next +1 is going to come from (which is what mechanics first promotes).
    Last edited by DivisibleByZero; 2017-12-06 at 11:52 AM.
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    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Unoriginal, if you don't mind me asking, may I know your credentials in terms of story writing, literary works, or at the very least, units of drama in college? May I also know your personal opinion on "dramatic" stories?

    When you said this:

    No, not at all. A character needs a personality, some kind of goal, and to interact with the world and the story
    In response to the need for internal conflict, it set off a few red flags in my head.

    I won't debate with you how to create a compelling character. There's an entire field of study dedicated to this (and lots of people making money from it). I am curious as to your non-gaming experience with it, though.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by DivisibleByZero View Post
    This is already what he's doing, building a mechanical concept first and tacking character onto it after.
    And at no point in my post have I mentioned a mechanical concept. I said "paladin" as I could have said "knight errant" or "defender of justice", and I said "bard" as I could have said "street performer" or "traveling minstrel", because even if those terms are used for classes, they're also common archetypes.


    Quote Originally Posted by DivisibleByZero View Post
    Doing it the other way around always, and I do mean always, leads to the player being more invested in the actual character (rather than the mechanics of the character). Character first. Mechanics later. That's how you avoid burnout, because you actually care about the "person" and what happens, instead of caring about where the next +1 is going to come from (which is what mechanics first promotes).
    Then we agree.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    Unoriginal, if you don't mind me asking, may I know your credentials in terms of story writing, literary works, or at the very least, units of drama in college?
    None of that is required to write a story. I've been writing stories since I was about 6. (And of course, the stuff in 4th grade that my mom still has is obviously stuff written by someone in 4th grade). You can learn about writing by taking classes, doing your own research, and writing. Fan fic is something I've done for years, and the nice thing about the internet is the feedback you can get on what's good, bad, and indifferent.
    No credentials needed. Experience? Never hurts.
    A writer writes.
    Oh, yeah, and read a lot.
    Have a wide variety in what you read, in topic and genre, as well as in form: novel, series, pulps, short stories, novellas.
    Conflict is what happen when the character interact with the world or the story in a way that put them in an unfavorable position.
    Rich / The Giant made an observation about writing fiction that rings true to me. I think he said he learned it in a workshop.
    Something like "if this isn't the most interesting, or most life changing, period in the lives of your major characters, or your protagonists, why are you writing this story?"

    One of my favorite short stories was written by Janny Wurts: the title story in her collection called "That Way Lies Camelot." It is speculative fiction of the kind I really enjoy. Another Spec Fic author I really like is Paul Witcover. Waking Beauty was a good debut, but IMO his best book (which includes some RPG references) is called Tumbling After.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-12-06 at 12:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also quite handsome) or so I am told ... by 2D8HP

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Burned out, no characters seem appealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Then we agree.
    No, we do not. Because your advice was to "add personality, appearance, history, and such and such, to make them more well-rounded character" as the last thing, when they should be first if you want to build a character that you're invested in.
    You also suggested that he take the story into account. I disagree again.
    "[X person who happens to have a profession or fit an archetype] is involved in [Z story hook]"
    If someone is having a problem with burnout, I disagree with this method wholeheartedly.

    So no, we do not agree.
    The way you describe is a fine way to do it, generally speaking. I believe it is absolutely the wrong way to do it if burnout is a concern, because doing it that way (personality last) is part of what leads to the burnout in the first place.
    Last edited by DivisibleByZero; 2017-12-06 at 12:32 PM.
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