Table Top Discussions - Can You Really Play Any Character You Want?steemCreated with Sketch.

in gaming •  21 days ago

No. But I guess just saying that doesn't make for a satisfying article, so I guess the question you have to answer is what can you and can you not play as in a tabletop game? Well, there is a lot to take into account here, but here are some general ideas to go with.

The first being nobody likes the guy who steals from other party members or tries to horde any kind of loot for themselves. I know there is suppose to be a separation between a player and a player character, but when all the other players at the board know that you are stealing their shit and after a while that will start to bleed into their characters actions, intentionally or not. Generally, it's a good rule of thumb to not make a character who is likely to screw with your party members in any significant way.

A second being characters who are 'lone wolves'. A thing to understand is that a tabletop game is intended to be played as a group, and a lone wolf is inherently against this idea. I'm not saying some variation of it is impossible, but you can't get away with playing a character who's just going to go off and do his own thing constantly. Even if your DM allows that you end up splitting the game into two chunks where large portions of the time either the lone wolf or the rest of the group are kind of just sitting around waiting for the other to finish. It can work in short bits (Such as a rogue sneaking into a building to unlock it from the inside), but it's not something that can really be done as a core of the game as a whole.

Another is the degree too which a character can be evil or do shady acts. This is going to vary depending on the game system, but say you are doing a Pathfinder or Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Entire character ideas can be ruined just because the party has a Paladin in them. Any evil character is out the window, and any character that does regularly shady things can be thrown out as well unless your Paladin player is happy to play him as an oblivious idiot the whole game. Remember, that Paladin has a decent Wisdom score. Eventually, the dice will favor his Perception/Sense Motive rolls.

That leads into my final point, know the group and kind of game you are playing. The DM is going to have a set style of campaign he wants to run (Usually), and some characters just aren't going to have a place in that game. This is up to the DM to make sure his players understand in advance, but if he is running a dungeon crawl style game, that character with all that subterfuge and social charm is going to have nothing to do, or at least not nearly as much. Same goes for a very high society political game where combat isn’t' going to be as prevalent, that Barbarian may be sidelined for most of the game with little to do.

It's something that needs to be stressed sometimes, especially when tabletop RPG's are pitched as being able to make any kind of character you want. This is only partially true. There is an incredible number of characters you can build, but there will always be restrictions by virtue of the fact it's a group game, as well as the style of the game running at the time. While I certainly think it's up to the DM to be flexible with players in allowing them to create some fun and interesting characters, there is going to be a line that, for the sake of keeping a game running and enjoyable for all, the players will need to be fine not crossing.

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We had to split our group last session and yep it was not a great experience if there are 2-3 different groups trying to interact with their plot... The inactive part drank a lot beer xD

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Great post, man!

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