Saturday, August 3, 2019

2019 RPGaDay 2: Unique

Every character is unique. Even if it's only in a small way. Your fighter may have typical stats, use a longsword and shield, and come from a soldierly background. But, the fact that he has a penchant for rescuing small animals, and gets mad at senseless violence makes him somewhat unique.

Uniqueness is both overrated and easy to do in RPG's, in my opinion. All you have to do is put some thought into it. The great thing is that the thing that makes your character unique doesn't need to come into play in every scene. It may not even come into play every session. But, when it does, it can make for a memorable scene that will make an impression.

And sometimes, that unique trait shows itself to you when you least expect it. That one time you did something that didn't work out quite like you wanted, can lead you into something else that will work better than expected and suddenly define your character.

Case in point, a friend was using our group to playtest a couple of sessions he is running at Gamehole Con this year. As such, we were all playing pregens. I decided to go against type and not pick the half-orc barbarian, but instead play the tiefling warlock.

At one point we were in a fight, and I Eldritch Blasted a guy a few feet away. As you can imagine, this was probably a mistake, as that spell is rarely a "one-shot, one-kill" spell. So, when he turned around to confront my scrawny little butt, I panicked. I decided that I would try to convince him it wasn't me. "I didn't do it. Someone shot you then ran off out the front door!"

The DM made me roll, just to see how long he would hesitate before splitting my skull.  And what did I roll?

A natural 20.

The guy absolutely believed me, and ran off after someone that didn't exist (with a bit more egging on by me).

And that became my unique shtick. Making people believe something that contradicts what they see. It hasn't come up much since, but if I play that character again, I know how he's going to handle such a situation in the future.

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