Having Fun with an Alternative Character Creation Method
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    Having Fun with an Alternative Character Creation Method

    I was waxing nostalgic recently about the Traveller character creation engine from way back in the day. If you're not familiar, a player rolls on a set of tables that act as the characters life path up to now. Each set of rolls was like a year of a character's life. In theory, it was even possible for a character to die during this process. By the end, you had a pretty good idea of your character's backstory.

    And then I thought to myself... wouldn't it be fun if there was a way to do this for 5e. So I started scouring the interwebs to see if someone had put in the legwork. And sure enough, I found this nifty piece of work by Hornbook1776 over at Arcana Times.

    Is it perfect? No. Is it fun? Hell yes!

    http://www.arcanatimes.com/new-metho...reation-in-5e/

    Anyway, just thought I would share the find... and hopefully inspire others to build more stuff like this.
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    My first Traveller character died during creation. It was awesome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmad1977 View Post
    My first Traveller character died during creation. It was awesome.
    The first time your character dies during creation... it's shocking.

    Unfortunately, the system I posted above doesn't have a character death option, but it seems like it would pretty easy to add. Something like... each character starts with X hit points (where X depends on how deadly you want it to be). Then find appropriate entries that have a dangerous component... and add -1/-2 HP to them. Balance that with some entries that might give +1/+2 HP. If your character ever gets to 0 HP during character creation... FINISH HIM!

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    Xanathars has a similar This is Your Life section you can use to create your characters backstory.
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    In my game I expanded the backgrounds so that they follow a life path. Choosing various backgrounds creates your character. We end up with four basic classes, Divine, Arcane, Mundane, Nonpareil (combinations of the previous three). This is similar to Talislanta and the alternative life path system in Shadowrun.

    The traditional class names are now like the 1E level rank titles and are given when completing a given path.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
    The first time your character dies during creation... it's shocking.
    I have not played or seen the system, but have heard much about it. Do you actually get to make choices during this, or is it just random die rolls? I could see an option where you could choose to make a risky roll with a high benefit that might lead to death, but randomly rolling before the first session only to have to start over again seems fairly pointless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    I have not played or seen the system, but have heard much about it. Do you actually get to make choices during this, or is it just random die rolls? I could see an option where you could choose to make a risky roll with a high benefit that might lead to death, but randomly rolling before the first session only to have to start over again seems fairly pointless.
    The death part was mostly random as I recall. However, death could be treated as optional if your GM allowed you to have some kind of serious injury instead.

    But a system that really had some trade-offs for risk vs death would be pretty cool. Having those kinds of meaningful decisions in character creation would be a kind of mini-game within the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    I have not played or seen the system, but have heard much about it. Do you actually get to make choices during this, or is it just random die rolls? I could see an option where you could choose to make a risky roll with a high benefit that might lead to death, but randomly rolling before the first session only to have to start over again seems fairly pointless.
    As I recall, different careers had a different risk of death (or injury, in later editions), and higher-risk careers tended to have higher rewards as well. But it was very random, so you could still die from a low-risk career, and you could still randomly roll crappy rewards from a high-risk career.
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    That's a pretty cool system, although I do prefer the playbook system from Beyond the Wall better, overall. Granted, that's OSR, not 5e.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draegn View Post
    In my game I expanded the backgrounds so that they follow a life path. Choosing various backgrounds creates your character. We end up with four basic classes, Divine, Arcane, Mundane, Nonpareil (combinations of the previous three). This is similar to Talislanta and the alternative life path system in Shadowrun.

    The traditional class names are now like the 1E level rank titles and are given when completing a given path.
    Do you have this codified anywhere in a document? If it's in a shareable state, I wouldn't mind taking a gander.

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