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I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.

Wiseblood

Adventurer
I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.

I have wanted faster character creation for years now. I’ve been trying to find the right words because, I figured out “why” I want it. I want to kill characters. That was a metric for me growing up. Good characters survived bad characters died. Effective play was rewarded. Punishment was handed out for stupidity.

When it occurred to me I wasn’t surprised. It made sense. When I honestly evaluated my motivation it started to look wrong. And that sucks.

Who wants their character to die? Killing a character should have some pros and cons right? So away I went.

cons:
-all that work for nothing
-the dream that the character would do some cool stuff has been crushed.
-here comes the new guy, how does he fit? How long till he gets here? How do we introduce him?
-it’s nice how you let my equipment continue to work for the party.
-here comes another effort at making something special with the current paradigm on creation and how long that can take.

pros:
-something new to explore

and that was all I could think of. It was all post hoc and probably just trash.


I still want faster character creation. I think the truth is because I am tired of it. I have spent a lot of time on it. Building my own, helping others grok the rules, waiting for my turn with the books, waiting to get back to playing, answering questions about minutiae for the tenth idea that gets abandoned. I kind of dread it but at the same time I look forward to it.(dreadfully) Sometimes sharing this stuff is the best way for me to get my head around something.

Is this a sentiment that you share about creation?
 
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Immortal Sun

Guest
5E's character creation is about the fastest I've seen without a character creator tool. I could make a million 4E characters with the character builder (assuming level 1) in a couple minutes per.

But functionally the time sink of character creation is actually creating the non-mechanical elements (backstory, personality, so on, so forth) and trying to avoid stupid tropes. I can sink HOURS into that.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I think there is an inherent conflict between the mechanical detail of a character as D&D works it, and the speed of character creation and play. So, if you're willing to sacrifice the mechanical detail, I'd suggest trying Dungeon World or another Powered by the Apocalypse game. Similarly, Fate has faster (YMMV) character creation and more flexibility. In all cases I've seen, you can't have all those fiddly mechanical bits with a +2 on a d20 for this and that, and fast character creation.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Well....

I guess you could invest a few hours (days?) in making a character sheet for every permutation of
standard array/race/background. Ignore MC. Fill in all the #s as 1st lv, leave the name blank, & then spend a few moments adjusting based on lv as needed.
When you need a new character you just open the folder & pull out a sheet.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Is this a sentiment that you share about creation?
Yes. The game is what happens at the table, after everyone meets in the tavern. Character creation is a chore.

The solution is to get rid of unnecessary decision points. All elves are high elves. All fighters are champions (or battle masters, whatever). No feats. No multi-classing. Standardized spell acquisition. You could probably work out some system for distributing ability scores that made sense.
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
I've always been an altoholic, character creation is one of the more exciting things for me and I always looks forward to making that new character and throwing them out in the world.
The fast way to make character is the pray RNGesus, just count the number of options for each step, and let the dice decide your race/class/background option and everything else. Bounded accuracy will make sure that pretty much any combination will work anyway.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
I have wanted faster character creation for years now. I’ve been trying to find the right words because, I figured out “why” I want it. I want to kill characters. That was a metric for me growing up. Good characters survived bad characters died. Effective play was rewarded. Punishment was handed out for stupidity.

When it occurred to me I wasn’t surprised. It made sense. When I honestly evaluated my motivation it started to look wrong. And that sucks.

Who wants their character to die? Killing a character should have some pros and cons right? So away I went.

cons:
-all that work for nothing
-the dream that the character would do some cool stuff has been crushed.
-here comes the new guy, how does he fit? How long till he gets here? How do we introduce him?
-it’s nice how you let my equipment continue to work for the party.
-here comes another effort at making something special with the current paradigm on creation and how long that can take.

pros:
-something new to explore

and that was all I could think of. It was all post hoc and probably just trash.


I still want faster character creation. I think the truth is because I am tired of it. I have spent a lot of time on it. Building my own, helping others grok the rules, waiting for my turn with the books, waiting to get back to playing, answering questions about minutiae for the tenth idea that gets abandoned. I kind of dread it but at the same time I look forward to it.(dreadfully) Sometimes sharing this stuff is the best way for me to get my head around something.

Is this a sentiment that you share about creation?
The risk of permanent character death makes characters feel more alive. It makes you love them even more. It makes their bravery feel real and their cowardice have tangible consequences that the players will care about.

I think that’s what you miss about character death coming easier.
 

DEFCON 1

Hero
It sounds like its not so much creating characters is a chore... but that trying to teach players the game and what everything means is a chore. But if you are playing 5E... there's nothing you can do about that.

Even if you hand each new player a pre-generated character (so that "character creation" is merely just selecting a piece of paper)... you're going to spend a lot of time trying to those players up to speed, instructing them on what all those dozens of words and numbers mean. That has to occur regardless of whatever character creation system you use, because 5E uses all those numbers. So even if you remove any "choice point" from their equation should you actually go through a process of letting them create their own character (not having them select ability scores, not having them select a background, not having them choose their spells, etc. etc.)... your "character creation process" for getting players up to speed on how to actually play the game is still going to be a long, drawn out affair because teaching them whatever is on their sheet can be a long, drawn-out affair.

A simpler "character creation process" doesn't really get you what it sounds like you want. A simpler "game" seems more to the point. The less rules and numbers you need to teach people, the faster the game itself gets going.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Rolling is fast. Decision points are slow.
Rolling in order only creates viable characters in a statistical sense. So, while decision points are slow, in the long run it probably beats having to roll in order several times before a character is generated that doesn't die when an orc sneezes on it.

It is a question of whether you front-load your time expenditure or not. I prefer to do the job right once, rather than do quick slipshod jobs several times. YMMV.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I think [MENTION=26790]Chaos[/MENTION]generator posted a random character generator with all possible races/classes/backgrounds from all official publications. The only remaining thing is rolling the stats.

Personally, on my downtime, I create table of interesting character concepts I'd like to explore in the context of the current campaign with race, archetype, alignment and basic personality already chosen. When I need to have a new character, I roll on my personal table to see who's gonna be next.
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
I still want faster character creation.
I think 5e character creation can be fairly fast (at 1st level) if you use standard array and default equipment.

Personally I believe that the most time consuming parts are (a) min-maxing ability scores and (b) carefully planning the known & prepared spells lists.

However I believe that the importance of both is overrated. IMHO way too many players are concerned too much with their characters to be "effective" and fail to understand that playing NON-optimized characters i.e. less "effective" only leads to less predictable outcomes of the in-game challenges, which eventually means more "effective" in fun. And here I don't just mean "fun" in a dumb way as in "oh how fun it is to die", but in the fact that real, serious "fun" comes from dealing with unexpected challenges, and overcoming them.

Other than using standard array and default equipment, unfortunately it's not that easy to make it faster... the choices themselves can be reduced to class+race+background, but for most classes that's not the end of character creation. You still have to record your racial features and modify ability scores based on that, you still have to pick a couple of skills and possibly a subclass or a class ability, and then the spells. And of course beyond 1st level it becomes more and more time-consuming to make all the choices.

So if the player is very unprepared (e.g. doesn't even know which class to play) and not willing to just make choices without worrying too much about their effectiveness, honestly I would not wait for him... I am willing to let the new PC have some "blanks" in the character sheet to be filled later, but I won't stop the game until he's ready.
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
Also, I want to add that I don't believe that character generators are significantly useful. That's because 5e has such a beautifully simple "engine", that you don't really need to pre-calculate much before starting the game. I still think that people are married to 3e/4e dogmas of wanting to pre-calculate all the total attack/skills/saves modifiers before starting the game, but 5e doesn't require that at all. I've been playing 2 years with my children using our own simplified character sheets where you don't have room to write total modifiers, and you just add proficiency bonus + ability modifier on the fly when you make rolls... if my primary school kids can do it, why can't experienced adult players? Without those calculations required, a character generator is not much faster.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Rolling in order only creates viable characters in a statistical sense. So, while decision points are slow, in the long run it probably beats having to roll in order several times before a character is generated that doesn't die when an orc sneezes on it.

It is a question of whether you front-load your time expenditure or not. I prefer to do the job right once, rather than do quick slipshod jobs several times. YMMV.
Rolling in order totally removes the decision point. The decision point slow things down much more than rolling even multiple times will do
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
I think 5e character creation can be fairly fast (at 1st level) if you use standard array and default equipment.

Personally I believe that the most time consuming parts are (a) min-maxing ability scores and (b) carefully planning the known & prepared spells lists.

However I believe that the importance of both is overrated. IMHO way too many players are concerned too much with their characters to be "effective" and fail to understand that playing NON-optimized characters i.e. less "effective" only leads to less predictable outcomes of the in-game challenges, which eventually means more "effective" in fun. And here I don't just mean "fun" in a dumb way as in "oh how fun it is to die", but in the fact that real, serious "fun" comes from dealing with unexpected challenges, and overcoming them.

Other than using standard array and default equipment, unfortunately it's not that easy to make it faster... the choices themselves can be reduced to class+race+background, but for most classes that's not the end of character creation. You still have to record your racial features and modify ability scores based on that, you still have to pick a couple of skills and possibly a subclass or a class ability, and then the spells. And of course beyond 1st level it becomes more and more time-consuming to make all the choices.

So if the player is very unprepared (e.g. doesn't even know which class to play) and not willing to just make choices without worrying too much about their effectiveness, honestly I would not wait for him... I am willing to let the new PC have some "blanks" in the character sheet to be filled later, but I won't stop the game until he's ready.
The problem with character generation in 5e is that I can make hundreds of slight variations for almost any character concept. Most of those variations are point buy related. Point buy makes character creation crawl to a stand still. Allowing feats and multiclassing forces a player that wants to optimize any to make decisions up front on whether he’s going multiclass and when etc. Feats also factor in here as well.

Eliminate those 3 things and character creation goes “fast”. Using standard array makes it a magnitude of speed even faster as most decision points get removed. Using rolled stats is going to be even faster as virtually all decision points get removed.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
I have wanted faster character creation for years now. I’ve been trying to find the right words because, I figured out “why” I want it. I want to kill characters. That was a metric for me growing up. Good characters survived bad characters died. Effective play was rewarded. Punishment was handed out for stupidity.

When it occurred to me I wasn’t surprised. It made sense. When I honestly evaluated my motivation it started to look wrong. And that sucks.

Who wants their character to die? Killing a character should have some pros and cons right? So away I went.

cons:
-all that work for nothing
-the dream that the character would do some cool stuff has been crushed.
-here comes the new guy, how does he fit? How long till he gets here? How do we introduce him?
-it’s nice how you let my equipment continue to work for the party.
-here comes another effort at making something special with the current paradigm on creation and how long that can take.

pros:
-something new to explore

and that was all I could think of. It was all post hoc and probably just trash.


I still want faster character creation. I think the truth is because I am tired of it. I have spent a lot of time on it. Building my own, helping others grok the rules, waiting for my turn with the books, waiting to get back to playing, answering questions about minutiae for the tenth idea that gets abandoned. I kind of dread it but at the same time I look forward to it.(dreadfully) Sometimes sharing this stuff is the best way for me to get my head around something.

Is this a sentiment that you share about creation?
My finely-tuned instincts tell me this is satire, but for the life of me I can't figure out the point. Some sort of dissatisfaction with 5e? Obscure form of humor? Mocking other forum posts?

/confused
 

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