When another player builds a clone of your character.

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
After all the years I’ve been playing, I‘ve tried all the cliches. But now, I tend to design more unusual concepts.

So I haven’t had it happen accidentally*, but I’ve been party to doing it deliberately.

As In, another player and I were talking about what we’d like to play in an upcoming GURPS game, and we had semi-related ideas. So we decided to go whole hog, and designed identical twin sorceress/warriors from a Barbarian tribe.

Had a blast.




* There was one 2Ed D&D campaign in which we used the Players’ Option books. Another player and I both designed characters that melded fighter, clerical, and magic-user elements, but in radically different ways. Before we even rolled dice, the other player complained about my “Superman”. His whining annoyed me enough that I shredded my character up in his face- NOT my proudest moment- and rolled up a vanilla PHB Thief in a few minutes.

Months later, I ran that same “Superman” character in another campaign involving some of the same players (but not the complainer)...and he was one-shotted by a greatsword-wielding skeleton who rolled a nat20. Those players who had been in that prior campaign openly wondered what the earlier fuss had been about.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
I've played in games where another player has had the same class, & generally the same skills/stats as mine.
I've never been in a game where they copied my character though.
 

pemerton

Legend
In my Prince Valiant game two of the players built near-identical PCs without colluding with one another; the only difference was the number of ranks allocated to Fellowship and Healing skill:

Brawn 4, Presence 3, Arms 3, Riding 1, Hunting 1, Archery 1, Fellowship 1 or 2, Healing 2 or1.

One described his PC as a middle-aged knight who's accomplished little, the other as a young knight of mighty thews. We decided that the second was the son of the first. It's worked out pretty well.

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a
Wizard in an adventuring party with a
20 intelligence and everyone else has an 8 intelligence.
My point is that with the standard array I see the same attribute distribution being used almost everything for a given class.
In my 4e game two of the PCs have 10 INT, two have 12 INT, and the invoker/wizard has 24 INT.

There is a similar though not identical patter across STR (on 10. two 12s, a 14, and then the fighter at 26) and CHA (two 12s, a 15, and a sorcerer and paladin each at 28).

A lot of skills show similar sorts of spreads.

It isn't really a big deal in play.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
In 35+ years of gaming, I’ve seen it a few times. Two players playing the same macro concept (like a sword and board fighter, or two evoker wizards), but role playing them was different, and they had different personalities because they were being run by different players with different personalities and goals.

in short, not a problem.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Usualky one of several things is true...

We as players are sharing info about our chargen and can coordinate to avoid problems. It doesnt mean no cases of same base but we add more distinctive differences outside of class race etc.

The GM is collecting characters individually and they are looking for conflicts or issues. Then the GM might ask for changes.

Finally, if its show up cold, there are required pre-gens that avoid conflicts.

So, no problems
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
Same here. We all chatted about concepts before the start of the campaign.
I've seen it most often with replacement characters. A dude dies, decides to roll up his next guy as "also a fire mage." There's no formal Session 0 to help counterbalance that impulse, and so you wind up with two dudes slinging the same spells and glaring at one another across the table.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I've seen it most often with replacement characters. A dude dies, decides to roll up his next guy as "also a fire mage." There's no formal Session 0 to help counterbalance that impulse, and so you wind up with two dudes slinging the same spells and glaring at one another across the table.
Oof that's rough. We haven't experienced that yet, but I can see it.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Brobarians.

My two year old demands I that I read the brobarians book to him every night.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Or maybe they are brothers. Or twins.
Back during the days of AD&D 1e, my brother and a friend of ours did exactly that. Each had rolled 18's in front of anyone and each applied them to strength. Then, both chose fighter (or maybe it was barbarian) and rolled exceptional strength with a result of 90+. Everyone joked that they should be brothers and, as a result, the "Bruise Brothers" were born. They had a lot of fun and, despite no longer having an interest in gaming, my brother'still, fondly, recalls that character from his days playing D&D.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
When I join an ongoing campaign, I find out what people are playing and make a character to first not step on anyone's toes, and second fill a gap. That's common courtesy as far as I'm concerned.

And it gets me angry when others don't do this, perhaps out of whack with the magnitude of the sin. Had a player do this in one campaign where it was just that his new character also had expertise and the same modifier in persuasion that was my halfling bard's trademark for the campaign. Wasn't helped that the original characters were point buy but he showed up with quite nice rolled ability scores so he matched me there, and others elsewhere. As you can tell, I'm still a bit steamed about it.

EDIT: A couple of posters mentioned doing it on purpose with buy in from both players and making brothers or other interwoven backstories. That's cool, and I've done that myself. Party on!
 
Have you guys ever been in this situation? You roll up a character with a fairly standard archetype -- big dumb guy with greatsword; snarky necromancer; etc. -- only to find that another player is horning in on the same conceptual space. Is this a "stop copying me" problem, or do you feel like there's enough room in the campaign for similar character types? And if the players in questions do feel like, "I called shotgun on seductive bard," how did you resolve it?
It doesn't happen to me because usually I let other players choose what character to play, and then I pick a different class from anyone else. It works for me because I'm not a childish "I want to play ONLY this pet concept of mine and I want to play it NOW" player, and in fact I can easily come up with a dozen character concepts I haven't played yet and are all worth trying out.

The only time I had a PC similar to that of another player was the very first time I played D&D, and that' because we were playing BECMI, we only had 7 classes to choose from, each class had minimum ability scores requirements, and we were forced to roll 3d6 in order. Me and a friend both ended up with ability scores that did not qualify for any class except Dwarf, and there was practically nothing else to choose, so we had to play very similar characters stat-wise. That didn't stop us from eventually having very different characters story-wise: I was the young reckless Dwarf, and my friend was the older wise and calm Dwarf.
 

Istbor

Explorer
Before our long standing group new that session 0 was a thing, we ran into something like this.

It wasn't really a clone all the time really, but we did have a player who was a big fan of one-upping.

I do feel a little annoyed if I dump a lot of character creation into being the sneaking rogue type, and then another player ends up being as sneaky.

I think it all depends. Are you trying to make an A team, or a Seal Team 6? If you want that cool all rogue party, then toe stepping is probably going to happen. If you expected to fall into a particular role of; Face, Support, Glass cannon, Tank, and find that someone else is jumping into that role? I feel it is natural to worry a little about your share of the spot light. Especially if you are in an AL or Con environment, where you may not know or trust the other party members. With close friends that I have gamed with for years? Heck yeah, let's be the Bash Brothers (Big dumb warriors) or the Silent Sisters (sneaky rogues). That is fun.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
5E probaly plays better with similar character types than any edition before it. Some would call this a good feature, others not. Many in the past Hated that they had to have these different character types or the game would not play well.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Have a mechanical clone isn't an issue, unless you use asymmetrical character creation (such as rolled ability scores). In that case, if one is clearly better than the other, the second player is going to have a lot of problems. Jealousy and envy are going to rise up, no matter how mature the player might be. It's hard to enjoy yourself when you're always second fiddle.

Having a personality clone usually isn't an issue, so long as the players run with it. Smash brothers, ladies men, etc. all can pair up to work off of each other socially really well. One exception to this is the edgelord; two edgelords in a group is misery for everyone, as they try to outdo each other.

If someone made a mechanical and personality clone of my character, and they knew my character in advance, I'd give them a WTF look. If it was pure coincidence, I'd work with them to vary our personalities at least a little bit.
 
It is natural, IMO.

How many dumb barbarians are there that hate anything magic (wizard) related?
How many self absorbed wizards are there, that cares only for its personal goals?
How many hack-n-slash fighters are there?

How many elves are there that hate dwarves?
How many dwarves are there that hate elves, goblins, orcs.

Stereotypes are abound in any role playing game.
I'm with Legatus on this one. This is especially true if they are from the same area. It's like saying how many elitist can one find in a Parisian wine bar. The answer - lots. If two barbarians are from the same area, they probably share similar views.

As DM, I say roll with it. I would even go so far as to build into the storyline that they are related, although they find that out later.
 
Years and years ago, without talking to each other, a friend and I both showed up at the table with half elf rangers with favored enemy (human). We laughed about it. I think we did differ on our skill selections and combat styles.
 

Eltab

Explorer
If two players show up at Session One with similar characters, the two players and the DM have to figure out how to roll with it.
If one PC dies and that player brings in a near-copy of another player's character, I would be asking what (s)he was trying to accomplish by so doing. Even more so if the old character was narratively retired not slain. I also would take my lead from the player of the copied character; if he is ok with it, I won't press the subject.
 

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