Re: Character Generation - Why bother with Guidelines?

From: Tim Ellis <tim_at_...>
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2006 17:12:41 -0000

I suspect there are a couple of reasons for this that probably go back to RPG history, and almost certainly don't affect the people currently debating...

  1. In the early days (or at least in my early days) we all created characters "by the rules" and played them in games run by any memeber of the group who had something to run. When I went to the TSR run "Games Fairs" in the Eighties, most GM's expected players to bring their own characters. Obviosly, therefore, it behove players and GM's to use "the offical rules" in order to make this inter-game transfer run smoothly. If you are creating a character to run in a specific campaign run by a single GM (or even in a troupe style campaign run by various members of your group) then providing all the participants are happy to use or ignore the same rules it doesn't matter if they are the ones in the book or not.
  2. Published scenarios are written assuming that the players who use them will have been created by, and run according to the rules as written, so if you change the scale, or allow more or fewer skills, whatever, there is a chance you will unbalance the scenario if the GM does not makle the same (or similar) changes there. This is sort of Jane's argument that if the rules define a Clan Champion as having skill X, then if you are creating a clan champion he should have skill of X not 1/2 X or 2X - Of course if you never run any written scenarios then this is less of a problem...

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