May 072010

Click here to read Part 1

Hello again!  I’m here for the second installment of The Best Character Formulas.  So far, I’ve talked about heroes with Personal Demons, and how while they might not seem to be the best choice as a hero, in the end, their stories might be the most rewarding.  Moving On, I’ll be talking about my favorite type to play, Hindered Heroes.

Formula 2: Hindered Heroes

Superman is awesome, Superman is cool, Superman is a great hero.  What he isn’t is invulnerable, because if he were invulnerable, his stories would get dull pretty quickly.  Sure, he can fly faster than bullets, stop bullets, and even eat bullets, but he can’t do a damn thing about kryptonite bullets.  Ah ha! Now we have something that peaks our interest!  It is largely more entertaining watching a hero overcome obstacles, instead of completely overpowering obstacles.

I don’t expect you to make a super character with one Achilles heel (that’s hardly a good role playing character).  What I do expect, is that your character has some negative trait that sets him apart from others – something that says, “Yeah, I’m cool, but I’m even cooler because I have to work harder to get that cheddar.”

Here are some examples:

  • Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson’s character) from Lethal Weapon, and his struggle with sanity
  • Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop, trying to be a cop in “this ain’t your jurisdiction” Beverly Hills
  • Superman, and his kryptonite
  • Daredevil, and his blindness
  • The Hulk, and his anger management issues
  • Robin Hood, being continuously hunted by the sheriff
  • Willow, and his being small in a human’s world
  • John Constantine,and his “let’s get this life over with, I don’t give a crap” attitude
  • Edward from Twilight, and his struggle to not eat his girlfriend (or anyone else).  Team Edward!

Most of my characters are considered hindered heroes, as that is what I get the most enjoyment from.

Even power-gamers and godmoders can benefit from playing a hindered hero.  The hindrance doesn’t have to be a mechanical penalty, and usually, it isn’t.  For instance, your character could be a mean alcoholic, or has horrible scars, or is a little crazy, or whatever.

Really, it’s up to you to decide how your character is going to be set apart from the rest.  Believe me, being the underdog in some fashion or another has its rewards.  Just go for it!

Thanks for reading!

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Charisma Keller

Charisma is a self-proclaimed Gran Tourismo champion, and swears that it’s official (or that it should be). She loves strength and beauty, so she usually tries to combine the two. Her characters are confident, humble, foolish, and heroic, and has named at least two of them after her favorite drink, the Lemon Drop. Oh yeah, her favorite muscle car would be the 67 GT-500E.

  5 Responses to “The Best Character Formulas – Part 2”

  1. Thanks Charisma, you’ve hit the nail on the head here.

    My favourite character of my players’ was an utterly selfish wizard – he wasn’t playing against the group as such, but he’d always do whatever was in his best interests at the time. He’d quite happily run away, refuse to let people use his Tenser’s Floating Disc as it was stopping him getting his feet dirty, and push elderly NPCs (and the occasional PC) down flights of stairs for his own ends.

    The fact that he had to continually fight his selfishness made him a pretty fun character to have in the party, and made a nice lever for me as DM.

    What’s a-comin’ in part 3??

    • Now now, never give away secrets! Actually, I’m still putting it together. I’m not sure it it’s good enough for my tastes, so I’ll wait for it to be finished before I decide to post it.

  2. Finally I have found some one who agrees with me! And Ill give you all the examples except for the Edward one. Twilight is blech.:)

    • Thank You! Even though you “bleched” my Twilight, I still have to say I like your Terror Tuesdays!

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. Thank you very much, and yes although I don’t like twilight(I have only seen the movie) I can understand why people do.

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