INTERPRETIVE CHARACTER CREATION

A non-codeified attempt at Free-Kriegsspiel style character creation, intended for descriptive character creation such as that featured in the Landshut Rules.

Rolling dice should be an art, not a science.

I like randomizing a few aspects of character creation. After all, none of us got to choose our genetic makeup. At the same time, I tend to shy away from attempts at descriptive stats that are meant to holistically describe a character. Besides, I want more mystique to the process than that. Rolling dice should be an art, not a science. So here’s how I do character creation in my games:

  1. Roll 3 distinct d6’s together, if you don’t have distinct dice, you can distinguish them by where they land, closest to furthest. For the sake of example, I’ll be using blue, green, and red dice.
  2. Assign a rough sense of purpose to each dice. This is intentionally ambiguous and unclear and requires gut feeling and maybe a sense of what’s important for the setting you plan on playing in. In my example I’ll assign the intellect to the blue dice, cunning to the green dice, and prowess to the red dice.
  3. Look at the highest and lowest results of the dice. The lower the roll is, the less likely a character is to have those kinds of traits, the higher a dice is, the more likely they are to have traits associated with it.
  4. Briefly discuss with the player what kind of character they want to play as.
  5. Finally, reach deep into your gut, your heart-of-hearts, and interpret the dice results into a few traits for the player to assign to their character. These traits should provide some obvious benefit or detriment to the character, should take into account the kind of character the player wishes to create, and above all should infuse the character with flavor.
  6. Finally, the player may desire to assign a few more unique traits to their character, and name them. These traits should be neutral, or at least ambiguous in their advantage or disadvantage.

I think it’s probably impossible to codify this method any further, which makes it hard to explain. So here’s a quick and dirty example:

The referee rolls a red, green, and blue dice together. The blue lands on 5, green lands on 3, and red lands on 2. A brief discussion with the player reveals that they wish to play a burglar or thief kind of character. Since they rolled high on blue, the referee pauses for a moment before telling the character the following:

“You’re character has a natural talent towards mechanical objects such as locks (high blue), and due to their slight frame (low red), a natural talent for moving silently in the dark (high blue).”

The player writes “mechanically minded” and “thin framed” on their character sheet. They then decide to add “dark hair” to their sheet and name their character.

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