Your first time at the D&D table: maybe it happened recently, or maybe it’s something you’re looking to try! The first time I sat at a gaming table, I remember a hurricane of excitement, ideas, rules and expectations. Would it be like that dead alewives sketch? (Yes, sometimes.) Would I be scared? (Yes.) Would I want to do this again? (I think we know the answer).
Newbies, I’m here for you! I remember being new to the game table. While it’s always exciting, there’s still the pressure to come to the table with an original character concept. An RPG table is a place where fun, originality and conflict come together. If you’re playing for the first time, you’ve likely never spent 3 hours pretending to be someone else before. Who do you pretend to be?
With all of this excitement can be the pressure to have a character just like all the really funny and exciting ones your friends have told you about or you’ve seen in movies! Could you be as quirky and heroic as Bilbo? After all, most people don’t come to an RPG table to play Personality Free Peasants: the RPG.
Here’s what I want for you, newbies. Don’t let that pressure delay your first game. Nobody has a totally hilarious, smart and amazing character all the time! I mean it! You’re going to explore your fantasy avatar’s psychy. That stuff will come, but what you need now is a big red button that other people at the table can press, making it easier to interact with the other characters.
If you’re stuck on making a character, one of the simplest things to do is give them a schtick, and there’s no reason to feel embarrassed or somehow un-creative about it! Maybe they’re vegetarian. Maybe they have anime hair. One big quirk is easy for other players to interact with, and it can take away the fear of not being the most interesting person at the table. As you become more comfortable with the game, you’ll outgrow the schtick and your character will develop depth, and their decisions will seem natural to you. But it’s something that takes awhile to learn. Unless you really liked school plays, taking on another persona is a strange situation, and it can even make you feel really vulnerable! Go with a schtick, and remember: you’re there to have fun, you don’t have to win an oscar.
In Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, the big red button is part of the rules! In D&D, you can make this happen with a notable weakness or a character affectation.
Commenters, what’s your favourite cahracter schtick? Do you remember your first time going through character creation?