View Full Version : Establish Characters in Your Game

2011-06-21, 02:10 AM
This could probably fit into Media Discussion too, but eh.

So yeah. Have you ever been playing a game and just come across a character you know exists from something else? Either a full-fledged theft or expy, it doesn't matter.

Currently, I'm playing a Luffy expy in d20 modern, but only player has noticed. Every time we're in town I try to buy a sunhat, and I try to buy a sunhat, he rips it in half so that I can't be complete. I then proceed to punch his character in the face, but that's for another thread.

2011-06-21, 12:24 PM
I've got a GM who has a marked tendency to play Captain America expies. What's funny is that he's complained to me before about people in his games playing Deadpool expies.

Jay R
2011-06-21, 03:22 PM
So what's the problem with it? If he wants to play a Captain America type, let him play a Captain America type. The character will diverge anyway, just from the adventures he has, but it lets the player know what the character would do.

I find this far superior to characters that are a bunch of stats with no personality.

When designing a super-hero character, I tend to start from a base model, and then deliberately change one aspect of the character, to make him unique.

I invented a **** Grayson type, with no Batman. So he leans heavily on circus skills, and has no detective skills. But he's pretty much **** Grayson, down to the Haly circus, Boss Zucco and the murdered parents.

I invented a Dr. Strange type called Dr. MacAbre. He's really John MacAubrey, and Dr. MacAbre was a stage name, since he was a stage magician before he learned magic. The kicker is that he can suddenly turn into a wolf, bat or mist, and is worried that he might be becoming a vampire.

In Flashing Blades, I created a rogue based originally on Disney's Aladdin, but gave him a Paris-specific background.

I actually recommend that new players start with an idea on a character they'd like to play, and then consider how their character could be different from the movie or book version.

2011-06-21, 03:32 PM
So what's the problem with it? If he wants to play a Captain America type, let him play a Captain America type. The character will diverge anyway, just from the adventures he has, but it lets the player know what the character would do.

The Captain America type isn't a huge problem...well, except that the guy doesn't seem to have any range beyond that, and RPGs are a creative activity. The silly thing is that he has a big problem with people playing expies of other characters (mostly Deadpool). I don't think he even realizes the irony.

2011-06-21, 04:22 PM
I don't think I've played a character who's strongly, er, homaging any single existing character.


No, I don't think I have. I did play a character in a game partly based on The World Ends With You who ended up resembling Shiki from that game in several entirely unintended ways. And my longest-running character, a blonde, teenaged swimmer called Cat (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=140069) who's a transforming hero with water-based powers was created before ever I heard of the second Pink Ranger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Hillard).

I've played in games with PCs who were clear expys, though, although in the most egregious cases I wasn't familiar with the original characters when I started playing. I've played in more games with NPCs who were expys. I don't think it's a bad thing so long as the player/DM isn't relying entirely on the character being referenced instead of developing the character actually present.

Nothing will ever beat the magical girl game where the commander of our almost-entirely-female team was... this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo3Tpw-zLkM#t=36s). Yeah, that GM has some murderin' due.

2011-06-21, 06:15 PM
My party recently went up against a corrupt dwarven guard Captain named Tordek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNrLMob39qI)

I knew my DM was going to use Tordek, I was caught a bit off guard when he turned out to be working for the big bad

2011-06-21, 06:25 PM
Most of my characters are a mashup of a bunch of guys that fit an archetype. I'm currently playing someone that is a bit like Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, Tron Bonne and Refers to herself (erroneously) as someone like Misato Katsuragi. The other current character I'm playing is based a bit off Lelouch vi Brittania and Thomas Cochrane. Most of the time, it's mixed between so many people, that people generally miss the reference, even when it's fairly obvious.

I've also played something like Alma Wade, Dante Sparda, a generic magical school girl and Marvin the suicidal robot.

The only character I made that got called out as a direct expy, was one that was apparantly identical to Deedlit from Record of Lodoss war, which was ironic as I've never seen the series.

2011-06-21, 06:50 PM
I think the only homage I've paid to a character in a book/movie/tv series/other media was a Guts clone in a one-shot DnD game.

I mostly play homage to my older, 1e/2e characters. Two of them more often than the rest, though.

2011-06-21, 06:57 PM
I've played homages, but they've mostly been homages to archetypes (The Cape, so capy that the games other Cape nearly became a villain in order to get him to be impolite. A Paladin who actually had another paladin in the group tell him to stop doing good deeds and relax for a while).

I think the only clear expy I played was a Ciaphas Cain expy, except it was an expy of the Propoganda version of him. Absurdly brave, inspiring people through great speeches, hilariously skilled swordsman and marksman.

I even got Jurgen through Leadership. And once the GM figured out the expy, no-one would ever remember Jurgen's name.

I generally allow my players to play an expy, as long as the expy-ness doesn't damage the game.

2011-06-21, 07:32 PM
One of our players occasionally does this, but he does it awesome so we let him get away with it. :smallbiggrin:

His last character was a shameless Doctor Who expy; the monk he plays in my game (the one I'm trying to get raised in a different thread) is... um...

...Neil Patrick Harris.

So yeah.

2011-06-21, 07:38 PM
the monk he plays in my game (the one I'm trying to get raised in a different thread) is... um...

...Neil Patrick Harris.

So yeah.Is it Neil Patrick Harris, or...The Barnacle? (Either way, I'd let it fly.)

Captain Six
2011-06-23, 05:13 PM
I have a very recent somewhat unintentional example. I'm DMing a tribal/survivalist-based game with the intention that I can focus strongly on having a character for every member of any tribe they meet. At one point the party found a small group of people living at the edge of a forest, the group was roughly twenty people.

So I threw together a table for class distribution, rolled 1d4 for level (with 4 being level 1 for a low level bias) and rolled on a homebrewed Reincarnation table made for this world. I flipped a coin for gender and then found a random generator and printed out 20 names, assigned them in order figuring that some people might just have been given bad names. It took maybe five minutes and I was already figuring out sub-groups based on race and class. Then I did a quick scan to see the highest ECL of the group. She was a Pixie* named Taerra. (*I use Pedals from MM3 for Pixies. Tiny sized, less hax powers and playable level adjustment.)

Now being bad at keeping DM secrets when something entertaining happens behind the screen I laughed told the group, "The most powerful character in this clan is a Level 3 Female Pixie Fighter."

The immediate reply from one of my players: "Is she THE STRONGEST?"


And after a question like that I really had no choice, this clan had a Cirno among their ranks. Taerra was quickly adopted as a party member and occasionally joins their adventures. Only she claims that they are joining her.

2011-06-23, 05:52 PM
I've played standard archetypes, or clichés, if you will, but never any expies of other characters.

2011-06-23, 11:06 PM
In the clipPremointion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp5krDoflLI&feature=related) I have in a current Horror Game expys to each character, one being a DMPC.
It certainly keeps the mood interesting and helps remind them there are people not just horrible abominations out there

You'll Never Get It Out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OUP_Z3iZPs&feature=related)