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rezplz
2012-10-15, 09:04 PM
So one of my friends has decided when one of our current campaigns ends, he wants to DM a campaign where we're all (minus him) playing ourselves.

While I'm interested and excited for this idea, I know that there are a lot of possible problems and complications when you play a campaign where the players are all playing ourselves. So I've started to give some advice based on what I've heard of people do when they do such a campaign, but since I've never done it myself I don't have much to draw on. So I would like to know what advice/recommendations you guys have.

Advice I've given him so far is:
Start us out as commoners with a negative amount of experience - once we reach 0, we switch our commoner class level with our first level.
Do it as a point buy - that prevents people from being offended if they have a lower point buy than others in the party.
Have a session mostly devoted to working out what our stats/classes would be before we get down to actually playing.
I also wrote a quick guide to help people accurately stat themselves, and then use point buy from there to judge scores appropriately.

Other than that, I don't have a whole lot to go off of. If any of you have done this before, what worked and what didn't? One big thing I'm worried about is if people are playing in character as themselves, there is a higher chance of people taking something personally. And, if one of us dies... what then? What are things to avoid? Thanks in advance for the help.

Mark Hall
2012-10-15, 09:32 PM
Somewhat depends on system, but I do have one suggestion...

If people are making themselves, let them have the stats they think they have. Nothing is more likely to engender bad feelings than the conversation "Really, Bob? You're giving yourself an 18 Intelligence AND a 15 Charisma?"

Point buy may be the order of the day.

Frog of War
2012-10-15, 09:33 PM
Roleplaying yourself can be difficult to keep from devolving into RP-less metagaming. If everyone in the group has a good sense of humor (and a solid ego), it might be good if everyone were to play an exaggerated caricature of themselves. Discuss with each other not only what class/alignment you would be in the campaign world, but also what personality traits you have that would be fun to exaggerate.

prufock
2012-10-15, 10:11 PM
I can see the draw of this concept, as long as everyone is on the same page. When it comes to RP, playing yourself should be the easiest thing in the world. When it comes to builds, agree on a point buy.

Let's face it, most of us are level 1 or 2 NPC classes with 15-16 point buy.

Another idea would be to have them do more like idealized versions of themselves. Do a regular 25 point buy and expand on their own strengths and abilities with PC classes.

Slipperychicken
2012-10-15, 10:14 PM
And, if one of us dies... what then?

Reroll as your identical twin brother.

Stats
For stats, it depends on the generation method. If it's rolled, then have people rank their IRL stats in order of highest to lowest, then assign the rolls accordingly. If it's point-buy, let people assign scores as appropriate.

Levels
After first level, you can retrain your Commoner level and start building into an "idealized" version of yourself. That is, exaggerating your perceived strengths into the appropriate PC class. You can restrict people to non-magical classes if that works better for the intent.


I find this whole exercise strange, since IRL, I would never take the kinds of risks which PCs do in dnd, and am generally risk-averse and not adventurous (making me an awful hero for an adventure story :smallfrown:).

ghost_warlock
2012-10-16, 12:24 AM
My advice is to make equivalents of yourself, rather than trying to be completely faithful to reality. That way, you don't have to have any pointless arguments about each others' ability scores and whether, say, Joe Schmoe would be better represented as a commoner or a swordsage.

You're already playing a D&D game so it shouldn't be too much of a leap to imagine versions of yourself in such a world being somewhat different than you actually are - focus on the personalities rather than the mechanics.

Ashtagon
2012-10-16, 03:14 AM
If you want to be at all playable, don't take the realistic approach, which would make you all commoners, experts, warriors, or possibly rogues or factotums at a push.

Instead, consider your course of study and/or career path, and translate that into the fantasy world equivalent. Lawyer? You're clearly cut out to be a rogue or bard. Engineer? Wizard. Security guard? Warblade. Security officer sitting behind a desk monitoring live video feeds? Some caster of caster with a speciality in divination spells. Medical professional? Cleric of a life/healing deity. Food services? Cleric of a harvest/agriculture deity. If you're low level office admins, consider what your company does as well. A bank clerk would clearly be a rogue or a priest of a merchant-oriented deity. Personnel officers would get to be clerics of a knowledge or community-focused deity maybe. You get the idea.


More ideas: If you are very active in sports or outdoor activities, that's good for a level or three in a martial class. Being a member of the police forces is probably good for levels in a knight or paladin style class (possibly a grey guard type class if you're cynical about it). Active soldiers are probably good for martial classes, or even rogue (sneak attack = ambush?) or scout. If you're in sales, that probably translates into bard or beguiler levels.

Technically, we're all (I assume) human, but the obvious tropes based on physique exist.

rezplz
2012-10-16, 07:23 PM
Thanks for all of the advice so far. We're definitely sticking with point buy - hopefully not too low, since when we were brainstorming we agreed my personal point buy works out to somewhere between 17 and 21 - and playing off of the equivalent of "identical twins" I recommended that there be "echoes" of ourselves in this world we're getting shunted to. Basically ourselves, but they had been in this DnD world their whole lives. Aaand it turns out he was already planning on doing that exact idea. So It seems that he's planned a little further ahead than I thought.

I recommended that we just let people stat themselves up, but even if they were pumping everyone up to a point buy they wanted it to be more accurate, if not realistic. (It IS DnD, after all.) The idea that he has right now is to do a blind survey, where everybody assigns everyone elses stats, gives them to him, and he'll take the averages, with allowances to make everyone at the same point buy. So hopefully that will allow for nobody getting offended - but there was only ever one or two that I was worried about for that in the first place.

prufock
2012-10-16, 08:20 PM
The idea that he has right now is to do a blind survey, where everybody assigns everyone elses stats, gives them to him, and he'll take the averages, with allowances to make everyone at the same point buy. So hopefully that will allow for nobody getting offended

Really? What happens when someone's average intelligence is 8, as voted on by the group? Or charisma 4? This sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you're going to do it this way, I would let the player also assign his own stats and include those in the average.

If you want to get really "accurate," here's what I recommend:
Strength - go to the gym as a group. Everyone does 2 exercises: clean and jerk and deadlift. Compare this to "lift over head" and "lift off ground" for a strength score.
Dexterity - Reflex test, like the dropped ruler or the "click when the color changes." You can find these online, as well as the average results. Compare, remember that 10.5 is average Dex.
Constitution - Hold your breath for as long as possible and divide seconds by 12 to get your Con score. This will, on average, be skewed slightly high for those holding their breath more than 120 seconds, but is still reasonable.
The mental stats are more difficult to quantify.
Intelligence - How many languages does each player know? If only 1, their Int score is not over 11. Have the players do an IQ test (even a crappy online one) and divide the result by 10. Not ideal and doesn't quite fit the curves, but close enough for your purposes.
Wisdom - Watch a video clip, then have 18 questions about what they just saw and heard to gauge perception. Wis = number of questions you answer correctly.
Charisma - Send the players out with a camera each for an hour or so, with instructions to get photos with as many strangers as possible. Not really sure how you would calculate this, though. Maybe take the distribution and normalize it.

Johel
2012-10-16, 09:01 PM
Intelligence - How many languages does each player know? If only 1, their Int score is not over 11. Have the players do an IQ test (even a crappy online one) and divide the result by 10. Not ideal and doesn't quite fit the curves, but close enough for your purposes.

So... No überwizard in the group, I guess.
Most of them should get 10, with maybe the occasionnal polyglot getting 14 or 15.

http://www.sq.4mg.com/NationIQ.htm
http://www.iqtestforfree.net/average-IQ-by-country.html
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_ave_iq-education-average-iq
http://www.iqtest-center.com/iq-scores.php

Slipperychicken
2012-10-16, 10:00 PM
Intelligence - How many languages does each player know? If only 1, their Int score is not over 11. Have the players do an IQ test (even a crappy online one) and divide the result by 10. Not ideal and doesn't quite fit the curves, but close enough for your purposes.

This thread (http://www.criticalfumble.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15312) (Post #2 in particular (http://www.criticalfumble.net/forum/showpost.php?p=230362&postcount=2)) contains conversion. Basically converts standard deviation from IQ to 3d6. Post #2 is a much more cleaned-up and usable version.


Woohoo! I have 15 Int! I could be a viable Wizard!... I really need to assign those bonus languages...

Exediron
2012-10-17, 01:33 AM
Intelligence - How many languages does each player know? If only 1, their Int score is not over 11.

No. Just because you're smart enough to know another language doesn't mean you do; it only really makes sense as 'if you tried to learn another language and failed your intelligence is not over 11', and even so some people are naturally linguistically talented without being geniuses.

NichG
2012-10-17, 02:02 AM
I'd say throw considerations of accuracy out the window, as they will crush considerations of playability and fun if you aren't careful. Point buy should be fine for the stats.

If anything, the biggest hurdle of RPing yourself is going to be getting out of the game mindset. As someone pointed out, very few of us would do the risky, stupid stuff that D&D PCs usually do. You could however still make an interesting game out of a group of characters who actually respond to risk realistically (so long as there is also a pressing need that makes it so they can't just run and stick their heads in the sand or let the king's guard deal with it or whatever).

Basically, accept and embrace your natural response to risk - act like you really cannot afford for this character to die, but do that in a campaign environment where each of you personally will die or suffer if you do not act. The plot has to be chosen carefully to enable this - it doesn't work so well to say 'you are dropped in Faerun, now go!'. Instead its better if its something like 'you are not supposed to be here but got here anyhow - something about your existence or your otherworldly knowledge poses a threat to this world and its gods, and so the gods are sending their servants to destroy you. Perhaps its not even because your a threat, but because some of them hate you for what you and your world represent. For whatever reason, you are immune to their direct wrath and even their divination, so now you must somehow survive and resolve this issue.'

Or even something like 'while this new world has strengthened you in many ways, something about it is causing a slow degeneration that will eventually lead to your death in a year. You must find the cause of this and resolve it before you die.' Then after you've done so, you've probably had enough exposure to danger (and exposure to the idiosyncracies of D&D personal durability) to start to justify the riskier behavior again.

rezplz
2012-10-17, 07:45 AM
Really? What happens when someone's average intelligence is 8, as voted on by the group? Or charisma 4? This sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you're going to do it this way, I would let the player also assign his own stats and include those in the average.



Now see, this is exactly what I'm worried about. However, he doesn't want to listen to me for the time being, so I decided to not press the issue. If we get closer to actuallydoing his campaign I'll try to bring it up again. Because really, I don't see how it would negatively impact the game if everyone just stats themselves up - as long as we're doing point buy, we'll all be pretty equal. Sigh.

While I don't like the example for INT (After all, it represents your ability to learn more than what you've actually learned) the others are all pretty good. But my goal is to make it more simple and fun, rather than making everyone seem like they're going through some rigorous exercise. When talking to people about ability scores, I used the lifting capacities and breath holding as examples, however.

Slipperychicken: That's pretty brilliant, actually. Probably more accurate than what I was doing (using standardized testing, and the percentile you fell in) as an example. Either way though, looks like I'm a 16 INT.

prufock
2012-10-17, 08:44 AM
This thread (http://www.criticalfumble.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15312) (Post #2 in particular (http://www.criticalfumble.net/forum/showpost.php?p=230362&postcount=2)) contains conversion. Basically converts standard deviation from IQ to 3d6. Post #2 is a much more cleaned-up and usable version.


Woohoo! I have 15 Int! I could be a viable Wizard!... I really need to assign those bonus languages...
Yep, I actually worked out the numbers myself a year or two ago and posted in a thread on the playground as well. I can't seem to find the thread now, but on first blush those look very similar.

Using a valid IQ test is also important, and online tests... generally aren't that valid or reliable. The last one I took, I scored 154, which isn't even on this chart, putting me around a 21 Int score. Somehow I doubt that.

And I only know one language!


No. Just because you're smart enough to know another language doesn't mean you do; it only really makes sense as 'if you tried to learn another language and failed your intelligence is not over 11', and even so some people are naturally linguistically talented without being geniuses.

Incorrect. Your intelligence modifier determines "The number of languages your character knows at the start of the game" as stated in the SRD. Remember we're doing conversions here. If you know only 1 language, you have an Int score of no greater than 11.

Ashtagon
2012-10-17, 09:20 AM
Incorrect. Your intelligence modifier determines "The number of languages your character knows at the start of the game" as stated in the SRD. Remember we're doing conversions here. If you know only 1 language, you have an Int score of no greater than 11.

When doing conversions from real life to D&D, this should be tempered by opportunity and need.

Otherwise, the average American would be quite dumb compared to the average European, who would in turn appear quite dumb to the average African.

Given the demographics of the USA, Americans simply have no reason to (and in some cases, no effective opportunity to) learn a foreign language. That doesn't reflect on their intelligence.

Also, I understood the thread to be not about playing the person, but about playing a translation of the person into D&D. Otherwise, ya'll commoners now, y'hear me?

lucky9
2012-10-17, 01:59 PM
ya'll commoners now, y'hear me? I disagree, the d&d universe is one of exaggeration. Right down to walking speed (which is 0.5'/second faster than an adult male of average height:smallbiggrin:). So when trying to squeeze your real self into a fantasy character you need to likewise exaggerate your strengths and weaknesses. Therefore very few people are actually commoners. I've never heard of anyone IRL succumbing to the terrors of the fiendish house cat:smalltongue: That is to say, in a world where magic is plentiful and house cats are deadly it's less of a stretch to say that a person would have studied magic or some other fantastic ability than it is to say they died of stubbed toe.(haha I just remembered that's how Jack Daniels went. IRL commoner with maxed out profession brewer?) Although, how many of us are past level one is another story...

Rixx
2012-10-17, 02:20 PM
My proposed solution is to use an array. That way, you don't have to work out the specifics of what your ability scores are - you just have to prioritize them from best to worst based on your own opinion of your traits. That way the discussion becomes more along the lines of "Am I stronger or more dextrous?" and less "Exactly how strong am I?"

Slipperychicken
2012-10-17, 06:05 PM
Otherwise, the average American would be quite dumb compared to the average European, who would in turn appear quite dumb to the average African.


I could see that representing Africans and Europeans seeing the need to put ranks into Speak Language, if we removed "bonus languages for Int score".


How many languages did Einstein and Hawking speak, respectively?

The Glyphstone
2012-10-17, 06:10 PM
Stephen Hawking has a use-activated item of Tongues, though I don't know if it has translation software.:smallsmile:

prufock
2012-10-17, 08:03 PM
Otherwise, the average American would be quite dumb compared to the average European, who would in turn appear quite dumb to the average African.
Unfortunately, languages known can only tell us the maximum Int score, not minimum. If you know only 1, you can't have an Int above 11, but you could still buy ranks in Speak Language.


How many languages did Einstein and Hawking speak, respectively?
Einstein: English, German, likely French, maybe some Italian.
Hawking: No idea.

Yukitsu
2012-10-17, 08:20 PM
I could see that representing Africans and Europeans seeing the need to put ranks into Speak Language, if we removed "bonus languages for Int score".


How many languages did Einstein and Hawking speak, respectively?

Trick question, he doesn't speak any.

That aside, when I was playing as myself, I just kept in mind, it's a bloody game. Play yourself up as your biggest, most badass wish fulfillment fantasy self that you can manage with your own personality and skills as the general background. Scale it back just enough that the DM doesn't get too uppity about it. It's no fun just thinking of your character as a carbon copy of yourself, you want that, you can just go out there and punch wolves or something.

Disclaimer: I in no way endorse punching wolves.

Jay R
2012-10-17, 08:41 PM
In a very early edition of the Dragon, there was an article on how to measure each component. It was absurd in many ways, but I approved of their method for finding Wisdom. Your Wisdom, according to the article, was 20 minus the number of hours per week you spend playing (or fiddling with) D&D.

When the article came out, I had a Wisdom of about -4.

We discussed it at length in our group. We concluded that the average D&D player has a very poor understanding of his* own physical skills, and that letting somebody determine his own stats was basically penalizing self-awareness and honesty.

I remember proposing that if any D&D player managed to convince the DM that he had an 18 Strength, the 18 Strength should be annulled, but he would get an 18 for his Charisma score.

*Yes, "his". It was 1975, and D&D was still pretty much a boy's club.

Dimers
2012-10-17, 09:19 PM
All I can say is ... beware the DMPC. :smalleek:

Yukitsu
2012-10-17, 09:34 PM
All I can say is ... beware the DMPC. :smalleek:

I disagree. If he insists he can kick your ass, you can fact check.

The Glyphstone
2012-10-17, 10:11 PM
Unfortunately, languages known can only tell us the maximum Int score, not minimum. If you know only 1, you can't have an Int above 11, but you could still buy ranks in Speak Language.


Einstein: English, German, likely French, maybe some Italian.
Hawking: No idea.

Intelligence only affects your languages known at character generation, though. In D&D-world, people just spontaneously pop out of nowhere knowing Int+1 languages, and can learn as many as they want with skill ranks, sometimes becoming fluent in foreign tongues overnight. In the real world, you're born, and develop languages through exposure and/or study - i.e., the Speak Language skill. The number of people with more than one 'native' language are vanishingly few, so by this logic, no human being in the world has more than 11 Int.

Gavinfoxx
2012-10-17, 10:18 PM
Mostly? Don't.

"Hey guys. If anything, I am going to be playing an idealized, more capable version of myself, or a person who has access to the sorts of things I know, but can do more things, and follows a few patterns of my personality. I won't be able to play myself. Not accurately, not for a roleplaying game, and not to have fun."

And just say, if you are doing this for D&D, say something like this:

Tell me what class and abilities and capability, gender, race, etc. an idealized version of yourself would be like, if you know the system. If you don't know that sort of stuff, I can help you figure it out. If you were in a room and were allowed to choose from any LA+0/0RHD race, and any base D&D class, and an array of ability scores from a particular point buy that must be similar to how you view as most important to yourself and such, and your relative capabilities... what would you choose?


Like me? Translated in a D&D world? Ideally?

Fox Hengeyokai Spell to Power Erudite.

Of course I'd go for power. Cause, yaknow. Dying sucks. Also, innate shapeshifting, cause shapeshifting is cool.

Jay R
2012-10-18, 07:57 AM
I played one game of GURPS in which the GM designed a character which was you, as he saw you.

The main observation from that experience is that it was very nice that he had an unfairly high estimate of my abilities. (But I'm not sure the other players were as happy with it.)

prufock
2012-10-18, 08:11 PM
Intelligence only affects your languages known at character generation, though. In D&D-world, people just spontaneously pop out of nowhere knowing Int+1 languages, and can learn as many as they want with skill ranks, sometimes becoming fluent in foreign tongues overnight. In the real world, you're born, and develop languages through exposure and/or study - i.e., the Speak Language skill. The number of people with more than one 'native' language are vanishingly few, so by this logic, no human being in the world has more than 11 Int.

There are minimum starting ages for characters, so the starting languages are the number of languages you know at that age. Yes, it still means few people have an Int score over 11.

Socratov
2012-10-19, 01:47 AM
I'd say leave the stats up for grabs and go for defining features and personality quirks. Smart in school? high int. Socially awkward? low cha. never ill? High con. gymnast? high dex. American football (or better: rugby) player? High str.

or

let each player build another player. though you'd need good friends for this, else it becomes a bashfest

Sergeantbrother
2012-10-19, 05:13 AM
Use a fairly generous point buy and let the players create themselves within the bounds of that. If this creates characters who are too powerful, stress that these are idealized or enhanced versions of the players. This way, things are balanced and no feeling are hurt.

Ashtagon
2012-10-19, 05:51 AM
If you have players voting each others stats, those votes should be used to determine the sequence of which stat is highest through to lowest, but not to determine their absolute values.

Madara
2012-10-19, 10:52 AM
If you have players voting each others stats, those votes should be used to determine the sequence of which stat is highest through to lowest, but not to determine their absolute values.

That's a really good Idea. Perhaps they could combine it with Elite Array or something.

BootStrapTommy
2012-10-19, 12:56 PM
Myself and the pals tried this once with a GURPS campaign.

One of my buddies ended up with well more than half of his advantage points in disadvantages. Apparently he's very selfcritical. Also likely a hypochondriac.

Seb Wiers
2012-10-21, 10:21 AM
Constitution - Hold your breath for as long as possible and divide seconds by 12 to get your Con score. This will, on average, be skewed slightly high for those holding their breath more than 120 seconds, but is still reasonable.

Thanks, you just inspired me to hold my breath for 3:24 (204 seconds). That puts me at a Con of 17. That puts me in the top 2%, which may actually be a realistic assessment (never broken a bone, do well at endurance tasks, recovered from open heart surgery in 3 weeks).



Intelligence - How many languages does each player know? If only 1, their Int score is not over 11.

Only reasonable if you include computer programming languages. Otherwise you have a lot of int 11 computer programmers, which (in my experience) is probably not the case. Basing it off a test percentile (most folks have an SAT percentile) is probably more reasonable. The SAT only breaks out the top 1% though, so it might be hard to tell a 17 from 18, but its probably good for anything below that.

However, your stats are probbly going to be VERY different growing up in a D&D setting. For example, given my age, I'd have to set ll my stats at 0; I'd be a corpse. If still alive (say, a younger version of self) my stats might be much higher or lower, depending on a myriad of environmental factors (nutrition being a big one). Using tests of your current self only really applies if you play as "current self who crossed dimensions". Meaning you would have your current memories, which probably isn't so fun in D&D.

Honestly, for most folks, the fun of a fantasy game is playing somebody who is an idealized version of themselves, and / or a character who gives them a break from their actual normal self.

Kitten Champion
2012-10-21, 11:28 AM
We used a system where you get points based on success with Trivial Pursuit questions, assigning a stat to each of the categories -- 18 cards each a point for every right answer.

Geography -- Strength
History -- Constitution
Sports & Leisure -- Dexterity
Science & Nature -- Intelligence
Arts & Literature -- Wisdom
Entertainment -- Charisma

Unless you're in a group which will answer flawlessly, as that's no fun. How I ended up with a Druid is beyond me.

Skaven
2012-10-21, 08:17 PM
I would personally use a 25 point buy to begin, to avoid contention between the players with everyone starting as 1st level commoners. Then during the end of the first adventure, something happens that gives them their first character class, along with a surge of ability points to increase their attributes to PC levels beyond what they have IRL.. to their personalised want in stats.

This way you avoid the highschool drop-out friend of yours throwing a 16 in int and wisdom because he believes he is very smart when you know he isn't that smart, which can lead to causes of offence. Sadly, most believe they're smart beyond their means. I have a 144 IQ but I don't believe I have more than a 14.. maybe 15 int at a real push. (I consider myself insightful more than intelligent.)

Using pointbuy should cause more thought in the matter into strengths and weaknesses and less powergaming. I consider 25 pointbuy to likely be the best total. Gives you access to 3 good stats while keeping the rest of your stats at a rounded 10.

Eric Tolle
2012-10-21, 09:51 PM
The real trick as a gm is, when combat begins, to suddenly throw a baseball at a random player. If they fail to defect it and it hits them, "sorry, you're flat-footed."

Wardog
2012-10-23, 05:17 PM
There are minimum starting ages for characters, so the starting languages are the number of languages you know at that age. Yes, it still means few people have an Int score over 11.

And I would say - along with the various other posters - that this is forcing conformity to a rule that clearly doesn't accurately model the scenario.

The typical D&D world is a multi-lingual society, where each race will typically have their own language, plus "common", so there is plenty of opportunity to learn multiple languages, and it can be assumed that everyone will start their adventures knowing as many as their intelligence lets them.


Real life (at least in the English-speaking world) isn't generally like that, so for most people the limiting factor for "how many languages you know when you turn 18" isn't your intelligence, it's your need/opportunity to learn.

Most of us only speak one language, not because we have 11 int, but because the DM has declared "you only know one language, unless you can come up with a backstory to explain why you would know more".

Mark Hall
2012-10-23, 11:16 PM
On the languages bit...

In 2e, you got X number of slots for your intelligence. Now, in vanilla 2e, those were straight language slots... if you had a 18 intelligence, you knew 7 languages. Depending on how you read the rest of it, it could either indicate that you knew 8 languages (7+native) AND had 7 additional NWP slots, or that you had 7 additional NWP slots that could be spent on languages or whatever you liked.

3e made it AND.

prufock
2012-10-26, 07:14 AM
Thanks, you just inspired me to hold my breath for 3:24 (204 seconds). That puts me at a Con of 17. That puts me in the top 2%, which may actually be a realistic assessment (never broken a bone, do well at endurance tasks, recovered from open heart surgery in 3 weeks).
My best score was 11, managing just over 2 minutes, but after trying this a few times I'm averaging more like a 7 or 8.


Only reasonable if you include computer programming languages.
I agree. I also would accept Klingon, Pig Latin, and Esperanto.


this is forcing conformity to a rule that clearly doesn't accurately model the scenario.
Um, yeah, and...? That's the point. We're shoehorning real-world statistics into the D&D model. The number of starting languages is the only flat measure of intelligence in that model.

Ashtagon
2012-10-26, 09:05 AM
As a GM, do you allow players to have unspent language slots? Because that's pretty much what the real world implies.

Archmage1
2012-10-26, 01:01 PM
So... my general advice:
Strength: clean jerking, as previously mentioned
Con: either see how long they can run for, given every 6 seconds is a con point, or how long they can hold their breath as previously described
DEX: test reflexes, as previously discussed
WIS, int: do in game: if they consistently go for smart solutions, boost the int, if they go for wise solutions, boost wis(subjective)
CHA: square root of facebook friends, possibly, give each of them so many points to share, without telling them what for(10 initially)
Skills: Test them. If they climb, they get a 4, if they do a lot of jumping, give them a 4, and so fourth.
Spellcraft: actual knowledge of tech: writing a program, some electronics stuff
UMD: how long to find something random on google
Knowledge arcana: tech knowledge.

Ashtagon
2012-10-26, 03:41 PM
http://www.angelfire.com/dragon/terragf/back/xstattest.html
http://www.easydamus.com/character.html

These maybe? I got:

True Neutral Human Wizard (6th Level)


Ability Scores:
Strength- 9
Dexterity- 11
Constitution- 10
Intelligence- 14
Wisdom- 13
Charisma- 11

Jay R
2012-10-26, 10:54 PM
http://www.angelfire.com/dragon/terragf/back/xstattest.html
http://www.easydamus.com/character.html

These maybe?

This would have the effect of giving people more points and power if they are vain, and penalizing them for self-knowledge and humility.

Slipperychicken
2012-10-26, 11:04 PM
Geography -- Strength
History -- Constitution
Sports & Leisure -- Dexterity
Science & Nature -- Intelligence
Arts & Literature -- Wisdom
Entertainment -- Charisma


I am a minmaxed Barbarian under this system (high Str, high Con, abysmal mental stats). One with half-decent Dex if D&D rules count as "liesure".

The Glyphstone
2012-10-26, 11:14 PM
http://www.angelfire.com/dragon/terragf/back/xstattest.html
http://www.easydamus.com/character.html


I'm a 10th level Lawful Good Human Sorcerer with 20's in all stats. But then I cheated horribly.

kumada
2012-10-26, 11:37 PM
There's a lot of discussion here about how best to accurately measure a person's real world stats. This is to be expected. Everyone's talking about a DnD game, and DnD has always been haunted by the specter of "the rules must be backed up with facts."

The problem there is that any game, no matter how sophisticated, is still a simulation. What matters is verisimilitude, that feeling of truthiness that lets you suspend your disbelief enough to pretend to be an elf for a few hours.

So, my suggestion is this: it doesn't matter what system of generating stats and classes and whatnot you all agree on, but you should all agree on it. EgoQuest is a lot of fun, but there's also the potential to really step on people's toes with it. Folks don't like it when bad things happen to characters they identify with. When bad things happen to a character that is a deliberate expy of themselves, there is some real drama landmine potential. So, communicate. Don't vote the kid you don't like into a low charisma. Heck, lay out some ground rules. It's not unrealistic to say to the DM "I don't want X, Y, or Z to happen to my character" and for him to try and abide by those restrictions.

DementedFellow
2012-10-27, 03:46 AM
I find it helps when playing as myself in any system it is awfully easier to talk in character like a Southern Plantation owner, regardless of where you are really from.

Ashtagon
2012-10-27, 06:18 AM
I find it helps when playing as myself in any system it is awfully easier to talk in character like a Southern Plantation owner, regardless of where you are really from.

Well, obviously. Where I come from will have absolutely no bearing at all on how you play yourself.

Slipperychicken
2012-10-27, 08:57 PM
I find it helps when playing as myself in any system it is awfully easier to talk in character like a Southern Plantation owner, regardless of where you are really from.

So you're a southern plantation owner? :smallconfused:

rezplz
2012-12-12, 10:22 PM
Wow, didn't realize that you guys kept posting for a while after I had logged off.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you guys for all the tips that you gave me. In the end, I was able to convince him to stick to a point buy and let people stat themselves up however they wanted to. Once that happened, I breathed a sigh of relief as that was a potential catastrophe avoided. He's also placed me as his official adviser of sorts, so I might pop on here to ask questions again some other time.

In any case, our first session was last week. And it actually went great. Here's how it went:

When we statted ourselves up, with starting as a commoner, here is what we've all decided. We're doing a PF/3.5 blend, by the way. I'm going cavalier of the shield/wizard/abjurant champion. R is doing a bard/fighter, possibly going unarmed or some big weapon. He's not sure yet. P is going straight inquisitor which kind of surprised me, but I didn't challenge him on that. Lastly, A is going a third party class, something to do with summoning constructs. Seems like a specialized half-caster.

In any case, it seems that the roles of leader, tank, arcane supportand semi-party face have all fallen into my hands. Oh joy.

Basically, our session started off at the DnD table: we were getting ready to play A's game of Skull and Shackles, a PF module we've been playing for a while. One of our group, S, who decided he wouldn't be able to join us for this session, had a strange die that was apparently part of a meteor. On the first natural 20 it rolls, it opens a whirlpool. Somehow, escape is impossible from the house. A hides in the bathroom, I hide in a closet, and R and P say "**** it" and sit on the couch. R decides to spend his final action to light up a smoke. The door that A is holding onto rips out of its hinges and flings him into the whirpool, and everyone else goes in as well.

This is the point that the Dm told us that whatever we have in our pockets is what we have on our characters. Everyone else starts placing their stuff: a pack of cigarettes, cell phones, keys, etc. Then its my turn; the DM decided it would be hilarious to play a joke and warn me beforehand.

I pull out a bunch of random tools I found: Tin snips, screwdriver, pliers. 5 cases of contact lenses (and I was wearing my glasses), contact lens case, a few granola bars, cologne, hair wax, and the most hilarious part: I pull out two black machetes I had hid down the sides of my pants. I didn't expect him to, but surprisingly enough he let it all slide.

So we're in the middle of a forest. In winter. With all this random junk. We start trying to find civilization only to find a dying merchant. I stabilize him (I've had EMT training) and he tells us 3 bandits were after his daughter: blah blah blah help her please. I tried telling him we had no combat capability, but I still ended up feeling bad enough for him that I told him we'd check it out. But no promises.

So we find 2 orc bandits at the base of the tree - it seems the daughter managed to kill one. They only seem to have brass knuckles; so more like street thugs instead of bandits. The daughter is up in the tree, barely fending them off. R tries diplomacy. Even though he rolled well and had a good modifier, he failed to convince 2 buff orcs why they should let the girl go when they basically had her captured at the request of four oddly dressed humans from a different dimension. So that failed. I tried intimidate, using our black machetes (they do look pretty intimidating) and our superior numbers, acting tougher than I really was.

I rolled a 1. :\

And then it was time for initiative! Hoping to get lucky, and not wanting them to hurt my friends, I yell (mostly in fear) and charge. I make up for my nat 1 with a critical somehow, and this gave the group courage enough to clean up the other one.

We get to the old man's place and he starts offering us a bit of real training, along with some manuals on introduction to magic, paving our way to first level once we got the EXP for it. We then learn that we really shouldn't have helped them. Those bandits were part of a larger group that had the whole town and the next town under their thumb, and the mayor in their pocket. Great. So they find their slain bandit friends and naturally come looking for us. They take the old man and girl hostage, trying to make us come out. Apparently they knew we were here, but they didn't know how many of us there were. I sigh, and go out, acting like it was only me. Naturally they didn't believe me, so R joined me and we were able to convince them that it was just us. They said the bandit leader wanted to talk to us, in town.

Saying **** it, and not seeing another option, R and I go into town singing "rock you like a hurricane". Then, instead of killing us, they offered us a "challenge". Run through a gauntlet basically of small groups of his bandits in their cave, and he lets us go. Wonderful! Not believable, but wonderful. Or we could try to leave, likely get lost, and maybe starve or freeze to death. So, we start to plan. We find the village is unfriendly to us because of threats from bandits and the mayor. So R calls the mayor a fatass.

:\ Leading these guys will be more difficult than I thought. And I already expected it to be difficult.

I barely talk our way out of that situation; the bandits wouldn't like it if their challenge was ruined, after all. I then get the captain of the guard to get us a little help. He parts with a suit of scale mail. Great. Armored hulk option not working, I try to get enough explosives to cave them in. Also a nope. I ask if their lair slopes up or down. Down. Can't smoke them out from the entrance. Any back door? Apparently not.

Any chance of success? Not likely. A points out, however, that he was holding on to the door when we got ripped through the whirpool; as such, we would have it. So A and I make an improvised tower shield; it only provides 2 ac, but I can still total defense or full cover behind it.

I find out that the son of the innkeeper, while simple, is a fighter who simply loves fighting. R quickly gets him ticked off and gets kicked out of the inn. I smooth the situation over, get the guy, called "brutus", a drink, and convince him to help us. But we need a distraction to get him out, because he's afraid of the innkeeper, his mother. Alright. We were able to get some alchemist's fire. We can make this work.

I tell R to set fire to the outhouse, make a distraction, and then I'll slip Brutus out in the chaos. He does so. He does not, however, check to see if anyone's in the outhouse. After just about catching Brutus' younger brother on fire, he pulls him from the outhouse. I barely manage to get Brutus out of there without him knowing what was going on.

However, all of our work is for nothing. The bandits find out, and take the younger brother hostage unless if Brutus leaves. So close to having a good fighter.

And so, armed with a suit of shoddy scale mail, a makeshift tower shield, and not much else, we decided to do or die. I instruct the others to stay behind me and kill them from afar. Throw rocks or something if they'd have to. Very conveniently, when we get to the lair, its got 5 foot hallways. Perfect. 8)

before each room in this cave, I walk up first, plant my door down, and knock on it. The first couple times, the confused bandits walk right up to it before the others all unload on them from behind the door. Feeling bitter to the whole situation, as a callback to a shield I used while playing airsoft I painted the troll face on the door. In blood. Intimidation factor. We go through the entire cave like this, me tanking with everyone else safe behind me, and then get to the boss. He tells us the final part of the challenge is him. I ask if he will reconsider. he says no. I say pretty please. He still says no. He gives us time to plan, however.

I still can't hit anything as long as I've got all this armor, so I say the best plan is for me to intercept him wherever he tries to go so he can't get to the rest of them. Because my lifelong dream is to jump in front of swords. Obviously.

Since I'm not total defensing anymore, spending my actions to ready movements in front of the boss, he manages to hit me. And drop me from my piddly 8 hp to -1 in one hit. P goes down next, leaving R and A. R barely scores a critical, and at that moment the boss asks us to spare him. R feeds P and I potions to bring us back up. In a lot of pain, and really pissed off at my situation, I say I'll at least hear him out.

All we get out of him is that a neighboring country hired him to distract the general populace so they could sneak troops by before he dies from an assassin from nowhere. The assassin disappears, deciding to spare us for some reason. Apparently someone powerful wants us still alive, I think. Anyway we loot him and get back to town, and loot the mayor's house too (by the way he's dead by assassination too.) The town tells us that in the capital, there is a wizard who specializes in teleportation and planar shifting. If anyone could get us home, it'd be him. In the mayor's house, we find out that's where the assassins are going next.

WONDERFUL.

We did, however, get our first level. So we are no longer defenseless. But things are looking bad for our futures.

All in all I really enjoyed the session. His DMing has vastly improved from the last time he tried. And he let some of my plans work. He later told me that if I wasn't going to be in the group, he wouldn't have put us in as commoners. Apparently he expected me to pull some shenanigans to keep the group alive, haha. Anyway, as a big fan of regular joes getting unwillingly pulled into a heroic story, I have high hopes for this campaign. We'll be playing again this friday, which is awesome. I'll keep you guys updated.