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Talakeal
2016-09-20, 10:25 PM
My DM is moving to another country, putting an end to what has so far been the best game of my life. One of the other players has decided to take over the DM chair for the foreseeable future and start a new campaign.

Today he announced that for the new campaign he would be making all of the characters. This has filled me with apprehension.

For me the creative process aspect of the game is always the best part, and I always get fairly deeply into character. I have played one shots with pre-generated characters before it has always felt somewhat lacking and I can't imagine doing it for a long period of time.

I asked the DM for some more details and he says he plans on this being a long term campaign (not a one shot) and that he has decided players will get to choose their name and alignment but NOT their race, class, ability scores, skills, or what family they are born into. He hasn't decided about other "crunch" aspects and we didn't go into detail about other fluff aspects like appearance, personality, or backstory, and I am not sure if he is going to be creating a customized character for each player or simply a pool for the group to choose from.

So, does anyone have any experience playing pregen characters in a long running campaign?

Any advice for how I can make this best of it or find ways to make the character my own?

Also, if it does ruin the game for me (which I think it might, whereas I was looking forward to the game before I found out now I am only dreading it) what can I do about? If I say how I feel (I really don't want to play in a game where we can't make our own characters) how can I avoid looking like a spoiled brat who is threatening to take his ball and go home if the rest of the group doesn't cater to his demands?

AtlasSniperman
2016-09-20, 10:41 PM
It's not too bad depending on your DM and if he lets you choose how the character progresses. Think of it as just the circumstances of your birth. You have no control over where you were born, to whom, when, and in what social conditions, what education you had, You were just along for the ride.

Give it a go, and if you don't think it's working for you, just ask the DM if you can make a new character for yourself as you don't feel particularly attached to the one he gave you and you don't think you can be immersed in the story in that case.

KillianHawkeye
2016-09-21, 12:02 AM
If I say how I feel (I really don't want to play in a game where we can't make our own characters) how can I avoid looking like a spoiled brat who is threatening to take his ball and go home if the rest of the group doesn't cater to his demands?

If your concern is not looking like a spoiled brat, then I agree that you should play at least two or three game sessions before deciding that you can't get into the character. That way, when you voice your complaint, it's from experience.

It sounds like you'll probably have control over the character's personality. You're getting to decide their alignment, at least. I would try to come up with some interesting quirks and character traits to make the character your own; and by interesting, I don't mean annoying or obnoxious, just make them like a real character.

Velaryon
2016-09-21, 02:13 AM
YMMV, but to me pre-generated characters are a deal-breaker. As a player, you have control of one character. If you don't get to decide who and what that character is, it defeats the entire purpose of the game.

The one and only time where I will play in a game with pre-generated characters is if we have brand new players who are trying the game for the very first time, and it's going to be a one-shot game, and there is a group of characters to pick from rather than one specific assigned character. If any one of those is not the case, then I'm out. My enjoyment of RPGs derives entirely from making choices about my character: who they are, what they do, and how they affect the world. When the GM wants to take any choices about my character out of my hands, to me that's a red flag. I've tried games where I am assigned a character, or where I have to roll my stats in order, and I do not like them.

I recognize of course that everyone enjoys different things and not everyone would feel as strongly as I do on this subject. I would, however, say that you are not obligated to try it before you voice an objection - you know what you like, and from the sound of things this isn't it. If you want to show that you are making the effort, play the game once. That's plenty of time to see if it will work for you. I don't think there's any need to go for two or three sessions if you can tell after the first that it isn't for you.

Khedrac
2016-09-21, 02:27 AM
One of the most famous campaigns ever features pre-gen characters.
Yes, there are some major problems with the campaign, but that's not because of the pre-gens, it's because of the "obscure death rule" and doubling the number of characters then splitting the party in half.

Yes, I am talking about the original Dragonlance series.

My suggestion is "try it". If you cannot get to grips with your character talk to the DM, but to turn around and say "no" before you see what is on offer makes you the problem and not the DM.

Now a more important question is who controls character advancement. I think the DM could perhaps offer advice, but if it is your character (once created) this should be your decision. I think lack of this would be a deal-breaker for me, as it really would mean you are just playing the characters in the DM's story and everything is going to have to go the way he wants. If the DM needs a character to develop in a certain way then (s)he should tell you but still give you control of the details.

Earthwalker
2016-09-21, 02:58 AM
I would say that its a talk to the GM thing.
Ask him what he is hoping to achieve by limiting the characters in this way. Perhaps there is another way for him to achieve his goal.

I to would worry about pre-gens. I would still play but voice my concerns going in. If it does indeed turn out not to be fun then I would walk away with I would hope no ill feelings.

All of this for me depends on the game system I have noticed I have vastly different expectations from Pathfinder then other system. I think its because I enjoy the class dipping and character building stuff in Pathfinder more than in other systems.

vasilidor
2016-09-21, 03:50 PM
I have done pregen characters for campaigns before. it has been both hit and miss. the best uses I can think of is when A: you have all new, or multiple new players (to be honest, for some games, such as those from paladium, this is a requirement in my view) or B: when you just want to do a one shot.

TheIronGolem
2016-09-21, 07:28 PM
Pregens are fine for one-shots or very, very short campaigns. Anything longer than that is a red-flag for control-freak-DM behavior. I might be inclined to try it with a DM I've known and trusted for a long time, but even then only if I was allowed to direct the character's progression (so if we start at level 5, I pick class levels, skill points, etc from level 6 on).


Also, if it does ruin the game for me (which I think it might, whereas I was looking forward to the game before I found out now I am only dreading it) what can I do about? If I say how I feel (I really don't want to play in a game where we can't make our own characters) how can I avoid looking like a spoiled brat who is threatening to take his ball and go home if the rest of the group doesn't cater to his demands?

I see that you still struggle with a problem you've displayed in your previous threads. That problem is this: you spend far too much time agonizing over how it's going to look if/when you assert yourself, and then you don't assert yourself at all (or wait far too long to do it) because you've convinced yourself that everyone will get mad at you if you do.

To that I say two things:

1. They probably won't get mad at you. People are generally less eager to pass judgment on you than you think.
2. If they do get mad at you for this, then they're the problem, and you're better off without them.

That said, if you like this group then I would recommend you go ahead and try a session or two like this. Express your concerns ahead of time, but make it clear you're willing to give it a shot and if you don't like it then no hard feelings when you bow out. And if you find that you don't like it, don't waste time trying to figure out how to soften the blow or whatever, just ring them up and say "Hey, this one isn't for me, but I hope you guys enjoy it".

Quertus
2016-09-21, 10:40 PM
My DM ... announced that for the new campaign he would be making all of the characters. This has filled me with apprehension.

How in the living **** do you wind up with so much crazy in your games?!

Ahem.

Some of my players would rather build a character they never play than play a character they didn't build.

Personally, I've been reluctantly willing to take pregens on a couple of one-shots. Outcome: I really couldn't get in to playing them.

Having a DM say they're planning on stabbing me on the face every session might actually be preferable to running pregens long term, IMO.

For this specific case... it would depend on how I felt about the DM. I might just walk. I might ask them if they would reconsider; if not, walk. But, if the DM had previously earned my trust... hmmm... I'd probably open with, this long-term pregen idea doesn't sound fun, and is probably a deal breaker. Why do you want to do this? Let's see if there's some other way to accomplish the same goal.

If the DM talked me into playing a pregen, I'd look at the characters. Did they make something I'd like to play? (hint: I play casters, even in systems where that's... sub-optimal). Did they make a balanced party? If they showed clear favoritism against one player (their least favorite person got a ninja vampire, while everyone else got LA+0 tier 1), I'd bail. If they show clear favoritism for one Chosen One, most people would bail, but I might stick it out. If they showed clear favoritism for the noob, giving them a character that was clearly stronger, yet not completely overpoweringly so, they'd earn extra points in my book (and, in just about only this case, I'd excuse the control freak possibility of them wanting to level the characters).

If it passed first inspection, I'd take it out for a test drive. On the off chance I found out I liked it, great. Assuming it went as badly as I'd expect, after a few sessions, I'd talk to the other players. If everyone else hated it, I'd open the next session with a group suicide, and we'd all hand the DM the sheets of the characters we'd like to pick up where we left off.

If it was just me that hated it, I'd talk to the DM, explain how and why I wasn't having fun, and, if they don't accept or propose a workable solution, I'd walk.

As to how to make the character your own... giving them quirks can help. One character might have a preference for wine and seafood; another might say "booyah!" all the time; another might slouch, or complement every woman he meets. Pick a few things you think you and your group will enjoy for years to come, and pray. (no, seriously, pick a patron deity)

Mr Blobby
2016-09-22, 05:22 AM
Like many things, it's not a simple yes/no answer to this. What I think of this is...

1/ Is it a pre-gen character from the DM or from some book? As a rule, while I do like looking at the sample characters sometimes offered in books, I never play them. At best, I use them as a partial template for my own creations - or tweaking said pre-gen.

2/ A DM-created pre-gen can be good; if you trust said DM, you feel they know you [aka what you like], and you've discussed what kind of game you'd like before the pre-gen is offered. As a DM I have done this myself in the past a couple of times; the player[s] were full of ideas but really stalling in creation. I then offered a me-made pre-gen, making it clear it was a mere suggestion. They took them, and they worked well.

3/ Are you being offered a 'sketch' or a 'full painting'? A sketch is where the pre-gen still has many blanks left [fave weapon, beliefs, religion, looks etc], allowing you to put your mark on them. The full painting is where it's all been done for you. The former is not bad at all - I've offered many of these over the years as a DM. Some where accepted, others weren't.

4/ Are you allowed to tweak said pre-gen? If I can, I always leave some stats/XP/points in reserve, allowing the player to do what you'd like. If there isn't any, perhaps you'll be allowed to shift some of the stats around to your liking?

5/ Can you reject the pre-gen outright if you simply can't see a way you'd want to play that type of character?

Mutazoia
2016-09-22, 05:50 AM
In some cases, pre-gen's can be used if the GM has designed a campaign a way that requires specific class(s) be played. For example, the only way to kill the BBEG is with a Holy Avenger, which loses 90% of its effective magic properties when wielded by anyone but a Paladin. So the GM makes sure there is a Paladin in the party. If he/she makes one pre-gen, it's only fair to make them for all characters. (This is an over-simplification, naturally). Immagine trying to play The Fellowship of the Ring, and nobody rolls a Ranger...or a Hobbit for that matter.

As already stated, pre-gens are good for one shots, but they are also good for quick starts. Many a campaign has started with the first entire day (or more) spent in character creation, as players flip through books, choose spells and gear, roll (or a worse time sink, point buys) stats, etc. If you have a few basic pre-gen's around, then you can jump into the game with much of the fuss already...well...fussed. A GM may make one pre-gen for each basic class, and then let you still pick which class you want but still skip all the extra clunky bits of character creation.

Have you asked your GM exactly how they are going to work the pre-gens yet, or are you automatically assuming the worse and panicing pre-maturely?

caden_varn
2016-09-22, 06:09 AM
What do the other players think about this?

It seems an extremely odd ruling, and I would certainly want some more information from the DM as to why he wanted to do this before signing up.
Out of morbid curiousity more than anything, is he creating a bunch of characters and you all choose one (in which case try to get to the first game early), or is he creating a character specifically for each player? I'd be especially concerned if it is the latter.
I've seen DMs do something like this in the past to get people to try something different ('Bob always plays a fighter! I'll make him play a wizard, it will be a good experience for him'). This rarely if ever ends well.

Mastikator
2016-09-22, 07:05 AM
I've had some experience with this. Sort of. I was in a group in a long running campaign and a tourist player took over a reoccurring NPC, the NPC was statted out similarly to the PCs was on a similar level of power and influence. The game master allowed the tourist to take some artistic freedoms with the NPC but gave instructions so that he wouldn't act in a way that was immersion breaking.

Cernor
2016-09-22, 07:51 AM
Is the new DM changing systems on the party? If so, then by all means use pregens to learn the system... As long as dissatisfied players can reroll.

Otherwise, this seems like the new DM has missed the point of character sheets entirely. They're useful because they give a quick starting point to the game, which is nice when you're playing a one-shot because you simply don't have the time to roll all-new characters. However for a protracted campaign, the extra session spent making characters is an integral part of the campaign! It's always more believable when you make your own reasons for the party to be together than to have it forced by the DM.

If I were you, I'd talk to the DM about why he's using pregens. Is this person a completely new DM, or does he have some experience?

Quertus
2016-09-22, 02:58 PM
I want to reinforce the idea that the why is very important... and can tell you a lot about the DM, and how quickly you should bail.


In some cases, pre-gen's can be used if the GM has designed a campaign a way that requires specific class(s) be played. For example, the only way to kill the BBEG is with a Holy Avenger, which loses 90% of its effective magic properties when wielded by anyone but a Paladin. So the GM makes sure there is a Paladin in the party. If he/she makes one pre-gen, it's only fair to make them for all characters. (This is an over-simplification, naturally). Immagine trying to play The Fellowship of the Ring, and nobody rolls a Ranger...or a Hobbit for that matter.

I've had a lot of good times playing in those kind of scenarios without the recommended components. Oh, we need a Paladin? Let's go find one. Oh, we need a mage - or a mage with this particular spell? Let's go find one. Or, even better, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades? Well, do we want to go get some, or stubbornly see how much we can accomplish without them?

EDIT: Talakeal, another idea you may want to try is suggesting the DM start off with a 1-shot or two.

Mr Blobby
2016-09-23, 03:54 AM
I am always worried when PC's are deliberately changed to fit the story. It's the DM's job to edit their story to fit the PC's, not the other way around.

Jormengand
2016-09-23, 05:53 AM
For me, pregens are fine for teaching people how to play a game, or for a one-shot, or for preludes where you play as the epic heroes in the game's backstory, etcetera. I wouldn't usually want to play one for a longer game.

hymer
2016-09-23, 08:44 AM
Some questions I've been wondering, which may have some bearing on how this will all play ouy:

What happens when/if a PC dies?
Do you get to level that character up from here, or will the GM do that, too?
Has the GM given an explanation for this decision?

Edit: Also, will there be a pool of characters to choose from, or will each player be assigned a specific PC?

Kitten Champion
2016-09-23, 09:40 AM
I'm actually playing a pre-gen character right now, one that my DM was hesitantly considering making a DMPC because he really liked the idea behind it and how it could play into his story but didn't know how to implement something so potentially invasive without us chafing, so he asked me if I could play it.

It's less that I've been told to do it and more have chosen to after being convinced of how this character could make the story more compelling and fun -- I was sold on the concept and started considering what its characterization would be from there.

Basically, I'm cool with playing a role not of my devising if I see how it could be fun and not simply being micromanaged by someone who can't really adapt to circumstances.

Cluedrew
2016-09-23, 08:30 PM
How in the living **** do you wind up with so much crazy in your games?!This is what we call Talakeal's bizarro world of bad GMs. And by those standards, this is not even an oddity.

One thing that should probably be clarified is 'why'. The what has been cover but why? What is the GM trying to accomplish with this? Perhaps he wants to embed the characters into the main ark, say it has something to do with their family histories? We don't know. You might find out just by playing, but you might want to ask about the reasons behind this decision.

AMFV
2016-09-24, 03:18 AM
I'm going to go against the grain here. The why isn't really that important. The DM is setting out something that he or she feels is important for their games, for whatever reason. They want you to play pre-grens. Maybe it's a way to keep party parity, maybe it's an effort to avoid powergaming. Maybe it's an effort to put the players' history to good use. The point being, that whatever the reasons, the end state is still the same... is this something that you can enjoy? Can you get into a character that you did not create? If you can, then by all means keep playing. If not, then find another table. As a player it's really that simple.

Pugwampy
2016-09-24, 06:16 AM
Pregens are great for newbs especially if they have not fully committed to joining this wierd game .

Cluedrew
2016-09-24, 08:02 AM
To AMFV: I agree with you, in part. I think the why is important because the information about the GM's motives may or may not raise some warning flags. The reasons you gave are all good and noble, but what if the GM just wants that much control over the game? That would be a very bad sign.

It may also tell you how much the GM wants to stick with it. If this is some experiment and we can ditch it if it doesn't work I would be much more willing to jump in than if he has it in his head we will be doing this for 3 years.

JBPuffin
2016-09-24, 08:08 AM
Does it really matter that much? Your DM's giving you a statblock and an origin story, not dictating your every waking moment. Use what he gives you as a springboard, then spring.

ComradeBear
2016-09-24, 08:35 AM
I find the amount of kickback against the idea interesting. (Hello, by the way.)

I would say, as a GM who has offered a variant of this kind of campaign before, that I would give it a shot for a session or two and figure out if the GM is trying to be a control freak or going for a compelling gimmick. For instance, in my specific example:

I offered to run a campaign similar to this one but with with a difference: Everyone got to make a character, stats-wise, in Stars Without Number. So they would pick the class, stats, skills, etc. They would also write two problems down that a character might have. (Owes a debt to the mafia, their family is in slavery on another planet, etc.)

After that, the characters would be removed from their custody, shuffled randomly, and redistributed back to them. And everyone would get two randomly drawn traits which I would keep to myself.
Now, I'm sure this strikes you as bizaare, it is. But my purpose wasn't to be controlling (hence random distribution) but something more in commom with "doing it for giggles" and "it fit the campaign idea nicely."

Namely, all the characters were going to wake up inside a ship in glass pods to discover the ship is on the verge of disaster. Once that's resolved, everyone realizes they have no idea who they are, how they got on this ship, etc. Think the pilot of that show Dark Matter, but that problem doesn't get handily resolved at the end of that first episode.

My players were ok with the concept, they just wanted to try a different system for it. I'm still looking for a more narratively-focused sci-fi game that could run it. Turns out those are fairly rare. :P (And I don't want to go generic.)

Basically, all this too-much detail because while this COULD be signs of the DM acting like a dictator, it could also just be a gimmick turned into a campaign.

Max_Killjoy
2016-09-24, 09:01 AM
My DM is moving to another country, putting an end to what has so far been the best game of my life. One of the other players has decided to take over the DM chair for the foreseeable future and start a new campaign.

Today he announced that for the new campaign he would be making all of the characters. This has filled me with apprehension.

For me the creative process aspect of the game is always the best part, and I always get fairly deeply into character. I have played one shots with pre-generated characters before it has always felt somewhat lacking and I can't imagine doing it for a long period of time.

I asked the DM for some more details and he says he plans on this being a long term campaign (not a one shot) and that he has decided players will get to choose their name and alignment but NOT their race, class, ability scores, skills, or what family they are born into. He hasn't decided about other "crunch" aspects and we didn't go into detail about other fluff aspects like appearance, personality, or backstory, and I am not sure if he is going to be creating a customized character for each player or simply a pool for the group to choose from.

So, does anyone have any experience playing pregen characters in a long running campaign?

Any advice for how I can make this best of it or find ways to make the character my own?

Also, if it does ruin the game for me (which I think it might, whereas I was looking forward to the game before I found out now I am only dreading it) what can I do about? If I say how I feel (I really don't want to play in a game where we can't make our own characters) how can I avoid looking like a spoiled brat who is threatening to take his ball and go home if the rest of the group doesn't cater to his demands?


Sounds like you need a different DM.

AMFV
2016-09-24, 02:21 PM
To AMFV: I agree with you, in part. I think the why is important because the information about the GM's motives may or may not raise some warning flags. The reasons you gave are all good and noble, but what if the GM just wants that much control over the game? That would be a very bad sign.

Well not necessarily, that too is something you have to decide if you can handle. If the DM wants to control the game, you have to decide how okay with that you are. If you're okay with that, then play-on. If not then find a group that better suits your tastes. But a DM wanting control over the game, not necessarily a bad sign, unless that's something that's going to spoil the game for you.



It may also tell you how much the GM wants to stick with it. If this is some experiment and we can ditch it if it doesn't work I would be much more willing to jump in than if he has it in his head we will be doing this for 3 years.

Depends, if the DM has had other successful games with Pre-Gens, then I'd be fine with it. I certainly would be fine trying the game regardless of how long it was supposed to last.

Quertus
2016-09-24, 05:34 PM
Depends, if the DM has had other successful games with Pre-Gens, then I'd be fine with it. I certainly would be fine trying the game regardless of how long it was supposed to last.

This is another part of the reason I suggested a few one-shots, so that the DM had the opportunity to establish successful games with pre-gens. Or, more likely, IMO, for it to fail horribly, and the group to discuss why, and where to go from there.

NecroDancer
2016-09-25, 10:40 AM
Is multiclassing allowed? If so then you can have a much better chance to customize the character.

radthemad4
2016-09-25, 11:21 AM
I'd at least take a look at the pregens and decide if they seem fun to play and ask how much I could change them. I have fond memories of a pregen Pathfinder game where I played a Lamia Matriarch (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/lamia/lamia-matriarch) (something I'd probably never even think of asking for, let alone getting a green light for in most games) and was allowed to swap out skills, feats, and spells known and had full control of leveling up choices (went with Abjurant Champion).

But if none of the pregen options seem fun, I'd just politely decline.

Mith
2016-09-25, 11:35 AM
As a DM who did pregens, the other option is potentially a sense of time.

Granted, in my case it was because I was the only one with the books (I bought 5E), so it was faster if I asked people what they wanted as a class, and then I built them with the Standard Array and assigned races that spread them out culturally to theoretically allow me to weave cultural knowledge of the setting into the campaign. It worked out OK for the game as far as I could tell.

Jay R
2016-09-26, 09:45 AM
It depends more on the player than anything else.

For people who can have fun in any kind of game, pre-generated characters are just an interesting different kind of challenge.

For people who need to feel in control of every aspect of their character, they are nothing but a frustration.

Decide where you fit on that continuum, and you'll have a pretty good idea how you'll like it.

But it also depends on the DM.

For me, if I trust the DM to make a fair and exciting game, I can have fun with the pre-generated character I've been given. If don't trust the the DM, I'd probably stay out of that game.

Aotrs Commander
2016-09-26, 10:50 AM
As a DM, have done it on occasion.

Most often, when starting a training game sort of adventure, where there is no time to sort characters out and also play.

Twice, I did it deliberately for my main player group.

The most sucessful of the endavours (because the other one fell apart for other reasons) was a "you wake up with no memories."

The key to this one was NO memories. The players were provided with what was essentially a stripped down character sheet (with a picture created in Herogenerator, I think it was) but otherwise no clue as to what exactly their character were or what they could do (or even their own names). Part of the adventure was to find out what was going on - and as they did, they could start to fill in their capabilies. The players were told nothing before hand, only that this adventure (day-quest) was going to be run and it was under the title of Project Mwahaha...

Basically, it was lie that one episode of Star Trek TNG where they all get mind-wiped and don't know what's going on, but without the players having the benefit of knowing what the viewers would.

(What was actually happening was they were in a world that was basically a pastiche of He-Man and She-Ra (1980s) and they were, like, Not-She-Ra and her mates and Not-Hordak had captured them, attempted to mind-wind them, but the flyer they were in had crashed.)

It went down very well, as it happened; though I put so much prep-time into it (LEGO props!) that despite the occasion mrequest from the players, I've never gone back to it. Maybe one day!

Talakeal
2016-10-05, 05:32 PM
So I finally heard back from the GM and got a copy of my character.

He plans on this being a long running multi year campaign, quite the opposite of a one shot.

He made everyone's character for them without any input from them.

My character is complete accept for a name, alignment, and (maybe) appearance. He even detailed my homeland, background, personality, hobbies, family, motivation, etc. for me.

As it is looking I have no interest in playing the character from either a fluff or a crunch perspective and really don't feel like giving up my next hundred or so Saturdays trying to make it work.


So, what do I do now? I know the obvious answer is leave, but I am so afraid of the inevitable confrontation and of alienating the first sane gaming group I have been with for years.

Mark Hall
2016-10-05, 05:48 PM
As always, I'd go with "try it." A lot will come down to the skill of the DM, rather than the precise starting conditions for your character. Ask about flexibility... places you can wiggle the character a bit... but give it a shot.

Mr Blobby
2016-10-05, 06:06 PM
I wouldn't always say "try it" - I've been led down this path before, ending up playing a character who didn't enjoy playing and/or just didn't get [not 'do not agree', simply 'do not understand']. Otherwise, agree with above; ask for wiggle-room. I can't really see any need for a GM to define hobbies and the suchlike. Also, ask about character development; perhaps you could slowly morph the character into one more of your pleasing?

If you have no interest in playing such a character, at best you'll do it really half-arsed - period. I'd try to talk to the GM one-to-one before this game starts, to politely say you simply can't behind this character in any real way. Speaking from my own GM chair, if you don't *say* anything about it, how do you expect us to know - telepathy?

Talakeal
2016-10-05, 06:14 PM
As always, I'd go with "try it." A lot will come down to the skill of the DM, rather than the precise starting conditions for your character. Ask about flexibility... places you can wiggle the character a bit... but give it a shot.

Genuinely curious about what the skill of the DM has to do with this. I am sure there are some subtle things that I don't pick up on, but in my experience almost nothing the DM does has had any effect on how connected I feel to a character in the past. (Although I have had DMs ruin my ability to enjoy a character by having horrible things happen to them or systematically destroying their background. Just not quite sure how it would work in reverse.)


I wouldn't always say "try it" - I've been led down this path before, ending up playing a character who didn't enjoy playing and/or just didn't get [not 'do not agree', simply 'do not understand']. Otherwise, agree with above; ask for wiggle-room. I can't really see any need for a GM to define hobbies and the suchlike. Also, ask about character development; perhaps you could slowly morph the character into one more of your pleasing?

If you have no interest in playing such a character, at best you'll do it really half-arsed - period. I'd try to talk to the GM one-to-one before this game starts, to politely say you simply can't behind this character in any real way. Speaking from my own GM chair, if you don't *say* anything about it, how do you expect us to know - telepathy?

Depends on the DM.

In my experience a lot of DM's see player complaints as either a challenge to their authority or pathetic mewling, both with the ultimate goal of attempting to hold the game hostage until they get their way.

Hell, the last Werewolf game I was in the DM told me I wasn't allowed to start with a maximum willpower, and I asked him what it was about willpower that made him ban it when he hadn't said anything about other players starting with a maximum score in different attributes. The DM then LITERALLY slammed his books on the table and screamed at me "BECAUSE I AM THE GM AND I SAY SO!"

I don't know how this new DM will act to questions, but judging on past experience it isn't likely to be good.

TheIronGolem
2016-10-05, 06:25 PM
So, what do I do now? I know the obvious answer is leave, but I am so afraid of the inevitable confrontation and of alienating the first sane gaming group I have been with for years.

If they are in fact a sane gaming group, they'll be fine with you politely opting out of a campaign you won't enjoy, and your fears are groundless.

I would recommend trying one session before you leave. It's possible (if unlikely) that you'll unexpectedly click with this character, or that you'll find the game enjoyable enough that you can overlook this unpleasant aspect. If nothing else, it means nobody else can honestly claim you weren't a good sport about giving it a shot.

But if you're polite about it, and you don't frame it as "you're doing elf games wrong!", and especially if you've given it an honest try, but the GM or the group still blows up at you like you're afraid of? If that happens, then it was going to happen anyway sooner or later and you're better off without them.

Cluedrew
2016-10-05, 06:50 PM
My suggestion:
Say up front, as in the next time you see the GM, that you are not sure about this.
Give it a shot, a session or two or however long to takes you to know for sure if you are enjoying the game with a pre-generated character.
If the answer to 2 is no, ask to play a character of your own creation.
If the group is worth playing with, things will work out at step 2 or 3.


(Although I have had DMs ruin my ability to enjoy a character by having horrible things happen to them or systematically destroying their background. Just not quite sure how it would work in reverse.)Some of my best moments with my characters are when other people reacted off of them. Simple example: if I have a character that has a reputation, it works better if people have actually heard of them.


"BECAUSE I AM THE GM AND I SAY SO!"I don't think it is worth playing with that one.

Mr Blobby
2016-10-05, 06:56 PM
Heh... perhaps I'm thinking what would work on *me*. Though I'd never make a PC for a player - not even a one shot - with no player input whatsover.

However excellent the GM is, questions will come up sooner or later - both trivial and serious. You'll need to see how they'd handle such questions. My slightly negative gut feeling [which is no way 100% accurate and just personal] on this situation would be allayed if said GM was willing to explain and be able to adapt themselves as the situation sees fit [aka your misgivings].

To put it bluntly; if [for example] said GM turns out to be a highly-strung micromanager who sees any question [however minor] as a personal attack - wouldn't you rather learn this *now* than say in six months time?

Cernor
2016-10-05, 07:18 PM
As it is looking I have no interest in playing the character from either a fluff or a crunch perspective and really don't feel like giving up my next hundred or so Saturdays trying to make it work.

If you don't like the fluff or crunch of your character... Why not ask the other players what they think? If everyone's dissatisfied, you can present a united front to the GM, to try and work out an alternate solution. Failing that, if you and another player both hate the characters you were given but find the other's more palatable, why not trade sheets and try it out?

Mr Beer
2016-10-05, 08:25 PM
I wouldn't care if I liked the game and if I could get behind the character. This seems like some control freak GM-ing though.

Talk to the other players, see how they feel, then talk to the GM as a group if you are all on the same page. My guess is this guy is excited about telling a grand story and has decided what people will work best in this epic. The main problem with that is that it implies some equally epic railroading will follow. Seems like an inexperienced GM making a rookie error, kind of like a new writer deciding his first work is going to be A Song of Fire and Ice.

You could try getting the guy to run a short campaign first and see if the concept works.

ComradeBear
2016-10-05, 10:46 PM
Hmm...
I'm going to suggest trying it for a session at least, but for a different reason:
I think the DM might be pulling a fast one on all of you.

Like, these characters are going to be ancestors to your real characters or otherwise related to the main plot, and session 1 will see their glorious demise. Then you'll make characters for realsies.

I could absolutely see myself doing exactly that just to mess with my players and increase some amount of buy-in with the setting.

But hey, that might also not be the case. Only way to tell is playing that first session.

I would offer to take you into my group but we're going through scheduling issues. :/

Knitifine
2016-10-06, 01:13 AM
Depending on how well you know the DM this could be one of two things.

1. A slightly rougher attempt as a few party balancing house rules combined with campaign traits.
Ie. I often tell my players "If I put all your characters in a blender I expect similiar results to having a healer, a face, a front line person and a full caster. Two half-healers is fine, etc." as well as "Here are a number of campaign traits that will better tie you into the story, please pick one."

Or it could be.

2. The red flag of rail-roading, "you're character wouldn't do that" and other poor DMing styles.

Only you know this person well enough to figure out which.

Good luck!

Mr Blobby
2016-10-06, 07:42 AM
The evidence in my mind points to option 2 - if it was option 1, the GM could say 'I desire a balanced party, so here are x bare-bones char sheets. Choose the ones which appeal to you most, then add some meat to them.' I unashamedly do variants of this frequently.

NecroDancer
2016-10-06, 11:01 AM
A was once roped into playing a pregenerated rogue for a D&D 5e campaign, I multi-classed into bard at the first opportunity and have become a great healer/skill monkey/face/skirmisher.

Grod_The_Giant
2016-10-06, 02:15 PM
My character is complete accept for a name, alignment, and (maybe) appearance. He even detailed my homeland, background, personality, hobbies, family, motivation, etc. for me.
The bolded items are of particular concerns, verging on red flags for me. Mechanics, sure, I can understand why you'd do that. Homeland, background, family, again, I can understand the thought processes there-- making sure the characters are well integrated into the world. I don't necessarily agree, but I can understand it.

But why, in the name of god, do you need to dictate personality? That seems like the bare minimum of what you leave up to the player to determine.

I would politely write back that while you appreciate the work he's putting into this, you don't feel like you can properly get inside your character's head, and that you don't want to drag down everyone else. Thank you, best of luck with the campaign, and hopefully we can game together another time soon.

caden_varn
2016-10-07, 05:36 AM
What do the other players think of this? They may be as unhappy as you. If so, one of them may initiate.

Jay R
2016-10-08, 09:07 PM
As it is looking I have no interest in playing the character from either a fluff or a crunch perspective and really don't feel like giving up my next hundred or so Saturdays trying to make it work.

I suggest that your next steop is to ask yourself why. What does this character have that prevents your interest, or what is necessary for your interest that this character doesn't have.

If you can work out in clear, specific detail what makes the difference, then you can ask the DM for a character that fits what you need. ("I really want to play a forest dweller - a druid, ranger, elf, or some such") or that doesn't have what you can't play ("I really can't stand Vancian casting. Could I have a spontaneous caster or non-caster please?").

If you know what your specific issues are, then you will have a much better chance of dealing with the DM, and perhaps you can reach the compromise of a character he designed (which is important to him) and one you can enjoy playing (which is important to you).

Satinavian
2016-10-09, 02:42 AM
I don't like playing pre-gens.

Personally my experience is that everything the GM might want to achieve with pre-gens is better handled by simply having some input/restrictions to character generation or having a session 0 where is explained what the campaign is about, which characters would fit and (as long as not secret) why.

Kiero
2016-10-09, 06:20 AM
Pregens for a one-shot, where the mechanical stuff might be done, but we can still decide who they are, sure.

Pregens for a longer-term game, where the GM decided who the character is as well? No thanks.

NomGarret
2016-10-09, 11:58 AM
Yeah, there is certainly a time and a place for pre-gens, but this doesn't seem to tick any of those boxes.

There's no indication you're dealing with a new, complex rules system or setting, espescially one where you would have to share a limited number of books.
There doesn't seem to be a time crunch to making characters.
That leaves the possibility of some gimmick, like the "these aren't your actual characters" idea from upthread. Now, unless the gimmick relies on surprise, I tend to believe that listing it as a character restriction in your campaign pitch is the better way to go. If you want to run an all-dwarf game, it's better to say so and let players make their own dwarves.

This is why while giving it a session or two to play out isn't necessarily a bad idea, in case there is a surprise gimmick, I'm inclined to think this game won't go well. In particular, if the GM isn't getting buy-in on the characters, how much do you want to bet he isn't going to get that buy-in on the plot or world? Even if this isn't a control-freak, which is still a real possibility, this could be the case of someone well-meaning who has put a lot of effort into something the players aren't interested in.

Talakeal
2016-10-09, 04:45 PM
Well, I decided to give it a try and we had our first session last night.

It went significantly worse than I thought it would. Definitely one of the worst gaming experiences of my life (and for those of you who know me, that is saying quite a bit) and I literally ended up in tears.

It turns out that the group liked me a heck of a lot less than I liked them and said some very hurtful things. I didn't formally say I was quitting the game, but I think I will just cut off all contact with the group and stop showing up.


On the plus side, I can also leave the other game I was involved in. On Tuesday the DM for that group told us it was going to be a campaign with a lot more focus on character background and social relationships and he wanted detailed write-ups of our characters past and the various NPCs we had connections to. So I spent three days thinking hard about it and wrote up a detailed background for my character which I gave to the DM at the above game (he is a player in that game, the groups share about half the members) and he told me that he wouldn't accept it. When he asked us for backgrounds he meant immediately, and because I took several days to get back to him he had already made up my characters backstory for me and would not allow me to use any of the stuff I had worked so hard to come up with.

So yeah... looks like I am out two gaming groups.

Comet
2016-10-09, 05:01 PM
Dang... I don't even know what to tell you. That's such a harsh turn for things to take. Either these people are actually kind of awful or there's been some massive misscommunication on one or both ends. If you feel like trying to fix things, I would probably try to politely ask the rest of the group if things are still cool or not. I wouldn't blame you for just walking away, though.

Cluedrew
2016-10-09, 05:03 PM
Well, there is not a lot I can do for you besides give you my sympathies, but you can have those for free.

Velaryon
2016-10-09, 05:18 PM
Well, I decided to give it a try and we had our first session last night.

It went significantly worse than I thought it would. Definitely one of the worst gaming experiences of my life (and for those of you who know me, that is saying quite a bit) and I literally ended up in tears.

It turns out that the group liked me a heck of a lot less than I liked them and said some very hurtful things. I didn't formally say I was quitting the game, but I think I will just cut off all contact with the group and stop showing up.


On the plus side, I can also leave the other game I was involved in. On Tuesday the DM for that group told us it was going to be a campaign with a lot more focus on character background and social relationships and he wanted detailed write-ups of our characters past and the various NPCs we had connections to. So I spent three days thinking hard about it and wrote up a detailed background for my character which I gave to the DM at the above game (he is a player in that game, the groups share about half the members) and he told me that he wouldn't accept it. When he asked us for backgrounds he meant immediately, and because I took several days to get back to him he had already made up my characters backstory for me and would not allow me to use any of the stuff I had worked so hard to come up with.

So yeah... looks like I am out two gaming groups.

I think you have it backwards. Those two groups are out a good player. You tried it out despite your misgivings (which is probably more than I'd have done in your shoes) and they gave you grief for it. If they literally drove you to tears, then let them have their stupid game. That sounds like the kind of situation where you're better off with no game at all than being stuck with them. At least they showed their true colors before you got too deeply in.

The Glyphstone
2016-10-09, 05:56 PM
And another sad chapter of Bizarro Gaming World With Talakeal comes to its inevitable close.:smallmad:

Grod_The_Giant
2016-10-09, 06:02 PM
Well, I decided to give it a try and we had our first session last night.

It went significantly worse than I thought it would. Definitely one of the worst gaming experiences of my life (and for those of you who know me, that is saying quite a bit) and I literally ended up in tears.

It turns out that the group liked me a heck of a lot less than I liked them and said some very hurtful things. I didn't formally say I was quitting the game, but I think I will just cut off all contact with the group and stop showing up.


On the plus side, I can also leave the other game I was involved in. On Tuesday the DM for that group told us it was going to be a campaign with a lot more focus on character background and social relationships and he wanted detailed write-ups of our characters past and the various NPCs we had connections to. So I spent three days thinking hard about it and wrote up a detailed background for my character which I gave to the DM at the above game (he is a player in that game, the groups share about half the members) and he told me that he wouldn't accept it. When he asked us for backgrounds he meant immediately, and because I took several days to get back to him he had already made up my characters backstory for me and would not allow me to use any of the stuff I had worked so hard to come up with.

So yeah... looks like I am out two gaming groups.
http://s3-ak.buzzfeed.com/static/2014-05/tmp/webdr05/12/19/anigif_eaa6a580d8aece464ad6ec5fd8670b68-0.gif

Both of those things are just... I'm so sorry, dude. You always sound like a really good, thoughtful player, and yet you apparently live in the middle of RPG hell.

ComradeBear
2016-10-09, 06:41 PM
If you're ok with playing online, and have a schedule as strange as mine, I'm trying to get a group together to play via Roll20 om Tuesdays. I guess the only problem would be that I tend to GM games that aren't D&D due to preference.

Velaryon
2016-10-09, 06:56 PM
Both of those things are just... I'm so sorry, dude. You always sound like a really good, thoughtful player, and yet you apparently live in the middle of RPG hell.

I know, right? If we didn't live halfway across the country from each other, I'd probably offer Talakeal a spot at my table for... well, I don't know if I could call us a "normal" group, but at least we're not insane.

Okay, we might be a little insane, but at least we're not jerks, and we know that fun comes first. And we don't do pregenerated characters.

Grod_The_Giant
2016-10-09, 08:27 PM
I know, right? If we didn't live halfway across the country from each other, I'd probably offer Talakeal a spot at my table for... well, I don't know if I could call us a "normal" group, but at least we're not insane.

Okay, we might be a little insane, but at least we're not jerks, and we know that fun comes first. And we don't do pregenerated characters.
Same here.

NecroDancer
2016-10-10, 08:02 PM
What was your pregenerated character anyway? (Race/class)

Talakeal
2016-10-10, 10:29 PM
What was your pregenerated character anyway? (Race/class)

First off, We are actually playing Scion rather than D&D (I used some d&d terminology earlier because I couldn't remember the proper Scion terminology and tried to keep it as generic as I could) sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

My character was a a child of Quetzalcoatl who grew up in a poor cuban household in Miama and whose only hobby was in artwork and whose only goal was to become a famous artist. I had superhuman intelliegence, skills based around science and crafting, and minor divination powers.

I wanted to play the character as an artificer, but then ran into a brick wall when I was told that the game has no rules for crafting or enchanting items at all, and every other direction people suggested ran contrary to either what I wanted to play or the intent of the character the DM gave me.

The Glyphstone
2016-10-10, 11:42 PM
Your DM gave you skill dots in Crafts, then told you there aren't any rules for crafting. Does anyone else see the issue here?

Max_Killjoy
2016-10-11, 02:25 PM
Your DM gave you skill dots in Crafts, then told you there aren't any rules for crafting. Does anyone else see the issue here?

Not only no rules for crafting, but it sounds like a GM uninterested in a character who gets game-utility out of crafting things.

What's worse than a GM who insists on pregen characters? A GM who insists on pregen characters and builds them badly.

Talakeal
2016-10-11, 04:16 PM
Basically, there are no real rules for any mundane skill, its more or less just the GM will tell you to roll it when it is appropriate. There are crafting skills in the game, they just don't have any defined effects.

What there aren't, however, is rules for exceptional quality mundane equipment or for crafting magical equipment.

Basically, he gave me a pregen and then told me I could spend my bonus points and control the advancement of the character. I had been wanting to play a character who designs their own weaponry since seeing the new Ghostbusters fild earlier this year, and thought this would be a good opportunity.

As the pregen has super human intellect and a ton of mental skills I decided to go with someone who is more or less a stereotypical nerd who is socially awkward and physically small, but graceful enough to be deadly. I planned to use my skills as an artisan metalworker and engineer who is an expert in the history, design, and use of exotic weapons.

But I maxxed out all of those things before running out of bonus points, and I couldn't figure out where to go. I had planned on being something like a D&D artificer, but was told that was not a valid concept and that I should abandon my character concept and go with a superhuman assassin who is also superhumanly intelligent and can craft mundane items in a pinch if it ever came up.

I said I liked my character concept and didn't want to abandon it, and then I was told I was a "bad RPer" and a "power gamer" for the next couple of hours.

Cluedrew
2016-10-11, 05:37 PM
Did this happen before or after you described the group as sane?