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Difficulties with switching from GM mode to Player mode

One of my greatest struggles as a player is trying to make that mental transition out of GM mode. Oh its easy enough to tell myself that I am running a character and not a world, and it is a lot of fun building a character with skill points and stunts and such. But that is surface level transition. Players and GMs are different at their very core, and not making that complete transition results in a very sad game.

Rather than outline a debate about differences or list a pros and cons survey, I thought it would be more helpful (and fun) to go through the Fate Core character creation process and highlight important notes as they come up in the discussion. Note that I am going through the process in general, rather than actually making a character.

If you are a natural at making/running a player character, then reading this article will probably inspire internal dialogue along the lines of “I already knew that” and “Actually, I have more fun when I…” and so on. Believe it or not, this process does not come naturally to the rest of us.

And here we… go!

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Better Characters

A while back, I promised to share some tips about how to make better characters. No, not betters that are bigger or faster or stronger. I am not a big fan of min-maxing in games because it is often done at the price of character depth, and depth is what I really believe makes a strong and memorable RPG character. Today I am going to make good on my word to share some tips with you about making sure your characters are deeper and feel more real. Now my hope is that this list will be tips that anyone can use. There are plenty of unique talents that can bring a character to life that I personally do not possess; skills like voice acting, drawing, costume design, makeup artistry, and puppeteering. I wish I had some of those skills, or all of them if I am being greedy. Oh dear. Now I’m getting much sidetracked. On to the tips!

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Sticks & Stones, Rubber & Glue = Successful RPG campaign

When you and your friends sit down to an RPG you invariably get to the question “what characters should we choose so we can be successful?” The answer to this can often be different based on the types of players and the type of campaign you are playing.

What we would like to remind you is that at the core of playing an RPG game you are trying to tell a story. No matter the setting/world/system, a way to guarantee enjoyment in a story is to have some kind of drama. In a physical campaign like a D&D game or Pathfinder game, this drama can usually come from the fighting and the chance of death. In other systems the drama can come from a more social aspect and how the different characters interact and what happens after. No matter what kind of campaign or system you are running, we have the 4 types of characters that can guarantee you a successful campaign.

We believe, that to tell a successful story you should use these 4 character roles: stick, stone, rubber, glue. Now, the idea of having 4 different character types in a successful story is nothing new, if you are familiar with Humorism this may seem very familiar. There is even an interesting CRACKED video  that covers that as well as a TV TROPES. The types of characters we are going to be talking about have different temperaments and provide a different purpose. We believe these 4 types of characters ensure a longer more successful campaign.

Below, Joshua and I have a little conversation on these 4 character types. Enjoy!

The Stick

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Religious Characters

Some character types are easier to play than others. A fighter in old DnD is much easier than a wizard, especially for new players. Street Samurais over deckers. Minor talents over white court vampires. A big part of this difficulty curve has to do with mechanics, but another part has to do with familiarity.

Religious characters, for example, are often challenging to play. They are often played for mechanical benefits (healing, advantages versus evil, balance of magic and equipment, etc.) without consideration for their beliefs, which is much more limited when compared to the ever-popular hero that makes his own way and plays by his own rules.

Rather than rant about clerics that mechanically serve the goddess of generosity and yet steal from crippled beggars, I’d like to take a more constructive approach. Religious characters can be a lot of fun to play, and it is not hard to play them well if you have a good grasp about what their religion means to them. So with that in mind, let me share with you some tips to help play a devoted holy character.

What Is a Religious Character

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