The Six Foot Tall Dwarf and Other Mundane Oddities
I read something on the Pinnacle boards the other day that got me thinking about something I haven’t thought of in a long time–how all sorts of folks long to be different, but when you put a lot of these different folks together to play a game, in their desire to create a unique and interesting character, they often venture so far afield they have gone into territory already well explored.
Once upon a time, my buddy was running a D&D game–this was back in the first edition days–and I wanted to play an offbeat character. In fact, offbeat characters were often my thing, but a little offbeat goes a long way. Before I learned that lesson though, I created a six foot tall dwarf cleric who was not particularly bright, but quite strong, and okay in the wisdom department who worshiped some god of strength or other and went about with a might makes right philosophy. Keep in mind, this was over twenty years ago and I thought I was being particularly clever, but in hindsight, probably not so much. That’s okay. Everything is an iterative process.
Flash forward to today and it’s important, whether you’re designing a setting, an adventure, or a character it’s not necessary to have them completely off the rails. It’s not so much creating a “thing” with boundless quirks as it is fashioning something with an intrinsic logic and a few tweaks to keep things interesting. While “turning an idea on its ear” is necessary to develop something of creative worth, it’s essential to make certain everything is true to its nature.
So start with something simple and let it develop over time. Let it speak to you and–if you’re lucky and true to your vision–it will flourish.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!