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D&D 3E
1st-Mar-2005 11:45 pm
Canopus (sadness)
Has anybody had a problem with a fellow player constantly changing characters for an upcoming campaign?

This guy in the four-person group I'm in keepschanging his character entirely. He's also the DM of hiso wn campaign that my boyfriend and I participate in along with the DM of the upcoming Forgotten Realms campaign. I've only changed one of my characters at the last possible moment, and that's my Orc character. I kept her a barbarian and with the same equipment, name, and such, but she's now an Uthgardt tribeswoman from the Red Tiger tribe and she'll stay that way.

This guy has gone through an over-charismatic bard, an Ijutsu master, and a semi-insane elven wizard. Who knows what powerhouse he'll attempt next. -_- My boyfriend and the other player are also growing quite sick of this. All this player wishes to do is powergame, and he lso tries this when he DMs. Argh...

(Cross-posted to dnd3e and dnd_women)
2nd-Mar-2005 05:23 am (UTC)
Tell him that either you get to pick one of the characters he's already created, or he takes a 5% penalty to all experience gained for each one he makes, including those he's already made (so he's at a 15% penalty already). That'll shut him up.
2nd-Mar-2005 07:42 am (UTC)
That's an idea!
2nd-Mar-2005 06:20 am (UTC)
I have a friend who does this regularly. I've started telling him about campaigns about 4 months in advance so he /might/ have a character ready by the time I want to start. I give him deadlines, too. I hate to say it, but after five years with this friend, I've come to believe it's just the way they play. I know it's frustrating for you (and me too!) but if this person really enjoys that kind of character development .... well that's how they get their kicks. I don't think it's our place to try to change it; only to harness it into something useful. :)

2nd-Mar-2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
This ... hmm. This idea intrigues me.

Let him make as many characters as he wants. Make him present the character sheet to you every time he has one ready to go... and keep it. Let him change his mind as often as he likes right up to Zero-Hour ...

And now you have a fat wad of ready-made NPCs. Add a few levels and presto! There's a villain! If he's really power-gaming so much, then they should be pretty fearsome, too.

And of course, if he's gonna keep changing his mind as to what character he wants to play, he has to accept that the plot is not going to be even tangentially related to him until he picks one and sticks with it.
2nd-Mar-2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
I was thinking that. The plot cannot relate to someone at all when they constantly shift their character. If your game is plot-based in any way, he should already be getting punished for this kind of behavior by not being involved in the game in the slightest except for the hack-and-slash scenes--as most power gamers are.
3rd-Mar-2005 02:28 am (UTC)
His own game is hardly anything but hack-and-slash and I hate it. There's hardly any role-play involved and I'm only going along with it because he supposedly has something big planned involving my Tiefling/Half-Fiend's not-yet-existant god. He told bothNick and my boyfriend about it and I'm left in the dark dying to know just what it is.

I try to add 'spice' with my characters in a way that isn't powergaming.

Cai's a lawful neutral tiefling turned half-fiend who's struggling daily to live in a world away from the Orient where people hate devil-bloods like herself and other outsiders due to some big war that happened long ago.
3rd-Mar-2005 04:52 am (UTC)
Tieflings are so frickin' cool, just to let you know. I have a tiefling NPC in my game right now that one of my PCs, an aasimar, is actually good friends with, and I love how he has streaks of devilish behavior in his lawful neutral existance (my tiefling NPC is LN, too, haha.)

I'm a DM that's about story more than anything else, though I try to have 2-4 battles every session for my hack-and-slashers. I think that there should always be plot involved to explain battle, though--and players that constantly change their PCs never get incorporated into the plot. Whereas, PCs that have been the same since session one have all sorts of sidestories and reoccuring villains from their backstory etc etc.
3rd-Mar-2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
There are plots for these battles, but there's just too many battles. *sigh* There's never really any rP time because the damned DM just wants to get the adventure done and hand out experience..

Cai's not really prone to devilish behavior save for when she uses her bite attack in battles and rips opponents' throats out. >_>;

...and that one time she cursed a blue streak in Infernal because she slipped and fell on a puddle of blood when she tried jumping over a wall of shields. I rolled a one on my jump check. <_<;; If I ever get brave enough, I might post Cai's character information and backstory for everyone to read. I love sharing my characters' info.
3rd-Mar-2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
The tiefling I have is a psion, and his psicrystal is attuned to speak Infernal, but in a little girl's voice, and runs around chiming in Infernal constantly. He's usually pretty even tempered, but I made him a pyromaniac with tons of energy-based powers, so when he gets the chance to be destructive even remotely, everything is on fire. I figure they have to be devilish somehow.
4th-Mar-2005 12:48 am (UTC)
I love the idea for thetiefling in your game! And the psicrystal reminds me of the dog from Little Nicky. Probably because of the little girl voice. :D
2nd-Mar-2005 06:39 am (UTC)
Sounds like an ego thing. I have had run-ins with DMs who try to showcase their own characters as DM-PCs. It's annoying and narcissistic.

It's not even EFFECTIVELY narcissistic, as the characters they so love to showcase are derivatives of something obvious and they take very little in the way of creativity to design. They don't exactly speak of that person's finer traits. One fellow who was famous for this in my circles created a vampire wannabe named Strahd von Zarovich, for heaven's sake. He played him in hiw own games and then expected to bring it to the tables of others, getting offended when told he was blatantly cheating.

If I were you I would crack down on this. I liked the experience thing above. I don't necessarily think your friend is cheating or anything. I just went off on a little rant of my own. You are touching on one of my pet peeves in gaming.
3rd-Mar-2005 02:33 am (UTC)
This has become one of my pet peeves in D&D as well since he's done it so damned much. Whenever he makes a female NPC for his campaign (he's done it twice now), he ALWAYS maks her a class that needs a high friggin' charisma. >_< I swear he does it to make me jealous..
3rd-Mar-2005 03:03 am (UTC)
Does it work?
3rd-Mar-2005 03:05 am (UTC)
Yeah it does. -_- I hate the charisma stat, always have because I don't see its point.
3rd-Mar-2005 06:49 am (UTC)
You lost me there...
3rd-Mar-2005 02:39 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. Hard to explain...
2nd-Mar-2005 01:52 pm (UTC)

We've got three players who switch characters every session or every couple of sessions.

One of them actually rotates between the characters sometimes (i.e. if they get left behind in a city, or they leave on a subquest, he'll bring 'em back later).

One of them just plain dies in almost every combat.

One of them just likes making new characters.

We've adapted, but it pisses the rest of us off. So, we brought it up, and fortunately they're curbing it.
3rd-Mar-2005 01:47 am (UTC)
I wish I knew how to tell him to cut it out, but since he's the main DM, I don't want to anger him and make him dissolve the group.
2nd-Mar-2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
Upcoming, hell. I had a player that constantly changed characters during ongoing campaigns. :P

Basically, I had to just assume his characters wouldn't be around long and not plan any storylines around them.
3rd-Mar-2005 01:53 am (UTC)
He's done that before too. He first had a fighter named Martin(Ugh..) that was downright a complete asshole, but ditched him because my boyfriend and I both hated him...and because he couldn't do the level progression he wanted. So, he made a second character named Airon, but the DM stopped that campaign because he wasn't liking how it was turning out.

And when Martin died, he just exploded due to a trap. :P
2nd-Mar-2005 09:06 pm (UTC)
I have a player who is currently going through the throes of character creation. I've seen this activity incarnated in a number of different forms, so I'm fairly adjusted to it by now. My reaction is to let him change characters and just roll with it in a zenlike manner.

I don't plan any story arcs or events around his character and I don't push him for his history since it's fairly irrelevant with him agonizing over the "build". In time he will see that trying to power game and combine a "perfect" set of classes will never happen.

My games are tuned as to require a party effort to overcome challenges, standing out on your own quickly results in the enemy taking notice and action. By itself, this does a very good job of dealing with power gamers. Power characters often suffer a quick, unceremonious death when this tuning is combined with my healthy use of a golden plated nerf bat (tm) which I am unafraid to wield against any prestige class, item, or spell which is overpowered.

Currently, the most overpowered characters in my party are the cleric, the barbarian, the rogue, and the sorcerer. I'm still waiting to see if the two new guys notice this and stop dilly-dallying with stacking prestige classes and supplemental books.
2nd-Mar-2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
Power characters often suffer a quick, unceremonious death when this tuning is combined with my healthy use of a golden plated nerf bat (tm) which I am unafraid to wield against any prestige class, item, or spell which is overpowered.

I can't help but applaud this sentence.
3rd-Mar-2005 02:29 am (UTC)
Me neither! *claps!*
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