I’d like to go ahead and finish up my talk on my personal character creation process for my games, as before, I usually only run GURPS (I‘ve been known to run Chaosim’s Elfquest though…) so this is more or less specific to that system.
When I last left off I had finished describing the first process of character creation for my games, which is the ‘fluff’ of your character. Next comes the ‘crunch’, and I always find the crunch much more fun, but that’s just a personal preference. I like creating characters, I like seeing how amazing the GURPS system is, how well it conforms to whatever idea or concept you have, I like to confirm the ‘Generic’ and ‘Universal’ aspects of the system name. Some decry that GURPS isn’t truly universal because it doesn’t do things like ‘True Invincibility’ or ‘Infinite Power Replication’, it would be difficult (but not impossible) for instance to build someone like Superman or Peter Petrelli from Heroes (early seasons) because essentially they have ‘infinite’ power and infinite in GURPS requires infinite points. I never really thought characters like that were fun anyways so it doesn’t bother me.
The first thing I do is to determine the modified point total after taking into account the bonus points from any fluff the player has put together for his character. And if the point total varies in the intended campaign (which I and my players like to do often) now is when the player will determine that, usually by a simple die roll. For example, a base 50 plus 1d x 50 for a range of 100 to 350. From there it’s a simple matter of matching the character traits to the character’s fluff. I like my player’s to take as many disadvantages as are appropriate to their character, I think that disadvantages as much as advantages truly make a character COME ALIVE. After the selection of traits comes equipment, which I personally feel takes even longer than the process of creating a character. All and all I find that creating a single character my way takes approximately 10 to 14 hours, but once it’s done the character can last for years, for instance L.A. (@deathsbard) has a character that we created back in 2006 that she is still playing and using, the character has of course grown from the original design as all RPG characters do but the point is she still has her character and the thoughtful planning that went into the design has all but insured the character’s concept and continued use.