Content of the article: "Non-traditional strategies for character creation"
I'm interested in starting to DM a duet game for a player who is completely new to the game, and I'm starting to think through character creation. I definitely DON'T want to dump a whole bunch of info (or even a bunch of short summaries) on all the classes and races on my player; even with support and guidance, it seems like that could be overwhelming. I also don't want to just hand them a pre-made character or the choice of a few pre-made characters, since that takes a lot of their personal agency and investment out of the process.
I'd also love to give the player a bit of the flavor of the game before they have to make any permanent character choices, and get a sense of what sort of play they enjoy and gravitate towards.
I was thinking that one solution to this problem would be to play an introductory session without a character sheet, where the player starts out with no name/class/race, no HP and commoner stats. They would navigate themselves through a pretty open dreamscape, with their decisions affecting their stats as they go. For example, they might awaken in a burning building; if their initial reaction is "I try to climb out the window", I'd tell them to bump up their DEX by 1. If they instead try to investigate the source of the flames or stifle them, WIS or maybe INT would increase. Because of fun and cool dream-logic, they'd have the freedom to try things that might seem dangerous or unwise without threatening their HP: if they attempt to ingest the fire, maybe it warms their throat and gives them a +1 CHA, but also scars their insides (-1 STR).
Things like their race and class could also be determined through dream-logic: a stranger on the street exhorts them to hide their face lest be be discovered and points towards a stall selling masks. If they don the horned purple one with the subtle smile, hello tiefling.
The character could then wake up from the dream fully-formed at the end of the session, ready to set out on an adventure.
I'm curious if any of y'all have tried anything like this in the past: if so, what sorts of mechanics did you introduce to generate characteristics and stats? how did it go over with your player(s)? Any unexpected twists and turns you weren't prepared for?
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