Content of the article: "“What Your Character Does Is More Important To The Game Than Who You Design Them To Be.”"
In Matt Colville's Recent video: "No" Running The Game #94, says this after describing a very cool encounter in which a player gained a unique item:
"That is DnD to me. That is a unique item, uniquely gained via a memorable experience in a single adventure. It's not a feat, it's not a class ability, it's not the result of any choices I made when I leveled up. It is the result of something my character did." (Beginning at 17:10). https://youtu.be/6St9pH4-16E?t=883
This put into words something that I've felt for a long time, and I hope it's a useful articulation for you. "What your character does is more important to the game than who you design them to be."
I usually start groups who are new to D&D off with a few points on how to approach the game, or how to think about it. The above articulation is now part of those points. I find that new players are very excited about their characters (and rightly so), but they don't yet understand that their characters will become awesome and memorable because of what they do in the game, not because of how the player has created them.
Nobody (including yourself 6 months down the road) cares that your character is a multi-classing one eyed lizardfolk-half giant who has 18 strength and feats out the wazoo – until they do something memorable!
I find new players often over-complicate their characters at first (and some never get out of this habit). I think this idea encourages simplicity in character creation – don't have them all figured out yet, and leave them as a little bit of a blank slate. Don't over-value stats and abilities. They will become great as you play.
DMs, it's our job to provide encounters, items, and stories that give their characters opportunity for greatness.
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- Hero points and Proficiency dice, do they make the game funner.
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