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My Players Concept

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I have a player who has 3 possible character concepts, thing is that I don't know if any of these are possible in nWoD and if so, how to implement them. I'm still new to the system and haven't gone through all the books yet.

Any help would be appreciated. Below are his 3 possible ideas for character choices

A Mage who is a kinfolk to a werewolf tribe, or

A werewolf of the tribe that allowed you to use numina path magic similar to a sorcerer, don't recall their name just know, or

a vampire of the clan or bloodline that allowed you to use a limited version of werewolf gifts.

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Unless he's a great player, I wouldn't allow ANY of those.

I think you'd come to regret it....

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Why do you say that? Are they bad choices, hard to make, or overpowered?

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Donor

Generally terrible choices and characters as a whole, dun see whats wrong with just working with what each game has to offer without adding other stuff, oh and the term is wolf-blooded, kinfolk is old WoD, as I usually put it when players bring these twinky characters to me, its like trying to fit 20 lbs of shit into a 5 lbs bag, the options each game has to offer are more than enough if players give said ideas a chance. From the three 'ideas' listed they sound like the type who would've played on the shadows HTML way back when, or atleast fitted in there, where rank 5 mokole tzimisce abomination hedge mages were a dime a dozen, in other words, I wholey agree with Fennris, allowing these ideas is gonna end badly, next they'll be asking for silver katanas -rolls eyes-

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Hmmm I see your point. But in my players defence, he probably only asked for something like this, because I'm starting a game that includes most of nWoD. I told them that they would start as mortals, and that depending on how they played and how the story progressed they would become one of their 3 choices for possible characters. He just sprung these on me and since I know next to nothing of WoD and I'm still learning nWoD I had no idea what to make his possible choices.

I still wish to merge most of the nWoD elements in one chronicle just because I find one setting too limiting. I know some will argue against this, but I'm sticking with that. It's just my gaming style.

Any advice on possible character alternatives would be appreciated.

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After telling my players that they will start out as mortals, I asked to come up with a detailed character concept. This is what one of them came up with.

CHARACTER'S FULL NAME: Meldoaron Banyacya Tewanima Karamchand Juan Carlos DeCardenas of the Oraibi Village by Flagstaff, Arizona.

SHORTENED NAME ON DRIVERS LICENSE: Meldoaron B. DeCardenas

NICK NAMES: Mel; Juan-C; “Wuya-sina” (Great Spirit Bringer), which is his spiritual name in the Katchina Religious Society.

PHYSICAL STATISTICS:

Age: 27 year appearance.

True Age: ?

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 182 lb.

Eyes: Amber

Hair: Long, straight black hair in a pony tail.

Skin: Light tan with Tattoos on arms and back (see below).

Sex: Male

ETHNICITY:

Native American Indian (Descendent of the Hopi or “Hopituh Shi-nu-mu”) and Spaniard descent

DRESS STYLE:

He typically wears “Men in Black” type suit’s, complete with Ray-ban Sunglasses.

When suit jacket is removed, a sleeveless dress shirt can be seen. He has Tattoos of life-like Katchina Dolls in dramatic poses on his lean yet well toned muscled arms.

EDUCATION:

Martial Arts –

• Tae Kwon Do (High Red Belt with one black line for the 8th Gup)

• Tribal Glaive-Sword Fighting

Formal Education – University of Arizona

• Masters in Occult Studies

• Bachelorette in Religious Studies

• Associates in Ancient Mythological Studies

Other Education –

Languages: Hopi, English, Spanish

PAST JOBS:

• Shaman Apprentice from childhood until about age 15

• Part time sales and inventory clerk for local Mom and Pop Bookstore from age 15 to 18

• Night club guard and bouncer on weekends to pay for college after the grant money began to run out

• Drug Dealer for the club to sell to club clientele

CURRENT JOB:

• Park Ranger and Tracker. Sometimes assisting local police/sheriff’s office on searches for bodies and manhunts, and getting bonuses from the department.

• Part time Paranormal Investigator working with a Local University Funded Paranormal Society called “Destination Truth”. Secretly, it is supported by the “Arcanum”, specifically the very far off Chapter House in the Dutch port city of Amsterdam, Holland.

BACKGROUND:

Mel was born and raised on the Reservation, almost entirely exposed to Hopi traditions and customs. His father was the only Non-Hopi influence he had other than school, which had a largely Navaho student body. The next largest racial group were the Mexicans, which he seemed to sort of fit in with. He felt alone, even among his few friends, when at school. His Father was the only one who really understood him. Unfortunately, he was not around often because his job seemed to always be calling him away. James, Mel’s dad, claimed he was some kind of economic analyst for a multi-national corporation with interests around the globe. Mel always felt there was more to it, especially since James was always vague about his business trips. When he was around, James would try to talk to him about his Spaniard family and culture, which was a welcomed change of pace.

Although James never married Naha, Mel’s mother, they acted like a married couple with epic verbal fights that Grandma Hanali said put fear into even the kachinim or spirits of the mountains. She would go on to say that the mountain spirits would sometimes tremble so bad for being scared that it would cause rock slides and one it would “kill us all”. Mel thought she was only half joking, as Katchina spirits are serious business to the elders of the village.

The Medicine Man named “Eyes on Earth” convinced Naha to allow Mel to assist him with his ‘Medicines’ and Festival Preparations. Mel was one of 3 such helpers, although Mel was the youngest. Eyes had taken notice of Mel from an incident that occurred when Mel was only 5 years old. Mel had wondered off one day during an outing near the mountains while in Navaho country. He was missing for three days, while the sheriff, deputies, and local trackers combed the mountains. It was Eye’s who found him, Mel with a cut caked in dried blood on one side of his head. He had somehow survived a rock slide, but what seemed more miraculous to Eyes was that the child was not scared and in fact seemed very composed. Mel told Eyes that the “Eagle man” helped him, showed him where to find food, and where to find a small cave to sleep in. Eyes knew this had to have been the work of the Eagle Katchina.

As Mel got older, his imaginary friends stopped talking to him, but he developed a sixth sense about things, especially a danger sense not only for himself but others close to him. Mel started reading many books about spirituality and mysticism, eventually getting a job in old Mrs. Swanson’s Bookstore, where he had been hanging out a lot to read his books and study. Unfortunately, there were some local Navaho bullies who kept pushing around and beating up Mel. One day, Mr. Swanson tried to step in, but the bullies just turned on him and put him in the hospital with 3 broken ribs and cracked femur. That’s when Mat decided to take up Tae Kwon Do and started learning the tribal Glaive-Sword fighting of the village. Eventually, this put him at odds with Eyes, who’s Katchinal Faith was largely pacifistic in nature.

When Mel was 15, he was being accosted by some of the same bullies, who were now grown men, and inebriated after a long night at the local club. Mel defended himself but put two of the men in the hospital, one severely beaten with 3 fractured ribs and a broken wrist. The club owner, Mat “Lady Killer” Angaku, seeing what happened, vouched for Mel to the Sheriff and all assault charges were dropped. Mat even offered to give Mel a job when he turned 18, which he eventually accepted to help pay for college. The news of the attack reached Eyes, resulting in an argument that ended with Mel leaving on bad terms.

His studies of the occult, mysticism, and religion was driven, partially due to the experience he had went through as a child, although he did not recall the incident himself, instead relying on Eye’s telling of the event. He also wanted to better understand his uncanny senses. He continued to work towards his degrees at the University of Arizona; however the grants were running dry. Eventually, he turned to manufacturing and selling drugs after years of Mat’s coaxing to make big money in the club scene. Mel’s prowess with powders, unguents, and other “medicines” proved invaluable in this endeavor. The local deputies partook of the product themselves when they came to the club, so Mel was never arrested. However, when Mel’s friend DJ finally OD’ed on the stuff, Mat eventually quit the club. Mat tried to have some of the other Bouncers try to “persuade” him to come back, but Mel was more than they bargained for.

As an adult, Mel became a park ranger in (insert story setting appropriate national park here). Mel’s Hopi upbringing lends itself well to becoming a tracker and a park preservationist. He occasionally makes and sells small amounts of drugs, but of a weaker caliber and only to close friends and contacts. He does take some on special occasions for his own recreational use. He is very careful now to not overdo the concoctions and dosages, unlike years ago.

On his free time, Mel moonlights as a paranormal investigator as a member of a society called “Destination Truth”, funded by the local University (insert story setting appropriate school here). Other than his father, these people that he works with are very close to his heart. Everyone understands each other, at least most of the time. That does not mean that they don’t have ardent debates and arguments when they radically disagree about something they are currently researching.

The group consists of the following SENIOR MEMBERS:

• The elderly Mrs. Jenkins, the historical, genealogical, heraldic, and archival expert.

• The young Wang Poo, computer hacker, electronics expert, and programming savant.

• Father Markus Agrakipolous, a Jesuit Brother, Exorcist, and Biblical and Scriptural scholar.

• Frank O’Mullany, Psychic, automatic writer, and Physics Professor at the University. He is the official Faculty Advisor for the group.

• Damen Q. Granstant, spoiled son of a millionaire, Linguistics and Cryptanalysis expert.

• Mel himself.

The group also consists of JUNIOR MEMBERS, who are mostly students currently studying in the university.

PERSONALITY:

Mat knows the other side exists and has experienced much paranormal activity, mostly at the periphery of his own unusual existence. He’s currently working for his Doctorate in Occult Studies and practices his martial katas almost every day to stay in shape. He plans to someday go back to Tae Kwon Do and work at eventually getting his Black Belt.

Ultimately, he wants answers to the strangeness he has experienced occasionally throughout his life and for his uncanny temporal senses and sixth sense.

Likes:

• Sushi and sea food in general (His dad got him into it).

• Sci-fi.

• Fast women.

• Instrumental Music like classical, jazz, electronic, house, etc…

• His Katchina doll collection that he always tries to increase.

Dislikes:

• Not being in control or seeing others out of control (His drugs tend to mellow you out, not over-excite you).

• Intellectual Snobs

Fears:

Mat thinks he has black outs. Sometimes he dreams strange scenarios as if he’s seeing them with his own eyes as he is interacting with the scene or people in it. His recollections of these “dreams” are hazy at best but there is something sinister about them. He sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, feeling exhausted and thirsty, as if he had just run a marathon. When he checks, nothing in his apartment seems to be out of place, however, he could have sworn he closed that window before he went to bed.

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Donor

Better than previous concepts, will leave the breakdown to someone else or til later since Im currently doing a character approval at the moment heh

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cartman]

Character concept snip.

*facepalm* I hate to say it but if this was somebody sitting down at my table for a game i'd probably vote down this concept just like the others. And probably glare at the person. A lot.

From the looks of it...This (and the other overpowered concepts above) is a well thought out freight train to munchkinism complete with 3 piece suit, dark sunglasses, "I know kung fu", and big sword fighting style.

Now having said that...I have a question for you: What type of game are you after and what do you mean when you say "mortals"? Do you mean your normal real world type individual (CPA/ teacher/etc etc) ...or do you mean something more along the lines of "Hey batman's mortal...right?"

If your shooting for the average Joe exposed to the horrors of the WoD...Your going to have to sit down and explain to him why this kind of a character concept wont fly...(judging from the character concepts in the first post he's not going to like that...a lot).

If you're shooting for the batman approach...I'd just make sure he has the dots to back up all of that above...or he's weaseling for some freebies he's not entitled to. Just because that's what he wrote on the background doesn't mean he can do it unless the sheet says he can. By that I mean if he doesn't have 4 dots in occult and 3 in survival chances are he's not going to know about that spirits have fetters or be able to track that guy across the desert for a week.

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Donor

While the concept is marginally better than the previous ones, its by no means a good concept at any stretch of the imagination, like Zibik said, this is a prime example of min-maxing or munchkinism, having had some time to read it over I agree with Zib, this is WoD, not Batman/Comic world. Also, what the hell is up with the long ass name? Half of my mages dun have names that grandiose as their true names, hell, a demon/inferno antagonist wasnt that bad.

If one of my players came to me with this idea as a vanilla mortal, I'd scrap it in a second, or if I was in a bad mood most likely burn it and tear individual parts into pieces. What you really need to hammer into your player is that a mortal dun have to be all occultic to be in WoD games, or a badass, prime example of a mortal character I played that got dragged into supernatural side was this skinny, unfit hacker girl (who wasnt very good at it to be fair), lived on mountain dew and various snack foods more or less, but she managed to luck into a hack and ended up awakening due to it.

She became an Acanthus, Free Council mage, she got better at the computer stuff and learned about shiney occult stuff eventually, but it all happened after the awakening, before that her idea of occult things was 'vampire movies say they hate garlic and cant cross running water' or 'werewolves have hairy palms and a serious case of monobrow'.

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Hmmm I see your point...guess I'll have to disappoint him after I had told him yes LOL. I'm totally unexperienced with the system, so I don't know. The game I'm running is supposed to be 50% intrigue-investigation and 50% combat with combat really coming only into play if the players mess up, so really more like 30% combat 70% other. They are supposed to start as mortals with little if no knowledge of the supernatural and at some point depending on how they moved the story, become one of their 3 choices. As choices I allowed MtA, VtR, WtF,GtSe,CtL,HtV.

This is great. I love your input people. I will put all their character concepts up here as I get them. I gave them a whole month to come up with something good.

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Oh Wow. I messaged your responses to my player and he is steaming. This is what he wrote back.

Maybe Im used to the oWoD, where larger than life characters were part and parcel with the setting. In most stories and novels, the hero's are usually of a much higher caliber than the average joe. They are intricate protagonists. Even Law and Order has Super Detectives Like Goram with a wealth of knowledge and skills way beyond their pay grade.

My character concept and abilities are fully rationalized and explained in the Background. He's still within the realm of plausibility. I know people personally with much more ability in real life than my character, including the game master of this chronicle.

As for the name, in Hopi society, after 20 days after birth there is a naming ceremony in which the women of the paternal clan gather, each woman bringing a name and a gift for the child. In some cases where many relatives would attend, a child could be given over forty names. Check your facts and research before comenting on something. My material was researched for the background.

As for the Batman analogy, my character concept as it reads would have no chance against batman or other such character. Batman's training and experience is truly pushed to the ultimate limits of human potential in multiple areas. The assertion that my character is on par with anything remotely on such level is preposterous and unfounded.

Munchkinism, maybe to a point. However, I am a seasoned Game master and player with over 20 years of experience with RPGs, with interests in multiple genres of hobbies. I have seen levels of "Monty Hallism" that would probably overwhelm these guys into a coma. And you can post this response to that forum. When they see something along the lines of a God like Wizard with two pet Multi-Headed Mega dragons named Tiamat and Takhisis, then have them talk to me.

Also, in oWoD, they had the Ancient Philosopher Socrates as an elder Brujah vampire, Al Copone as I think it was a Ventrue Vampire, and a God Like Methuselah with life and Undeath altering power even when in Topor, nick named The Queen of the Damned, but known in her mortal life as Helen of Troy.

So have them chew on that.

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Donor

Simple responce:

This ain't oWoD

-shrugs- Oh well. In the end its your decision what you let into your game, I gave my opinion as we were asked to do so, you are the ST, its easy for us on here to give our critiques on concepts that are just not really workable in games we are used to, but if you like em, run with em, nothing stopping you doing so. Thing about nWoD is that I've noticed its less about the larger than life characters in some respects, you rarely get mages running around with pointy hats and casting ala Harry Potter, or vampires talking in cheesy Eastern European accents, its about your average joe/jane thrown in at the deep end and going through personal horror to grow into that larger than life ideal some players look for.

Some ST's pander to those players, I never have in either table top or games I've run online, I look for a real concept inside a character that gives them that spark of life, but again thats just me, others do it differently, I am just a fan of believable characters on some level. I mean sure you're a 9' tall killing machine when you have to be, but what about the rest of the time? Those sorts of things interest me, thats all, hence why Im a pain in the ass to be around as an ST.

One final point, he pinpointed those oWoD NPC characters, key word point here 'NPC', even if they did start as PC's t would've taken time and effort to get them to their points of 'uberness', so no starting character should even come close to them, which makes his argument there entirely moot in that respect. I could literally pick apart every part of that post but whats the point? I've had players like him in my games a few times, impossible to convince their concepts are bad or even flawed, as such, good luck with your game, truly there, but I'm out.

~Shiky

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Nope, you are right Shikome...I don't hold it against you at all. I needed peoples opinions on these since I'm not experienced. I would still love it if when I put other ones on here I could still get your input.

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I don't want to make assumptions about this individual but did he seriously just try to win an argument. About a role playing game. On the internet. Through a third party?

*clears throat* Anyhow...

I'm curious...has the person in question actually sat down and read the core book?

From his response I have to wonder. Alternatively: He may be "seasoned" but I don't think he *gets* the nWoD. Or that he gets that the New WoD is different than the Old WoD for a few of the reasons he listed. I'd encourage him to give the core book a read through, maybe it'll help.

As a side note...I'd encourage you to err on the side of caution. If he bristled up this badly about some random internet people's responses....you may have an 800 pound gorilla of a gamer on your hands. You not having much knowledge of the WoD means a player such as that could run rampant unchecked. If it doesn't fit what you want, don't be afraid to say no. If it gets out of hand don't be afraid to fix it.

*edit* Having said all that. Feel free to throw up anything you need help with. I myself am happy to help out. =)

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Donor

And don't forget, when in doubt, mini-cthulhu will prevail.

Mini%20Cthulhu%20-%20Large.jpg

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Well, it seems my game has fallen through. After much drama, it just doesn't seem worth running anymore. He was upset because I had put it up for review here for strangers. I told him that since no one else had experience with nWoD and I couldn't discuss my game with him, I had to put them here for help. I told him to just change the whole drug bit but said that instead he would just make a new character because he wasn't feeling the character anymore after I put him here. I said fine. Next day, we get into a discussion of how he all of a sudden doesn't like nWoD because it's not like oWoD. The if he wanted to play an average character, that he could just live his normal life. That he plays rpgs to me more than average. I spent all that time learning a new system and coming up with possible good ideas for nothing. So now, after 10 years of friendship, a roleplaying game possibly killed our friendship. So sad. Where I live not many people role play and he lives states away from me which is why we were going to play via cam.

To think I've played characters I did not like just for the spirit of gaming. I remember asking him once to play a oWoD mage, the Awakened kind. Instead he thought it would be more fun to make me a hedge mage. My characters have suffered indignities in his games and out of game I've been made a joke because of it. Yet, I still played and held no grudge because I kept my mind open to the possibilities as all true gamers should. He couldn't do the same for my game.

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Donor

Real sorry to hear all that came about on account to this, best bet would prolly just to join some randon oWoD/nWoD html/java based chat online now if you wanna just play. What the player failed to realise is that everyone in both systems starts as an average joe and becomes more when they take on a supernatural template or whatever, but thats what some folks are like, have to be the 'special and unique little flower' in a crowd. But still, sorry to hear that.

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Curator

I'm going to sympathise with that guy - it was fairly easy to start as a larger than life, brooding anti-hero type in oWoD. Trenchcoats, katanas and twin desert eagles and the rest of it. You all know what I'm talking about I presume.

And nWoD is a direct reaction. Starting characters suck. Everyone's average and the tone of the game is much more humdrum although it can rise far, far above with good and imaginative players.

I can't blame him for being annoyed when he sails into nWoD waters in an oWoD ship and hits rocks. I've been there myself. And I can't blame him IN THEORY for looking at a game and deciding "Thats not me", particularly with his reasoning about average joes, and thinking "No gaming is better than bad gaming."

Mindyou, thats the theory. In practice it looks like he threw a bit of a sulk. But he might be saving you in the long run.

My advice? Talk to all your players, find out what they want... and if you're enthused by these possibilities, give it to them. And you can use the nWoD system for it if you want. But there's no point being game purist to a game they don't want to play. It will just end in tears.

I also hope your friendship is stronger than your games. Invite him out for a drink or whatever. Ultimately, if it isn't, then while he might have been good company and someone you'll miss (and that sucks) - he wasn't that great a friend.

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I know this is long over, but just for the hell of it. I would not of let that character in an OWOD game. The player was massaging the rules and it sounds like he was trying to take advantage of a new ST. I hate GMS or STs who try to screw other STs with character concepts they would never allow in their own games. I really get the feeling after the responses that this is one of those STs.

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