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Working with Character Flaws

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Character Creation, Player Tips, Uncategorized

1416_Protector-of-Vitality-LON.jpg

Let’s face it. If we name three of our favorite heroes from books, movies or video games, there is a good chance most of them have some very distinct weaknesses. Indiana jones can’t stand snakes, Marty McFly goes berserk when he gets called chicken, and Robocop? Well, let’s say he has a history.

That reminds me, I watched the first Robocop again last week and just now realize how brutal that damn movie is. To think I watched it as a kid… But I digress.

Back on topic. Ask yourself; why do you love Harry Potter so much? And don’t tell me you don’t. He’s young, naive and overly sensitive when It comes to his family. In that sense, he’s little bit like Lara croft in the new Tomb Raider games.

Somehow these #flaws make our favorite protagonists seem more human. Even the amazingly powerful and amazingly bad-ass ones seem to have really good flaws. Like Superman. Ah, don’t get me started on Superman.

I Can’t Swim!

On the far right of your #character sheet, where your personality traits are, there is a small box that says flaws. It pains me to see how few people actually fill it in with flaws. The almighty Wizards of the Coast would not put it there without reason, right? With this tiny box of text, they are handing you the tools to be a better role-player.

I remember that I once wrote “I CAN’T SWIM” there just because I wanted to get it over with and start playing. After a session or four our characters had to use a raft to get were we were going.

During the boarding process my DM suddenly said, “Hey! If I recall correctly, your character can’t swim!”

Glamour of Protection LON Set 15 FD 03.jpg

The group immediately burst out in laughter. Right then, I was put on the spot so I #roleplayed a dwarf version of B.A. From the A-Team. I was not getting on any raft, they tried all kinds of things but my character refused. And you know with him being a mountain dwarf the word “stubborn” comes to mind. In fact, that’s the very first word I’d use.

Long story short: I ended up walking along the shore of a river for a few days while the rest of the party traveled in relative opulence, relaxed on their improvised ship. And, there’s no point in saying my character was quite exhausted when we arrived in the little town that was the next destination in our adventure.

Jack of no Trades

Flaws don’t have to be obvious, like the above examples. They can also lie in more subtle character aspects like ability scores, for example. I see a lot of players – especially new ones – who can’t stand to have ability scores that are sub par to the rest of them. They naturally want to be good at everything. But where’s the fun in that?

I love playing the dwarf who can knock down doors and push around objects like nothing else, but then when it is time to jump a small pit he has to take off all his heavy armor and give it to the elf just so he can make it across.

Or how about a 54 year-old human #paladin of the crown who has amazing mental stats, but physically his better years are behind him? What do you expect from a person who has been hanging around the throne for dozens of years, and is just now starting their first adventure? Just imagine an older man you know in shiny brand-spanking-new armor and the most beautiful sword you’ve ever seen at his side. But at the same time, imagine that he won’t actually wield that beautiful sword as effectively as a younger warrior.

Tender-Loving-Care-LON-14-FD-01.jpg

My girlfriend plays a Tabaxi Monk. One fast as lightning and as agile as a cat. This character is quite impulsive; she can get herself in a lot of very dangerous and humorous situations real fast. Yet, since she decided to roll for her Hit Points, and subsequently rolled really, really bad at each level, it turns out her monk can’t take a lot of hits. As the matter of fact, she could easily go down with a single critical hit.

At first she wasn’t motivated at all to continue playing this character, but I told her to just go with it and play it with flaws and all. Of course, we had to save her from certain death a couple of times. But this weakness turned out to be a strong role-playing point for her and the group and we all had a lot of fun with it.

It’s a Group Thing

Characters in #5thedition can’t be overpowered. There are a lot of you who probably disagree with me. But, they just can’t.

The nature of the game makes it so that it’s just impossible to create a character that has no flaws. You can try to hide them by making an effort to turn the odds in your favor, but you will always have to rely on others to balance out the group.

Telling-Blow-LON-14-FD-02.jpg

And that’s what makes #Dungeons & #Dragons (or any well-respected#ttrpg) such a rich and unique experience. From the most outgoing person to the absolute introvert, we can all enjoy this game as a group. You might be playing a dragon-born who dishes out damage like Willy Wonka does chocolate, but there’s always that priest standing behind you, or next to you, to make sure you stay alive long enough to actually show what you can do.

Stop Leveling!

We all love the feeling of gaining levels, and a lot of the time we already know what we will do as far as feats and other things with our character at each one. We often plot a course for our character ages before we actually reach those milestone levels. Yet, along the way, we forget to take in to account what our character is actually going through. For example, your barbarian might become friends with the group #wizard, and learn some things from her new companion. Now, while taking the Magic Initiate feat may not be the most optimal thing to do with a #barbarian, it sure adds to the richness and depth of role playing that character.

There is absolutely no shame in discovering who your character is while playing them. For discovery and #adventure is what lies at the heart of the worlds greatest #roleplaying game!

Need inspiration for flawed characters? Check out this website – Warning NSFW

Mr. Tarrasque

Youtube Personality and Tale Spinner

Mr. Tarrasque runs a YouTube channel where he reviews classic, modern, and 3rd party Dungeons & Dragons supplements and modules. He really doesn’t know how he came up with that name, it just popped up into his head! His experience with the game spans more than 16 years, and began at the age of 14 with a game played every Wednesday afternoon. His mission is to have a place on the Internet that people can find his opinions on any supplements he thinks that are worthy of picking up. He plays in one game, and DMs two others. He’ll never stop playing this game!

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Leave a Reply

Working with Character Flaws

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Character Creation, Player Tips, Uncategorized

1416_Protector-of-Vitality-LON.jpg

Let’s face it. If we name three of our favorite heroes from books, movies or video games, there is a good chance most of them have some very distinct weaknesses. Indiana jones can’t stand snakes, Marty McFly goes berserk when he gets called chicken, and Robocop? Well, let’s say he has a history.

That reminds me, I watched the first Robocop again last week and just now realize how brutal that damn movie is. To think I watched it as a kid… But I digress.

Back on topic. Ask yourself; why do you love Harry Potter so much? And don’t tell me you don’t. He’s young, naive and overly sensitive when It comes to his family. In that sense, he’s little bit like Lara croft in the new Tomb Raider games.

Somehow these #flaws make our favorite protagonists seem more human. Even the amazingly powerful and amazingly bad-ass ones seem to have really good flaws. Like Superman. Ah, don’t get me started on Superman.

I Can’t Swim!

On the far right of your #character sheet, where your personality traits are, there is a small box that says flaws. It pains me to see how few people actually fill it in with flaws. The almighty Wizards of the Coast would not put it there without reason, right? With this tiny box of text, they are handing you the tools to be a better role-player.

I remember that I once wrote “I CAN’T SWIM” there just because I wanted to get it over with and start playing. After a session or four our characters had to use a raft to get were we were going.

During the boarding process my DM suddenly said, “Hey! If I recall correctly, your character can’t swim!”

Glamour of Protection LON Set 15 FD 03.jpg

The group immediately burst out in laughter. Right then, I was put on the spot so I #roleplayed a dwarf version of B.A. From the A-Team. I was not getting on any raft, they tried all kinds of things but my character refused. And you know with him being a mountain dwarf the word “stubborn” comes to mind. In fact, that’s the very first word I’d use.

Long story short: I ended up walking along the shore of a river for a few days while the rest of the party traveled in relative opulence, relaxed on their improvised ship. And, there’s no point in saying my character was quite exhausted when we arrived in the little town that was the next destination in our adventure.

Jack of no Trades

Flaws don’t have to be obvious, like the above examples. They can also lie in more subtle character aspects like ability scores, for example. I see a lot of players – especially new ones – who can’t stand to have ability scores that are sub par to the rest of them. They naturally want to be good at everything. But where’s the fun in that?

I love playing the dwarf who can knock down doors and push around objects like nothing else, but then when it is time to jump a small pit he has to take off all his heavy armor and give it to the elf just so he can make it across.

Or how about a 54 year-old human #paladin of the crown who has amazing mental stats, but physically his better years are behind him? What do you expect from a person who has been hanging around the throne for dozens of years, and is just now starting their first adventure? Just imagine an older man you know in shiny brand-spanking-new armor and the most beautiful sword you’ve ever seen at his side. But at the same time, imagine that he won’t actually wield that beautiful sword as effectively as a younger warrior.

Tender-Loving-Care-LON-14-FD-01.jpg

My girlfriend plays a Tabaxi Monk. One fast as lightning and as agile as a cat. This character is quite impulsive; she can get herself in a lot of very dangerous and humorous situations real fast. Yet, since she decided to roll for her Hit Points, and subsequently rolled really, really bad at each level, it turns out her monk can’t take a lot of hits. As the matter of fact, she could easily go down with a single critical hit.

At first she wasn’t motivated at all to continue playing this character, but I told her to just go with it and play it with flaws and all. Of course, we had to save her from certain death a couple of times. But this weakness turned out to be a strong role-playing point for her and the group and we all had a lot of fun with it.

It’s a Group Thing

Characters in #5thedition can’t be overpowered. There are a lot of you who probably disagree with me. But, they just can’t.

The nature of the game makes it so that it’s just impossible to create a character that has no flaws. You can try to hide them by making an effort to turn the odds in your favor, but you will always have to rely on others to balance out the group.

Telling-Blow-LON-14-FD-02.jpg

And that’s what makes #Dungeons & #Dragons (or any well-respected#ttrpg) such a rich and unique experience. From the most outgoing person to the absolute introvert, we can all enjoy this game as a group. You might be playing a dragon-born who dishes out damage like Willy Wonka does chocolate, but there’s always that priest standing behind you, or next to you, to make sure you stay alive long enough to actually show what you can do.

Stop Leveling!

We all love the feeling of gaining levels, and a lot of the time we already know what we will do as far as feats and other things with our character at each one. We often plot a course for our character ages before we actually reach those milestone levels. Yet, along the way, we forget to take in to account what our character is actually going through. For example, your barbarian might become friends with the group #wizard, and learn some things from her new companion. Now, while taking the Magic Initiate feat may not be the most optimal thing to do with a #barbarian, it sure adds to the richness and depth of role playing that character.

There is absolutely no shame in discovering who your character is while playing them. For discovery and #adventure is what lies at the heart of the worlds greatest #roleplaying game!

Need inspiration for flawed characters? Check out this website – Warning NSFW

Mr. Tarrasque

Youtube Personality and Tale Spinner

Mr. Tarrasque runs a YouTube channel where he reviews classic, modern, and 3rd party Dungeons & Dragons supplements and modules. He really doesn’t know how he came up with that name, it just popped up into his head! His experience with the game spans more than 16 years, and began at the age of 14 with a game played every Wednesday afternoon. His mission is to have a place on the Internet that people can find his opinions on any supplements he thinks that are worthy of picking up. He plays in one game, and DMs two others. He’ll never stop playing this game!

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