Friday, August 5, 2016

Character Creation Time

I posted this in the Rolemaster Unified (RMU) beta forum. I thought it would also make an interesting blog post. Many have played systems where much time is spent with the game in creating the actual character. 3.5, PF, and RM2 is known for being systems that players can spend days planning their characters.

Creating characters may be fun. I have fun creating them for stories. But it's only part of the game. The actual game is using the characters to interact with the fictional world. Because of that, I believe that character creation should be kept minimal. That is one reason why I did the Story v RPG series. So that I could look into sociology & psychology for established patterns - saving time.

I begin by breaking down the time to create my beta 2 characters into four major steps.

I was thinking some people might find this interesting.

Rolemaster Unified Character Time Break-Down
In the test play I ended up making three characters. The time it took to create those characters were from 40 to 60 minutes each - about one hour each.

5 to 10 min choosing race, culture, profession, rolling initial stats, switching stats, and improving 2 stats.
10 min selecting ten culture bonuses, 2 min selecting knacks.
5 to 10 min selecting talents if applicable.
20 to 30 min selecting skills & spells (if applicable).

The last month I tested eight different gaming systems, besides RMU.

I place RMU the third fastest, much faster than the average system that I tried.

Time to create a Character & Stress
Here are the stats from character creation and how I felt after creating the character due to the stress.

HeroQuest; 0.5 hr - felt easy
Dungeon World; 0.5 hr - felt easy
Rolemaster Unified; 0.75 to 1 hr - felt good
OpenQuest; 1.333 hr - felt good
JAGS; 1.5 hr - felt alright
Hackmaster; 1.5 hr - felt alright
Radiance; 2 hr - felt rough
Whats Old is New 2 hr - felt rough
Unchained Heroes; 3 hr - was going crazy
1.541625   avg
1.5   median
0.5   mode
0.8249699453   stand dev

Prior Experience with the systems
For all the games, I had never played any of them. I only spent time browsing through the rules before trying to make a character.

For RMU, I read through the rules before creating any characters. I've never played a RM system even though I owned RM2 box set in the late 80s. I only ran MERP with Arms Law & Claw Law + Spell Law up to somewhere in the early 90s. Character info for that game was extremely different.

I don't have MERPS time. It was probably .5 hrs if I did it today, just guessing. I threw away all my books years ago. I do have RMX also and that free HARP Lite download but haven't made anything and don't want to so far. RMU caught my attention more.

A follow up post
I have a follow up post that I will do another time which has my suggestion to speed up play and lessen character creation time.

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