engine
 member, 172 posts
Fri 19 Aug 2016
at 17:32
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Mongoose Traveller, once you got past the typos and confusing passages, was good for this. Death was removed as an option during character creation, but your ability scores could definitely decrease and if any of them reached 0 your character had to start the game in medical debt.

I had fun with the character generation, especially when I fleshed out the life events and thought about why my character obtained a given skill on a given term. The trouble was, I never really played enough to be able to identify when a character was good enough to muster out and begin play, or whether or not I should keep rolling. For all I really knew, an utterly weak, poor, low-skill character could work fine, as I suppose is always the case if the GM is working with you. However, the involved nature of character generation would tend to discourage anyone from wanting to have to make numerous replacements.
facemaker329
 member, 6844 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 19 Aug 2016
at 17:44
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
One of the multitude of Star Trek RPGs on the market (I think it was using the Cortex rules system) was my only experience (outside of TSR's Marvel Superheroes) using random character generation...and it was totally on a fluke.  A friend got the game, and wanted to try it out, and I honestly couldn't think of a specific character concept I wanted to try.  So, I let the dice decide...every available step that had an option to roll dice for a result, I did.  Ended up with an orphaned Vulcan raised by Klingons, which actually made for a really fun character...

Marvel Superheroes (MSH) had a complete system for creating a character totally built of random results...which could make for some really odd results (my roommate rolled up a sentient tree that had cosmic powers, for instance)...but you could easily end up with characters that were totally unplayable as easily as something cool.
badpenny
 member, 284 posts
 eats shoots and leaves
Fri 19 Aug 2016
at 17:54
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Davy Jones:
M&M is a d20 system, and none of the three editions had random creation. Everything is point-buy.


M&M 3e has a supplement called the Quickstart generator, which was originally part of the GM Kit, and then later the Deluxe Hero Handbook, that features a random character generator.
Utsukushi
 member, 1380 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Fri 19 Aug 2016
at 19:37
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Villains and Vigilantes is awesome for this, the attribute-thing notwithstanding.  The rush of trying to pull those nearly completely random powers together into a coherent superhero is honestly amazing -- they really hit an almost perfect balance of creative constraint.

...So much so, I'm afraid, that for many V&V players, the act of character creation totally eclipses actually playing.

RoleMaster, I recall, had mazes of charts to follow for character creation.  Maybe not as exciting as Traveller, but you could certainly break a game right there.  (I only ever played it once, and we only got as far as character generation -- but that was a lot because we had one character with 6 hit points, and one with 112, and I think we all knew then that this was not going to work.  ...Actually, to be totally honest, as the one who ended up with 112, I thought it was going great, but I'm pretty sure everybody else felt a bit eclipsed.  I think the second highest was in the low 20s.)

I remember... what was it.  Dark Heresy, I think?  It's been a while, but as I remember it, you made choices and then rolled dice to determine what effect that choice had, and that led you to another set of options... it was like a short Tunnels & Trolls solo right before the game.  That was kind of cool.  Just not.. quite cool enough for me to be sure I'm remembering the system right.
GamerHandle
 member, 939 posts
 Umm.. yep.
 So, there's this door...
Fri 19 Aug 2016
at 23:52
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Warhammer Fantasy was almost entirely randomized in character generation.  Even your starting "job title" (which could be something horribly blase sounding like rat-catcher).

However, it fit the genre incredibly well- a super grim, fantasy world where you're expected to die in every scene.
Flint_A
 member, 518 posts
Sat 20 Aug 2016
at 00:03
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Icons is a random generation superhero game. It's really only good for cheesy one-shots though.

And there is always FATAL...it could feasibly be called the "best random character generation", from a certain point of view... (Disclaimer: Don't actually play FATAL.)
nauthiz
 member, 481 posts
Sat 20 Aug 2016
at 00:13
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Mutant Chronicles, at least the 2nd edition, has a fairly robust lifepath system that very much influences the character you play.  It's not a Soup to Nuts random generation system, you still select a basic archetype at the beginning and such.  But the one shot my tabletop group played of it definately had two players who "won" character creation via the random tables, two who probably came out as you're supposed to, and one who definitely lost.
Davy Jones
 member, 32 posts
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 16:24
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Flint_A:
(Disclaimer: Don't actually play FATAL.)


EVER.

Go one step further: don't bother to look up FATAL, either. EVER.

Some things just can't be unread....
swordchucks
 member, 1273 posts
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 16:29
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Is FATAL even a coherent game system?  I've glanced at it, but never bothered to read it beyond the normal "ew, look at this".

It... could be an interesting adventure in awful if it's remotely playable.
Merevel
 member, 1073 posts
 Gaming :-)
 Very unlucky
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 16:45
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
So many tables, tables for everything. @.@

It has tables for individual body parts and everything. Wow.
Flint_A
 member, 520 posts
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 18:12
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
It is, in theory, playable. If you have infinite patience and tolerance.
Morty
 member, 282 posts
 The Doctor.
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 19:59
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
there were people actually running FATAL. I never heard from them again.

As for random character creation - I always liked the Lifepath system for Cyberpunk 2020. try http://www.moosh.net/cp2020/lifepath-form.html for a taste.

AD&D also qualifies, no?
willvr
 member, 959 posts
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 21:44
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
AD&D 1st edition... very feasibly qualifies. Barely. Yes, you rolled stats, there was no real point-buy system. And you rolled for a secondary skill. But there was still a lot of choice involved as well.
Utsukushi
 member, 1381 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Mon 22 Aug 2016
at 23:34
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
I would argue that early editions of AD&D barely generated your character at all -- most of it was boilerplate archetypes, and the rest you just made up.

Third Edition, of course, moved to point-buy, and isn't random at all.  Fourth kind of combined these two concepts.  I haven't really seen 5th, but... no.  AD&D is definitely not a good random character generation game.

There were some supplements that did more of that, of course.


Ooh.  Speaking of supplements, the Buttery Holesomeness book for HoL was a lot of fun for this.
Bornite
 member, 13 posts
Tue 23 Aug 2016
at 00:21
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Traveller, from the LBBs on up (excepting Gurps Traveller) was the original for this and it was a lot of fun.  I know back in the day, that there were some players who would rather  spend most of their time just rolling up characters than actually playing the game.
Morty
 member, 283 posts
 The Doctor.
Wed 24 Aug 2016
at 08:01
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
hah. I remember this guy running a Traveler game where the characters passed time during transit by playing a RPG... RPG-in-a-RPG, lulz.
Skald
 moderator, 723 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 24 Aug 2016
at 12:39
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Another vote for both Classic Traveller and the Marvel FASERIP system.

Superhero games in particular very well suit the random generation of characters, IMNSHO - fits nicely with the idea of an Origin - something happens to you that you have no control over and you end up with these strange powers as a result and have to make sense of them.
Eduardo
 member, 49 posts
Wed 24 Aug 2016
at 12:53
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
REIGN has the One-roll character generation that is pretty cool. You roll 10d10 (or 11d10, can't remember), consult some tables and done.

It's actually pretty ingenious.
Utsukushi
 member, 1383 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Wed 24 Aug 2016
at 15:49
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
OK, So!  The Ultimate Random Character Generation System starts with a d20 roll...

On a:

1-4Create your character using Traveller.
5-7Classic Marvel
8-10Villains and Vigilantes
11Heroes Unlimited
12Cortex Star Trek
13-14Mutants & Masterminds with Quickstart
15RoleMaster
16Dark Heresy
17Warhammer Fantasy
18Icons
19Mutant Chronicles
20Reign



Good luck!

(I would never, never solicit a game in Community Chat, of course, unless possibly BBR wanted to take another stab at Nightlife.  But I would totally play this.)
mofo99
 member, 392 posts
 May the hair on your
 feet never fall off
Sat 25 Mar 2017
at 17:23
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Shadow of the Demon Lord has some really fun random character tables. You choose a race and class as normal, but can roll (1d20, I think) to randomly determine each of like 4-6 other facets; including things like:
  • Personality Traits, both positive and negative (examples: Surly, Cannot tell a lie)
  • Body Type and Appearance (Example: Magnificent Belly, Skin as cold as a corpse)
  • Background / Professions (Examples: Gravedigger, Torturer, Spelunker)
  • Interesting Keepsake (Examples: A blood-stained wedding dress, A sad donkey)
For such a simplified game, I find these random tables really help develop incredibly interesting characters.
horus
 member, 109 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 25 Mar 2017
at 20:47
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Okay... I'll show my age here and vote for The Arduin Grimoire.  Arduin was actually my first real experience with an RPG character system, but the game I played was not set there - it was set in the Empire of The Petal Throne.  I've been a fan of Tekumel ever since.

I think Arduin may have been the first "chock-full-o-tables" game.  Tables for absolutely everything.  It was written by the late Dave Hargrave, has some of the most insanely detailed combat rules I've ever seen. (Dave was an SCA Combat Marshall, and brought a lot of that into the rules for hit location, etc.)

Funny thing?  Arduin is still popular today, and has been through several incarnations since his original cheap three-book set was published.

This message was lightly edited by the user at 20:48, Sat 25 Mar.

GreyGriffin
 member, 67 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 16:16
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
GamerHandle:
Warhammer Fantasy was almost entirely randomized in character generation.  Even your starting "job title" (which could be something horribly blase sounding like rat-catcher).

However, it fit the genre incredibly well- a super grim, fantasy world where you're expected to die in every scene.


I'm really going to have to second this one.  Starting in a random (often pretty mundane or even garbagey) career and clawing your way towards something aspirational really sets Warhammer apart from other fantasy games.
Aslanii76
 member, 117 posts
Tue 28 Mar 2017
at 00:12
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Warhammer Fantasy - at least 2 players always had the alcoholic cravings several times per episode ...  Those were the old gaming days ...
Arislyn
 member, 19 posts
Tue 28 Mar 2017
at 14:33
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
In reply to horus (msg # 28):

I have all the Arduin books! I haven't looked at them in a long time, though. I think they're still in a box, in the attic, packed away from the last time we moved (10 years ago.)

I now have this need to go dig them out and create a random character.
horus
 member, 111 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 28 Mar 2017
at 19:58
Re: Best Random Character Generation game?
Arislyn:
In reply to horus (msg # 28):

I have all the Arduin books! I haven't looked at them in a long time, though. I think they're still in a box, in the attic, packed away from the last time we moved (10 years ago.)

I now have this need to go dig them out and create a random character.


That's the spirit!  While you're at it, google "Arduin Forever".