View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:21 am



Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Tarokka Character Creation 
Author Message
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 9:22 am
Posts: 279
Location: Canada
Post Tarokka Character Creation
I am not a big fan of the swingyness of rolling stats in D&D 5e and I don't like the staleness of point buy. I also love the Tarokka deck.

So I am designing a character creation method around it (that goes beyond what is suggested in the deck)

There are 2 main parts:

1) Stat Generation.

Take out #2-6 of each of the suits for 20 cards in total.

Deal out 18 in 6 piles. Those are your stats. (Note 2 cards are leftover)

2) Character Background.

Remove the Fortuna Magna.

1st card (present) - This is your class:

Stars = Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Coins = Bard, Rogue
Swords = Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger
Glyphs = Cleric, Druid, Monk

2nd card (past) - This is your background

Stars = Guild Artisan, Sage, Noble
Coins = Charlatan, Criminal, Entertainer, Urchin
Swords = Folk Hero, Sailor, Soldier
Glyphs = Acolyte, Hermit, Outlander

3rd & 4th (modifiers on past) - Your Ideal and Flaw - Something good and something bad in your past

6th (future) - Deal out 1 Fortuna Magna card - Your Bond - What drives you, what your goal is



In part 1 I am looking for a way to (optionally) tie the stats to ability scores. Unfortunately there are 6 stats and only 4 suits.

In part 2 I am looking for a way to narrow things down beyond 4 broad categories while also making each one have as much chance of occurring.

I would also like a way to have race be randomly chosen. No idea how I would even start with that though.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:56 am
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:02 pm
Posts: 6588
Location: New Jersey
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
DISCLAIMER: I know very little about 5e.

0) anything involving the Tarokka, I am immediately pre-disposed to like, so I like this idea, in concept. :)

1) It seems like it would be best for short, one-shot adventures. I know most players I've encountered would like a bit more choice and less randomness in any character they create for a long campaign.

2) even if you were to find a way to randomly assign the stats to the 6 ability scores, if you also randomly assign classes (and races) you're going to end up with some very suboptimal characters. I mean, suboptimal is fine, but we're talking 18 STR, 8 INT wizards here. Practically unplayable.

_________________
"We're realistic heroes. We're not here to save the world, just nudge the world into a better place."


Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:03 am
Profile WWW
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 9:22 am
Posts: 279
Location: Canada
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
DISCLAIMER: I know very little about 5e.


The major differences here is that bounded accuracy makes bonuses and penalties very important. Even a +1 is significant. Also each character chooses a background (what their profession was prior to adventuring) which provides skills and a minor ability. Then they pick an ideal, bond and flaw to go with that background. This is mostly fluff though there is a built in mechanic to give a boon for RPing to them.

Quote:
0) anything involving the Tarokka, I am immediately pre-disposed to like, so I like this idea, in concept. :)


Me too (: It's awesome

Quote:
1) It seems like it would be best for short, one-shot adventures. I know most players I've encountered would like a bit more choice and less randomness in any character they create for a long campaign.


Yep. That is why I split it into 2 parts. If you want randomness in your stats I think part 1 is a great way to get it without encountering extremes of characters who are too bad or too good. I like randomness but I find all 10s boring and all 16s also boring.


Quote:
2) even if you were to find a way to randomly assign the stats to the 6 ability scores, if you also randomly assign classes (and races) you're going to end up with some very suboptimal characters. I mean, suboptimal is fine, but we're talking 18 STR, 8 INT wizards here. Practically unplayable.


And yes, you are right. If using both parts it would have to tie in to what gives them their class. Which, even if it could be done, would probably be too unwieldy.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:12 am
Profile
Conspirator
Conspirator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:31 pm
Posts: 49
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Seems like it would be fun for generating NPC's, but randomly generating a PC (regardless of method) is anathema to me.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:09 pm
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 9:22 am
Posts: 279
Location: Canada
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Vorcoth wrote:
Seems like it would be fun for generating NPC's, but randomly generating a PC (regardless of method) is anathema to me.


It is anathema to you to determine your stats randomly?

I can see preferring point buy, but that is quite an extreme stance.

Does no one you play with prefer rolling stats?

Everyone I play with does.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:14 pm
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:02 pm
Posts: 6588
Location: New Jersey
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Troile wrote:
Does no one you play with prefer rolling stats?
No one I've played with in the last 15 years or so has preferred rolling. Of course YMMV, and rolling does has a certain old-school charm, but most people I play with start with a character concept and then build to fit it.

_________________
"We're realistic heroes. We're not here to save the world, just nudge the world into a better place."


Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:23 pm
Profile WWW
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:14 pm
Posts: 4113
Location: WA (Land of lots of trees)
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
Troile wrote:
Does no one you play with prefer rolling stats?
No one I've played with in the last 15 years or so has preferred rolling. Of course YMMV, and rolling does has a certain old-school charm, but most people I play with start with a character concept and then build to fit it.


For me and my group depends on the game. Though I'm not sure we have a "Standard" way of doing it. When we were originally taught, the DM told us to roll 4d6 for the 6 stats and then do it 2 more times for a total of "3 sets" of stats. This gives you a fairly good chance of having at least "one good chance" of rolling a nice set for a character.

That being Said recently my last few campaign starts have been point buy because i wanted to see kinda the difference in games.

_________________
There's always something to lose.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:31 pm
Profile WWW
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:02 pm
Posts: 200
Location: Coventry, CT
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
There was an article in Dragon magazine on using the Three-Dragon Ante deck to generate statistics. It could probably be adapted for Tarokka without too much trouble.

It was supposed to be a compromise between rolling dice & point buy in that although it's random, it can't result in characters with extremely high or low statistics overall.

_________________
Gamers Helping Puerto Rico - https://www.gofundme.com/play-for-puerto-rico

Above the conquered folk,
the draconic citadel
awaits rebellion.


Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:02 pm
Posts: 6588
Location: New Jersey
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
There was also a more radical approach, the "Saga" system, originally made for Dragonlance. It got rid of dice entirely, and used a card-based system for everything. it was adapted to Ravenloft (using the tarokka, of course) in a dragon article:
http://fraternityofshadows.com/wiki/Saga_of_the_Mists
which was expanded by the author in an article in the Book of Souls...

_________________
"We're realistic heroes. We're not here to save the world, just nudge the world into a better place."


Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:51 pm
Profile WWW
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 9:22 am
Posts: 279
Location: Canada
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Thanks for the additional resources.


Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:48 am
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 9:22 am
Posts: 279
Location: Canada
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
Here are the results:

For a new campaign, Out of the Abyss, we made the characters using a modified Tarot deck (The 3.x Ravenloft Tarokka deck).

The deck consists of numbers 1-10 in 4 suits - Swords, Coins, Glyphs, and Stars (loosely thematically tied to Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, & Wizards respectively) and Major Arcana which are unique significant things like The Prison, The Hangman, The Hero, etc.

20 cards, 2-6, were separated to create stats.

1 card from that pile plus 3 others were drawn and shuffled. Then 3 out of those 4 were chosen at random to represent the character's past, present, & future. I did this before stats and encouraged the player to think about how the cards created the character's story. The past was more background, the future was goals, and the present blended between them. The cards could either represent the character themselves, or something that happened to them (more common with the Major Arcana).

Then 1 of the 19 remaining cards from the stat deck was chosen and thrown out, that cut the deck and the remaining 18 were drawn into 6 piles of 3, representing Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.

Stats were randomized and in order with an average of 12 and weighted against large or small numbers (though we did see more extremes than I think is common given the math).

Players then reflected again on the first 3 cards and what they mean now that they know their character's natural aptitudes. They were free to choose their race - The restrictions for this campaign were no underdark races and given the themes of the campaign I encouraged strange races.

Here are the 4 characters: (players will be coming up with names, deeper back stories and such later as we made them then played - I will post what I remember of their interpretations of the cards and note cards that are not straightforward)

M -

Past - 2 Glyphs - The Missionary
Present - Ace of Swords - The Avenger
Future - 9 of Stars - The Conjurer - (represents dealing with dark forces/knowledge)

Str 15(16) Dex 16 Con 14 Int 11(12) Wis 8 Cha 11

Fighter (Eldritch Knight) - Human (Str/Int) - Magic Initiate Warlock - City Watch

Character was warned by missionaries, town did not heed warning, overrun by demons, character now out to avenge town/family), Seek magical power to do so

T -

Past - 7 Coins - The Thief
Present - 3 Swords - The Soldier
Future - Major Arcana - The Hero

Str 16 Dex 13(14) Con 12 Int 8 Wis 8 Cha 14(16)

Paladin (Oath of the Crown) - Half-Moon Elf - Light Cantrip - Urchin

Character was an urchin/beggar, picked up by city watch and taken in by religious org. - Seeks to become great hero

S -

Past - Major Arcana - Spirit
Present - 2 Glyphs - Missionary
Future - 10 Swords - Master of Swords

Str 13 Dex 13(14) Con 14(16) Int 8 Wis 16 Cha 10

Monk (Way of the Long Death) - Air Genasi - Acolyte

Something about spirits and creating fascination with death - Grew up in monastery - Going to be a master of martial arts through studying death and the spirit

J -

Past - 5 Stars - Elementalist (natural energies but not confused with the glyph's druid card)
Present - 9 Stars - Conjurer (dealing with dark forces)
Future - 8 Stars - Necromancer (forces of death and undeath)

Str 10 Dex 13 Con 12 Int 12(13) Wis 11 Cha 15(17)

Warlock (Undying/Chain Pact) - Tielfing - Sage

Explored innate talent for magic - instead of developing into a sorcerer tapped into darker forces for power - set on path to manipulate necrotic magic (we still need to create the being they made a pact with and such)

Final Party:

Eldritch Knight Fighter
Oath of the Crown Paladin
Way of the Long Death Monk
Undying Chain Pact Warlock

There you have it. I hope it was easy enough to read. It was a great experiment and I think it worked out wonderfully. There was a lot of tension over how the characters were going to turn out and every player felt they had a lot of agency in the ultimate outcome of who they are. They also enjoyed being challenged to put together the different aspects. Everyone made their stats work well.

They are now happy playing characters they didn't know that they wanted to play before and have a special attachment to them because they only came about because of the randomness. Not for everyone of course but I encourage you to give it a shot.


Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:03 pm
Profile
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:14 pm
Posts: 4113
Location: WA (Land of lots of trees)
Post Re: Tarokka Character Creation
I actually love Random generators for pasts that allow you to make up a good portion or a jumping point for your characters past. Pathfinder has a pretty good one that I find I can adapt pretty well.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability- ... ns/pfbggen

That will allow you to skip all the percentage dice rolls. I can tell you that I've never EVER gotten to be anything more than a Peasant or a Serf, but someone in my game managed to roll princess once. xD There is a lot of freedom with the vagueness of how it is presented. Allowing you to spring board off it. Obviously most of the time random is used when you don't know what you want to play if you had something in particular in mind i'm not sure why you'd roll a random generator unless requested by DM. This allows me to have a surprise, kinda like how your card building would and challenge me to RP.

Try it a few times and see how you could spin it. :P Maybe if I get around to playing 5e I'll try your random generator for a spin too! :)

_________________
There's always something to lose.


Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:06 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 12 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.