Built to fail; bumbling characters?

Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Joined: 4:06 PM - Aug 12, 2006

9:31 PM - Feb 19, 2016 #1

Anyone who's ever played a dice-based game... or any game involving random chance mechanisms in general, really... has recognized the myriad ways the Dice Gods™ love to dick me around. I can't roll well to, figuratively )semi-literally) save my life.

I've always loved the idea of character creation; delving into who and what a character is, then building the mechanics to fit the concept. There are several threads on the forum concerning the process. In the vast majority of games, we're creating heroes... especially in fantasy settings. We create characters who have accomplished extraordinary feats, have incredible talents, raw skills and aptitudes that make them stand out... they're almost always super cool and great, then the adventure begins.

For most people the game is a continuation of their history. The characters go out, they have their successes, they have their failures, their tests... and they keep being super cool. My characters, on the other hand, unless I purposely use a class or concept that confers enough bonuses that failure is unlikely, generally just fuck up over and over again. They just can't hit the difficulty of any given task. Stab an unarmoured, bound hobgoblin? *rolls* 2; I stab the table. Pick a lock that's actually tied in place with a rope? The solution eludes my fingers. Convince a thirsty desert traveler to share my canteen of clean water? He'd rather run dry... My cool bad-ass characters invariably become bumbling fools at the behest of rolling dice.

We're coming towards the end of our current Pathfinder campaign, with a new one looming on the horizon... and I've begun considering what/who I'll play next. I'm a little tired of failure, and diluting character concepts with in-game inadequacies. To that end, I'm considering playing the hero wannabe... the bumbling failure who can't seem to get anything right, but is out there heroing anyway. We've seen these characters in various media... though they tend to be the side-character, the comic support. Your C-3PO, Schmendrick the magician from the Last Unicorn, Reginald Barclay... these characters are expected to cock things up more often than they succeed. Perhaps it's time to be the character my dice demand.

I'm uncertain as to what class to make this character, what would make the most satisfying failure :P Race-wise, I think he almost certainly needs to be human, though I could see employing something ridiculous as well, like a goblin. My initial thought was some sort of would-be knight; the adventuring squire who can barely swing a sword, though is strong of heart. The doddering apprentice wizard holds some appeal as well. I've also considered dipping into the new Occult classes. I'm just not really certain where to go with the concept career-wise.

What do you suggest? Do you think this will be satisfying to play, or will it outlive its welcome (though if I have to make any saves, I'm sure he won't live long anyway ;) )
In Real Life ?, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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Neraeos
Council of Darkness
Neraeos
Council of Darkness
Joined: 12:58 AM - Feb 16, 2008

12:37 PM - Feb 26, 2016 #2

Make a warlock. That way all his successes could be blamed on his really boastful familiar. You could get up to 20th level and the familiar would still take all the credit. And if you're actually crappy with him, it's because you're crappy.
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Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Joined: 4:06 PM - Aug 12, 2006

1:54 AM - Feb 28, 2016 #3

Haha, I like this idea :D
Unfortunately, this'll be Pathfinder, not 5e. I could look for another class that has a sentient familiar, but I don't think that's really a thing with Pathfinder.
In Real Life ?, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Ankhanu
Council of Darkness
Joined: 4:06 PM - Aug 12, 2006

1:59 AM - Mar 02, 2016 #4

It looks like I might be able to do something similar using the Occult class Spiritualist, except using a spirit rather than a familiar.

I think I'm leaning towards that, a Psychic or Wizard.
In Real Life ?, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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