RPGBOT.Podcast S2E45 banner - Making Good Characters

Creating Good Characters – RPGBOT.Podcast S2E45

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, we discuss creating good characters. Beyond the mechanical aspects, we look at creating a character with an interesting personality, goals, and behaviors that all make sense together and feel like a real, interesting person.

Materials Referenced in this Episode

Image by Ana Krach from Pixabay.


Randall James 0:23

Welcome to the RPGBOT dot Podcast. I’m Randall James and I don’t know what I’m doing here. With me is Tyler Kamstra!

Tyler Kamstra 0:29

Hi everybody!

Randall James 0:30

And Ash Ely!

Ash Ely 0:31

Hey guys.

Randall James 0:32

All right, what are we doing here?

Tyler Kamstra 0:33

Today we’re gonna talk about making good characters. Now if you’re familiar with RPGBOT, we talk a lot about building good characters, character optimization, we’ve done a previous episode on character optimization. This is an episode about the other part of building a good character, building a character that’s interesting and fun to roleplay instead of just mechanically robust. Today, we’re gonna talk about some things that we don’t cover a lot on, at least on RPGBOT.net. But we’re going to help you build that well rounded, interesting character who has a personality and a story that you’re going to enjoy beyond just the mechanics.

Randall James 1:12

Yeah, for like, all the crunch that we love to talk about. This is the soft, squishy side of tabletop role playing games, right?

Tyler Kamstra 1:18

Yeah, absolutely. We’re gonna get to that nougaty soft center of your character.

Randall James 1:23

Okay, so I guess if we’re going to talk about building good characters, and maybe the what has had a corollary not building bad characters? Is that right?

Ash Ely 1:33


Tyler Kamstra 1:33

I want to say yes, but I’m not that good at English.

Randall James 1:39

So say we all. All right, um, yeah. So if we’re going to talk about building good characters, I guess it probably makes sense to first define like, what is a good character? What is a bad character?

Ash Ely 1:48

I think a bad character is any character that causes I want to say out of character drama, because in character drama, that can be fun. But anything that causes problems for the group, or brings down the fun of other people. Even if that fun is your own, like if you play a character that you’re like, This isn’t as fun as I thought it would be. I think that’s the only time that a bad suit classify something as a bad character, if it affects the fun of anybody at the table.

Randall James 2:20

Yeah, I think that makes sense. I guess I’ll throw something into the ring. We always talked about not optimizing in a vacuum. And I’ll say, for your party and for your DMs game, or GMs game, not building the character in a vacuum. I think that’s a building that character in a vacuum is a recipe for failure. Because you might get there and say, it’s like, you know, I’m gonna be dark and brooding. And then your DMs like that’s, that’s not what we’re doing here. Like we’re going to the circus.

Ash Ely 2:48

Yeah, yeah. It’s important not to build characters in a vacuum. And especially if like, you’re, you come up with this gunslinger concept or something, let’s say or some sort of sci fi thing and your DMs like, but we’re doing fantasy and there’s no guns in my fantasy world. You wouldn’t want to do that.

Tyler Kamstra 3:08

Just go to Pathfinder route and be like, Alright, I’m absolutely a gunslinger. But my guns are very conveniently hand crossbows.

Ash Ely 3:16

There you go. Perfect.

Randall James 3:20

Really, an example. I feel like we’ve actually brought up which was literally harder in past editions of DnD. The idea of like, yeah, my party is three very, very scoundrelesque rogues, and one cleric. Or one Paladin, you were the it’s like, just being in this party is a violation of my own internal policies and is basically going to cost me eternal damnation.

Ash Ely 3:45

Yep. Yeah.

Tyler Kamstra 3:46

Yeah, that hits some things that will definitely make a bad character. So a character that’s problematic for real world reasons. A character that’s not fun for you to play, or that makes things less fun for other people. Or, yeah, just a character that doesn’t fit internally with the party for whatever reason. So just like have those things in mind when you’re building your character. And like, those are very, very easy things to avoid. So if you can just skip those steps, you’re at least to an acceptable character, so we can keep going and bring that to good.

Ash Ely 4:22

Yeah, I agree with that. But I do think when we’re talking about like paying attention to party dynamics, one trap that I’ve tried to get new players over, especially when it comes to 5e. Don’t worry about like, Oh, I feel like the party needs a healer or the party needs a tank. Because especially in 5e you don’t really need to think about roles as much as you did in past editions, like pretty much everybody can contribute something to a party. And I’ve played games where there hasn’t been a dedicated healer you just have to carry around a lot of health potions.

Randall James 4:54

Or right to have a sidekick Yeah, you know have have a hard feeling that comes with you. You know there What is it I have spellcaster. Yeah. And that is the heal bot. And that is the thing that we need them to do. You know, I think that’s the beauty of having those rules defined is that if you get to a point in the game where like, okay, it actually kind of sucks not having a healer with us, there’s an answer. And as long as your DM is willing, you can totally take care of it.

Ash Ely 5:15

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think the thing that I want people to avoid is don’t feel like you’re being forced to play something that you don’t necessarily want to play, just because you feel like it’s beneficial to the party, because that can also end up being a bad character, because then you’ll end up not having fun with that character.

Tyler Kamstra 5:32

So so let’s talk about some examples of good and bad characters in media, because I think having that frame of reference to start from will really help us here. This might seem like a kind of weird comparison, but the the 90s sitcom Friends is a really good example of a variety of good characters. Now, one of the reasons Friends was such a big deal was every character was interesting enough that they could have been a lead character in their own show. Like every character had an interesting, detailed backstory, they had a personality that made sense. Like they had goals, they had ambitions, they had flaws, like they had all of these things that make a character well rounded. And anytime one of the characters did something, like even if it was to their own detriment, you could say like, yes, this makes sense for this character based on the information that we know about these characters.

Ash Ely 6:33

Yeah. Randall, you got something on your mind?

Tyler Kamstra 6:37

Are you going to tell me you don’t enjoy Friends?

Randall James 6:42

Um, I’m not going to answer that question. I’m gonna say like, I 100% follow exactly what you’re saying. And towards that it made writing friends. Probably pretty easy, because you could always find something interesting. It’s like, we need a character who has motivated motivation of x. We need a character who has issues with their parents. Like okay, look, Monica could come in, she has her issues with like, over assertive parents, we can bring Phoebe in, like absentee parents. You know, they like you have all of these different sources for story, which let the writers hook them in. There’s some analogy there for GMs or DM sitting at home. Yeah, no, I get it. And even like the different backgrounds, right, like, not everybody’s college educated, some folks are working class. And all of that probably plays pretty well into this. You’re actually making me think me like, Okay, well, let’s go to another 90s sitcom. Seinfeld. Yep. Yeah.

Ash Ely 7:41

They’re all they’re all bad people.

Randall James 7:43

So yeah, but it’s like, yeah, but the the modern, the modern, edgy version of Seinfeld. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Ash Ely 7:50

Yeah, yeah. That is Seinfeld taken to its logical, extreme. But yeah.

Randall James 7:58

Like, it’s a show about terrible people living their lives. And almost the opposite of what you say is true. Like, they’re not particularly interesting or ambitious.

Tyler Kamstra 8:09

They’re ambitious, but the ambition is very low.

Randall James 8:13

I want to finish 100 beers, when I finish 100 beers on a cross country flight?

Tyler Kamstra 8:19


Ash Ely 8:19

I don’t think the goodness of a character really matters like you. Just because a character isn’t like morally good or anything doesn’t mean that they’re a bad character. Like I’ve run evil games. And you can have you can have a good party with bad people. I think a better example would be like, let’s say we take a character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and put them in Friends. That would be a bad character.

Randall James 8:49

Literally ruin the lives of everyone else in the Friends universse.

Ash Ely 8:52

Yeah. Yeah.

Randall James 8:53

Okay. Yeah, the problem is we have these overloaded terms, right? Like, we have good and evil, and we associate evil with bad we almost need like, we’re gonna start calling for the purpose of this, like great characters and awful characters, which has nothing to do with alignment. It’s just that you’re terrible.

Tyler Kamstra 9:08

That’s probably a better choice of nomenclature. Yeah. When we say good characters today, we mean good in terms of quality, not good in terms of philosophy.

Ash Ely 9:11

In other words, you could possibly use this cohesive, like a cohesive or a complementary character. But even that’s kind of limited. It’s more of just yeah, like it’s an enjoyable character for you and everybody at the table.

Randall James 9:30

Because ultimately, right. The goal is tell stories and loot bodies.

Ash Ely 9:38


Randall James 9:39

That’s what we’re here for.

Tyler Kamstra 9:41

Depending on your game, yeah. So yeah. Always Sunny… Seinfeld great examples of great, great slash good characters who aren’t good people, but like the characters still have backstories that makes sense. They still have personalities that are coherent. and like, sometimes the people are absolutely crazy. But what they do make sense based on what you know about those characters. Sometimes they have goals and they act on those goals based on their personality. So the these are good quality characters that make sense. Now conversely, let’s look at some examples of bad characters in media because having those bad examples is also a good example of things not to do. So I’m gonna go to Guardians of the Galaxy here. I know I so bear with me. So Guardians of the Galaxy is a party of people stuck on a ship going from place to place on adventures, which is very much a DnD party. The only interesting characters on that ship are Quill, and Gomorrah, and oh, all of the other characters are pretty shallow. Like now, people who are reading the comics, like you’re going to know way more about these characters, they’re going to be much more interesting, but solely from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. We know almost nothing about the other character like tell me three things about mantis that aren’t her appearance.

Ash Ely 11:09

Okay, fair.

Randall James 11:10

You’re went for low-hanging fruit there?

Ash Ely 11:14


Tyler Kamstra 11:14

I sure did, which was a little unfair.

Ash Ely 11:16

Drax, and Rocket are incredibly complex characters that really complement the party. Well, Rocket is a person who has who has issues with trusting people and expression of motion, which is why he pushes people away. Because he innately fears that they are going to, they’re going to abandon him. Drax has been raised to constantly suppress his own emotions. But at the same times, he doesn’t have the same hang ups that earth people do, in which that he can, he can sort of, you know, he finds joy in things that most people would find, you know, unmasculine, which is why he and Peter kind of butt heads a lot. He’s kind of a foil for Peter, because Peter is constantly embodying what the ideal of masculinity and American culture is, whereas Drax is kind of a repudiation of that toxic masculinity. I could go on and on.

Randall James 12:11

Very specifically 80s culture where his hero is Kevin Bacon.

Tyler Kamstra 12:17

Yeahm that’s right. Yeah, outmoded ideas of masculinity.

Randall James 12:22

You said Mantis? I really hoped you were gonna say Groot, because I can tell you three things about Groot. I am Groot.

I am Groot. We are Groot you’re forgetting we are Groot.

I take your point that the these characters aren’t necessarily allowed motivations besides the group’s motivation.

Tyler Kamstra 12:50


Randall James 12:51

You know, there’s a few places where this is kind of broken like the in the first Guardians of the Galaxy when it’s like, you know, I need you know, this thing, this thing, this thing, and that dies. Aye… and then cool goes off and he comes back with like, the eye or the leg or whatever it was. You got that? Oh, God, I would love to see the look on his face.

Tyler Kamstra 13:11

Alright, so, Rocket Raccoon is a chaotic chaotic murder hobo. Yes, Groot is the player who only showed up for combat.

Randall James 13:22

Oh, I never thought about that way. Yeah,

Tyler Kamstra 13:24

Drax is the character who only showed up for combat but thought he was obligated to Rp so instead he’s just choosing to mess with the guy playing quill.

Randall James 13:34

What he’s the dark and brooding it’s like you know, nothing goes over my head like that. You know that? Like super serious? Like, you know, I will go in and I will kill him. And it’s like, alright, buddy, your level two? I don’t know.

Tyler Kamstra 13:47

The Edge Lord.

Randall James 13:48


Ash Ely 13:50

I am so triggered by this conversation.

Tyler Kamstra 13:54

On planarizing these characters a little point so I apologize for people who are actually Marvel fans and like know these characters in much more depth than I do.

Randall James 14:03

I am using a reference to The Simpsons.

Tyler Kamstra 14:06

Yes, yes it is.

Randall James 14:07


Tyler Kamstra 14:11

So to summarize my point, like the story of Guardians of the Galaxy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is very much about Peter Quill, and like he has these supporting characters, and Gamora gets a lot of story because she’s so closely tied into Peter Quill and Thanos and all those things, but like, very much the motivations of everyone except Peter Quill are the motivations of the party as a whole like their, their individual backstories don’t really matter.

Randall James 14:42

So it’s like most DnD games. Yeah. No, I got a gripe. I want us to sit on this for a second. I think this is a thing that hopefully this conversation maybe helps open up for people because I think we all have so much more fun in our games when there is backstory, and individuals are motivating either the next quest, or which of these things do we take on next or what our approach is? Because my backstory really feels into this. So the concept for this character dictates that occasionally we’ve got to do this my way.

Ash Ely 15:19

I think there’s a valid point there. Um, I do think that, you know, Peter Quill and Gomorrah have more focus. And I think sometimes in DnD campaigns, I know at least one of my games, even though I didn’t intend it, one or two characters became sort of the main character, which is something you kind of want to avoid. Sometimes, you don’t even realize it’s happening, because some people just kind of want that to happen. And they sort of force it that way. Which is something that you got to be careful of when you’re a DM, because it can really ruin the fun of everybody else. It’s kind of a hard juggling act to do to sort of be like, well, everybody in the party is important. And I’m going to explore everybody’s backstory,

Randall James 15:59

And I think as a DM, the thing that you can do, when you recognize that’s happening, is talk to one of the other characters find out something within the concept that they had for the character that they were passionate about, something about the backstory, and use that for an arc. Make them important, make somebody else important, and then use the social fix to make sure that we’re all taking turns, you know, maybe it’s never the case that somebody should be on stage alone. But occasionally, we’re more forward than others.

Tyler Kamstra 16:31

Yeah, that’s a great way to think about it. Yeah, sharing the spotlight like that is a great way to make sure that everyone’s backstory makes sense. And if players are going to put in the effort to make their characters deep and interesting, like the DM, GM should reward them by putting some focus on their character from time to time making that effort matter. If you need an assistive tool to help you do this Fantasy Flight Star Wars edge of the Empire has, has this mechanic called obligation. When you create characters, your character has some obligation which motivates them to continue being Han Solo, essentially. And at the beginning of every session, the game master roles to figure out whose obligation is going to cause the party trouble this session. So yeah, so you could steal that and say, okay, beginning of the campaign, like you, you have a scale of one to 100, every person in the party is some number like 10 to 20%, depending on how many people are in the party. And you roll at the beginning of every arc and say, Okay, this person’s personal history is going to be a problem for this arc. And like every arc, like if your character is rolled on that table, like reduce their number on the table significantly, like cut it down to 10, or something, and everyone else increased theirs. So the odds of rolling the same person back to back are possible, but very, very small, and everyone else’s chances get bigger over time, so that no one gets like ignored, basically. So if one person goes several arcs without getting attention, by the end of like arc two or three, their chances of getting rolled is going to be like 50 – 60%, something like that. So it’s almost guaranteed that it’s going to be them next.

Randall James 18:25

Yeah, it’s been a year, we finally have to deal with this priest and his gambling debts.

Ash Ely 18:30

Yeah, you want to it’s can sometimes be hard to flesh out the backstory of every character, especially since some people put more work into their backstories than others, so but it’s, I think, if you have players that haven’t really thought as much about their backstory as some other players, maybe you have a one on one session where you kind of talk that stuff through.

Randall James 18:50

And this is the chicken and egg problem that I was trying to get at a second ago, though, that if I’m used to playing with you as a DM, and with you as a DM, my backstory never matters. I’m not going to put a lot of time in it, because that’s not what we’re going to leverage as we play. Yeah. And so you if if everybody’s sitting at the table saying, you know, in session zero for the next arc, I really want this or you’re doing a feedback session after the game, which I hugely recommend doing those feedback sessions. Hey, I had this idea. I really think it’d be cool if our backstories mattered more over time. Can we work that in? If everybody’s agreeing to it, the feedback mechanism is what Ash is offering is what Tyler is offering, that you you find a way to make it better and you make a point to pointing out your players. I made your backstory better Did you notice? Although hopefully, it’s obvious if you have to ask it’s probably. Okay, so we talked about some good examples of good characters, bad characters. More importantly, great characters and awful characters. We’ve disagreed a little let’s talk about how do we build a great character for our table.

Tyler Kamstra 19:53

So probably the most obvious place to start is from a character concept like, if you think of your character in broad terms, like, Who do I want them to be in? What do I want them to do? That’s, that’s generally the easiest place to start. So, the we’re going to draw on a classic trope, we’re going to say, Okay, I want my character to be a dark elf ranger with two scimitars and a pet Panther. That is my concept for my character. And I’m going to go out from there.

Randall James 19:57

It’s very novel.

Tyler Kamstra 20:24

No one has ever thought of this.

Randall James 20:26

Well, several novels, in fact, sorry, keep going.

Tyler Kamstra 20:31

The concept of heroic archetypes gets described a lot in literature. The those are often a really great place to start, like, I want, I want my character to be the mentor, quote, unquote. So like, where where do you go from there with that concept, like I want my character to be the person with a lot of like, heart gained wisdom from a long life? How do I turn that into a character that fits into whatever game I’m playing? So starting from that concept, can inform a lot of your other decisions when building out the character can tell you like, what are the things do I need to do to make this character make sense? But also ask yourself, why do you want that thing? Why does that concept appeal to you and having that personal knowledge of why that concept is interesting, can help you make better decisions down the road.

Randall James 21:22

And then I think also taking that into what the rest of the party looks like, and the story that your GM is hoping to tell. I think it’s also important. So like, you bring up I think a fantastic example, I want to be a mentor, I want my experiences to save the people around me from having their own negative experiences. Except for if you’re in a party with you know, 3000 year old Astro elves. And literally like you’re just doing an infinite labyrinth dungeon crawl. Maybe those experiences aren’t gonna matter so much. Like maybe this isn’t the game to bring that character, maybe you should be setting him in for a different character with a different group of other player characters.

Ash Ely 22:01

Yeah. And going off of that, like playing the meta character. Also, keep in mind, like party dynamics are important. Because if you’re if you’re like, I want to be the wise old Gandalf character, and you pick like an old human who’s who’s a wizard, and then realize everybody in your party is like a dwarf or an elf who are like 300 years older than you it kind of loses the appeal, you know? But I’m curious as to So did you guys build any characters off of concepts and how did you do that?

Tyler Kamstra 22:31

I have. So we’ve talked about we’ve talked about this character on previous episodes of the podcast. I played a paladin named Gilder I went in. I didn’t start from a concept technically I started from I want to play a paladin because I haven’t played a paladin like five or six years and then went looking for a concept that would fit into a paladin. And I settled on Galarian’s god of trade, commerce and wealth avatar I believe, and thought, Okay, I’m going to build a capitalist Paladin.

Ash Ely 23:04

I love it.

Tyler Kamstra 23:05

I know that that is probably the most interesting most fleshed out character I’ve ever played everyone in my party hated him for good reason. Like, but that was somewhat like that was somewhat very intentional because like like character believes very strongly in a like hyper capitalist utopia. And the characters flaw is very greedy.

Ash Ely 23:37


Tyler Kamstra 23:37

Which makes sense capitalist Paladin. And like every character was very useful, character was very effective in the party fit very well into this like band of kind of misanthropes. But yeah, like starting from that concept of capitalist Paladin helped me build out the rest of this character’s personal story, how they fit into the setting like how they fit into the party, what their goals were, like, their goals were slightly more than just like I would like my stack of money to be taller. But But yeah, capitalist Paladin, it was a fun concept.

Randall James 24:11

Yeah, so I’m actually playing a character right now. Who is a Dragonborn and is a canal I’m gonna have to think about the color. This is terrible of me. Is a yeah is a ice dragon bull born so has cold breath. But then as a sorcerer took the draconic bloodline and took fire. Interesting. The the full name is her Matthias alloy goes by John. Okay, because he is of Ice and Fire. He’s been he’s been banished to the north.

Ash Ely 24:57

No! No!

Randall James 24:59

In the Rhyme of the Frost Maiden

Tyler Kamstra 25:05

I feel like every character in our current game started as a joke character and then got better along the way.

Randall James 25:14

Yeah, that’s 100% True. So the deal for me was I, I there was still a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire Season Seven and Eight of the HBO television show.

Ash Ely 25:27


Randall James 25:27

Basically, yeah, gave me no stomach for anything except for Winds of Winter and Dream of Spring. And then I will maybe consider anything else that’s there. But until those books happen, okay. So yeah, when we started this campaign, we’ve been going for it feels like over a year in this. I was kind of at my bottom, you know, I’d really gotten low on it. And I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna do this. Because no matter what, the story, we’re gonna tell them where I’m at approximate and will still be better than season eight of the HBO show. Oof. Yeah. It’s great.

Ash Ely 26:04

That’s a low bar. But yeah.

Randall James 26:08

But I mean, that was that was the whole concept of is like, what if I had somebody named John who was of Ice and Fire? And then like, in the beginning, I was occasionally throwing out lines, like somebody would offer me something and be like, I don’t want it, you know. And then I kind of just gave up and I started throwing fireballs at everything.

Ash Ely 26:25

I love it, I love it..

Tyler Kamstra 26:28

Ash, you’ve got to answer the same question.

Ash Ely 26:31

Sure. So for me, the strongest concept that I had, it was one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played, even though the campaign kind of blew up very quickly. But I was I loved her a lot. I came up with the concept for this character, Willow. So essentially, I was like, I want to play a changeling. But I want to do a changeling that, like doesn’t know they’re a changeling, and thinks that it’s, it’s their masks that they make. And like, they’re kind of like an artist that’s allowing them to change faces. And I liked the concept of person who uses masks a lot. And I really got into the Bard College of shadows, because that is something where you, like steal people’s faces. And suddenly she became more of this girl who was like, kind of obsessed with what makes people afraid. But not like she was kind of a creepy girl. But she was also very sweet, which is a weird dichotomy. But it kind of worked because, especially for that party, because my one of my friends was playing a sort of brother figure for her that sort of kept her morally grounded. Like she wanted nothing more than to like mess with people. And he was like, No, you don’t do that. Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t do that. Um, but yeah, that was like the strongest concept that I had. And it was one of the most is one of the most fun characters I’ve ever played. And I wish I had gotten the chance to play or more. For me, I think the way that I approach concepts, if I’m looking for a concept is Pinterest is a great resource. Like just go and look up character art for DnD, and you’ll find some wild stuff. That’s kind of how I got willows concept because I saw this really cool artwork of a changeling, you had a mask, and I’m like, I like that. How can I make this into a character.

Tyler Kamstra 28:35

Another option you might hit if, if you’re not going to start from an existing character concept. You can also start from mechanics. So we talk a ton about game mechanics both on this podcast and on RPGBOTdotnet. So you might pick some mechanic of the game that you really, really want to explore and build your character around that mounted combat grappling short rests for some reason. There you go, perfect coffee lock, you’ve built a character well done. So starting from a mechanic is still a perfectly fine place to start to start building character like, let’s say you want to build a character who focuses on grappling, which grappling great mechanic in fifth edition, very useful and other editions as well. Depending on what other RPG you’re playing grappling might be a thing. So you might ask yourself, then, like, Why does my character like to grapple so much? Why is that their go to option? In a world of like magic swords and spells and stuff? Why is your first instinct to wrestle things like just asking yourself those why questions can expand on the character from there and eventually you will get to a fully fleshed out character.

Ash Ely 29:50

Yeah, I think, I think with that example, like you could take, okay, so what are they wrestle? Maybe they were raised by bears or something or isn’t that Wild and that’s how they that’s how they interact with people what wild characters that are gonna grapple, like barbarian you could do something with barbarian maybe if you’re raised by bears you go bear barbarian so that if things are trying to attack you while you hit them doesn’t do much to you. Yeah and then you can go from there get some feats and then you have a character so yeah,

Randall  30:23

Yeah, like we’re you know some weird competitive Spartan cheese wheel thing you know, like you were raised with like 12 siblings in an orphanage and they threw one wheel of cheese in every day and whoever could get away with it got to eat so you got really used to like wrestling and pinning people down while you ripped off pieces of cheese.

Ash Ely  30:39

Well that’s way more creative than my idea.

Tyler  30:44

That would be like the strangest edge lordy character like I was raised in an orphanage where I was brutally abused and also fed wheels of cheese for competitive sport.

Randall  30:53

But if like if so we started with a mechanic right we started with I want to do a lot of shoveling I want to do a lot of grappling… started shoving… I want to do a lot of digging to bury the cheese but but then step away from it like okay, well now we’ve actually started with the mechanic and walked away with the concept which is this brutalized orphan so you can be a lot of things in there it doesn’t just have to be brooding you could be Batman Sure. Absolutely. We could go that route. But you could also be like extremely kind actually because once you got to the point where you were the strongest person maybe you got everybody organized and so order is really important to you you know maybe okay, I was gonna say maybe you could be a Monk and then like you’re not good at grappling but you really like it.

Tyler  31:41

Hey in in several games that aren’t fifth edition monks are very good at grappling.

Randall  31:48


Ash Ely  31:50

Just turns out they got kind of shafted in 5e with grappling.

Tyler  31:53

Yeah, well when you build an entire class around dexterity and then make grappling only strength.

Ash Ely  32:00

Okay, yeah.

Randall  32:02

There’s your house rule for the day, just sharing whatever grapple effects will be great.

Tyler  32:10

There’s a feat for that in Pathfinder first edition called Agile maneuvers, just all of your combat maneuvers use dexterity instead of strength. We could very easily port that into dexterity, just agile athletics. You gain proficiency in the athletic skill and you can use dexterity for all athletics checks instead of strength. Yeah, there you go. You’ve got a feat.

Ash Ely  32:30

That’s why I think Pathfinder first edition is really good for mechanics focused concepts for characters, because anything you can think of you could probably make, because there are a billion feats you could make. I mean, one of my friends made a build that entirely focused on grabbing people flying up and dropping them to their death. They didn’t damage them in any other way. That was the only thing that they did. And they did it extremely well. Yeah.

Randall  32:59

Walk into a dungeon with a 10 foot ceiling and the character is like, there’s nothing here for me.

Ash Ely  33:04

Yeah, that was their weakness, if there was something they couldn’t pick up, or there was no place to fly up high enough to drop them.

Randall  33:12

Which leads to things like can you just make me bigger? Like anybody? Does anybody here?

Tyler  33:18

Oh, man. Yeah. 50 Gold peace potion and Pathfinder first edition, like just by him by the dozens?

Randall  33:24

Yep. Perfect. Awesome. I have a gripe I want to get in here for the mechanics conversation. So right RPGBOT.net Love to talk about character optimization, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all fans of character optimization. And I don’t want the mechanics conversation to be about that. So we’re not going to talk about character optimization. The other thing that I think is interesting to think about are status effects in 5. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about these. And I’ve come to the conclusion for player characters, they basically suck. Right? We can, we can grapple, we can induce fear. And you could certainly have a concept around inducing fear. Everything else is awful. Because if you had some way, you know, let’s say before, I don’t know, like 12th level that you could easily paralyze someone. Having a character built around the idea of like, I don’t do a lot of damage, but I walk around the battlefield and I control by stunning or paralyzing. That’s interesting. That’s a fun concept. Only our Monk can do that with stunning strike. I think before you get to…

Tyler  34:26

Yeah, there’s some spells that can stun people, but they’re generally pretty high level like power words stun and things like that.

Randall  34:32

So I’m gonna have to get to like level 12, 13, 14 for any other character concept. So one, I have to play this character to get to my concept until I’m at level 12. Or I have to be lucky enough to hop into a game where it’s available to immediately because we’re starting at a high level. And by the time I get there, I have better options.

Ash Ely  34:52


Tyler  34:52

Yeah, definitely.

Ash Ely  34:53

I think there’s something to that. I will say that I believe going back to Willow for a second. I build her, basically all around fear effects, and especially at the level that we were at, which is like fifth level. It’s very powerful. It’s very, very good. But I think the answer to that in fifth edition is like the problem is, is a lot of status effects kind of fall off once you get to higher levels. So maybe the answer is to diversify. Instead of going like, I just want to do one type of status effect, maybe your thing is your d buffer, or a crowd controller. And again, it’s, I think you’re right, I think 5e doesn’t make that easy. It’s a lot easier and Pathfinder first addition to be a debuffer, or like a really strong debuffer. But the the big, the big C is what’s preventing it from getting like, you know, really overpowered and 5e, which is concentration. And that’s that’s the problem, I think.

Tyler  35:50

Yeah. Yeah, but fifth edition very intentionally made it so you can’t concentrate on multiple spells. So you can’t be like, Oh, I’m gonna hold person over here, web over here. And also make myself invisible? I don’t know.

Ash Ely  36:07

Yeah, yeah. That’s the big problem. And I think you can’t really be a debuffer if you have to concentrate on one thing at a time, you know,

Tyler  36:16

there are a handful of options. That’ll work. But yeah, it’s it’s pretty few and far between. And basically the answer is play a Wizard.

Randall  36:24

Yeah, that’s true. And there are options to be like that, that controller in five E. But I’ll say even there, like we talked earlier about, like, don’t feel pigeon holed into being a healer. You know, being a controller, in a party of four I feel like can make sense and can be a lot of fun. Because you’re really going to be lifting everybody around you. Yeah. If it’s a smaller party, even then, like, it may not be worth the opportunity cost because the thing that your your small group might need is just image.

Ash Ely  36:53

Yeah. Oh, but if you want a quick idea of, of a good character that’s good for controlling the battlefield, go illusion mage, they are really good.

Tyler  37:05

So third option for where to start your character is from a specific piece of content. So you might go from that illusion mage and be like, I want to play this piece of content. Like I want to play an illusion mage, I want to play rune Knight Fighter, I want to play a college of Valor Bard like whatever, pick those things and say, I want to play this, and then go out from there. And again, asking those, like asking yourself the question, why, like, why is that thing interesting to me? And also the question why? Why is my character that, like, how did they get there, and there’s kind of work both backwards and forward and build out from that piece of content. And you can have a character who is more interesting than just I am this really well built illusion mage.

Randall  37:52

In which I would say, if this is your entry point, this is actually a fantastic place to come to RPGBOT.net. Because if you’re looking at it, you’re thinking like, you know, I’ve never played a warlock, I would like to try to play a warlock in five E. And you start flipping through the player’s handbook and looking at options, and then you start picking up Tosh’s is and looking through options, and like you’re looking at all these things and thinking, I don’t know what to do. Alright, having a guide of not necessarily to do the minmaxing, not necessarily to go full blown optimization. But just to understand, like, these three or four options are pretty good. This is what it’s gonna look like and feel like to play the character if you follow this build pattern, then allows you to flesh out the rest of the concept.

Ash Ely  38:34

Yeah, it’ll help you realize that single class Warlocks are kind of underwhelming.

Tyler  38:39

Not always. There’s a lot you can do with multiclassing. Yeah, single class warlock is a perfectly fine character. Assuming your DM is good about giving you short rests.

Ash Ely  38:49


Randall  38:49

I’m just going to eldritch blast everything constantly.

Ash Ely  38:52

Yeah, that’s usually how Warlock’s end up.

Tyler  38:56


Randall  38:58

Oh, yeah, I’ve only done it in a very short one shot and it felt super effective. Like I was dealing a ton of damage per round.

Tyler  39:06

It’s hard to argue with results.

Randall  39:08

Yeah. But then you can have some fun with the concept of like, okay, I’m gonna be a warlock. Well, now I have to roll into like, well, who is my patron? And given that, why am I going down this route? Like, what are the things like, what is this relationship like? And even again, working with your DM? How is this going to impact the party? The fact that my Patriot is, you know, the devil, that is also like working with the bad guy that we’re trying to take down.

Ash Ely  39:37

Or the bad guy.

Randall  39:40

I mean, that’s, well, yeah. We can’t be too successful. That’s all I’m saying. But yeah, there’s some fun ways to start here and then branch out to actually fill out that character. And we talked earlier about the idea of like, you can’t have the Paladin working with three rougues who, you know is too much of a goody two shoes to the point where the rogues can’t be rogues. I think this says were sitting around and saying, okay, look, we’re going to pick adversarial characters or I’m going to pick this patron, which is adversarial to the story. Can we all agree socially that we’re going to find a way to work through this and make it fun? And if we find that we can do that in a reasonable way, let’s have a kind of an exit strategy.

Tyler  40:18

I think that’s a really smart, that is a great conversation for your session zero.

Ash Ely  40:22


Randall  40:23

Because it could be a lot of fun.

Tyler  40:24


Randall  40:25

So you know, the Patriot comes, it’s like, you know, like, there’s this party of adventurers. That’s really wrecking everything. Like they’ve been like, Well, yeah, because you were in this town, and you saw like, these things happened. And then you were in this other town where these things happen, oh, wait a second. I’m gonna need a backup patron quickly.

Tyler  40:49

All right. So we’ve got your starting point for your character, you’ve started from a concept, a mechanic of the game, or potentially just a piece of content. So you have that starting point, like that is the heart of your character, and you’re going to build out from there. So there’s a lot of things that make a character good, but I’m going to broadly categorize them into three things, your character’s backstory, your character’s personality, and your character’s goals. And if you have those three things, and absolute minimum, in my opinion, you have created a good character.

Randall  41:23

Yeah. And I think maybe a different way of saying the exact same thing, right? It’s, where’s your character coming from? What’s the history that shapes who they are today? Who is your character today? And how does that manifest? And where are you going? What are you doing?

Ash Ely  41:35

Yeah, I agree with that. And, yeah, you always want to know, like, what makes your character tick, but also what holds them back? Like, what what is the thing that they constantly struggle with? And what do they need to learn from because a character that doesn’t learn anything? It’s kind of a flat character?

Randall  41:55

Yeah, I think it is worth saying. So we did an entire episode where we talked about backgrounds and then paired with that back the backstory. We’ll have the link in the show notes if you didn’t happen to catch that. I think it was a good episode. Maybe you gotta take a listen if you’re interested in talking about it a little bit more.

Ash Ely  42:09

Shameless plug.

Randall  42:10

Absolutely. That’s why we’re here right? On the on, like personality, kind of who’s your character today? You know, there’s a great tool for this traits, ideals, bonds, floss.

Tyler  42:22

Yeah, fifth edition really made that pretty easy. Fun fact, the player’s handbook recommends that you pick two personality traits when you build the character, but the character sheet only lists one space for personality traits. Way to go.

Ash Ely  42:38

Good job guys.

Tyler  42:41

So even if you’re not playing fifth edition, like, Okay, if you’re playing fifth edition, your background will give you a table of example, traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws. Later supplements, in some cases, provided additional tables. So like Volos guide to monsters has example, traits, ideals, bonds, flaws for a bunch of the monsterous creatures, so like I need to flesh out the personality of this fire giant who the characters are going to interact with. And here’s a table of traits, ideals, bonds, flaws that I can use to flesh out that character. The NPC descriptions and a lot of the more recent fifth edition adventures have those bullet points for characters. Like if you grab the Essentials Kit, there’s a deck of NPCs that you can use as sidekicks and they all have the traits ideals, bonds, flaws, to very quickly summarize this character’s personality, like just those four bullet points does a ton to tell you about a character without putting in a whole ton of effort.

Ash Ely  43:44


Tyler  43:44

So once you have those traits, ideals, bonds, flaws, I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot, that will tell you how your character acts in a lot of situations. And just to just to summarize what all like all of the different things are, because they’re never super explicitly spelled out in the player’s handbook. Your traits are how your character acts, so like, my character is clean. So like they they groom themselves, they don’t leave messes. An ideal is what does your character believe in? It’s like, my, my character is loyal. Like they believe in loyalty to the people they care about. And they expect loyalty from those people in return.

Randall  44:28

Or in the case of your capitalist Paladin, the the ideal was gold.

Tyler  44:32

Yeah, the ideal was wealth is good.

Randall  44:35

And then if we’re all like, if everybody’s working towards generating and capturing wealth, then all of us will do better.

Tyler  44:43


Ash Ely  44:44

Yeah, I think that is absolutely true. I think you also have to keep in mind so like, obviously your background like where you came from is going to shape your ideals and goals. But also think about how those ideals and goals feed into your class, like so, your current, let’s say your character who believes that you need to protect the weak, and you picked Rogue, which is not typically a character that does that kind of thing. Why did your character choose to be a Rogue? If their ideal is to protect people, maybe they’re a Robin Hood type of character or something like that. And also, the other thing that I would encourage people to do or think about is this way is ideals can be fluid. People’s ideals can change over time. In fact, I think the ideal you start with maybe shouldn’t be 100% of the time the ideal you end the campaign with people tend to shape their ideals to what they learn about the world.

Tyler  45:41


Randall  45:42


Tyler  45:42

And changing those things is great character growth, like we’ve talked about character advancement. Previously, we haven’t talked about character growth.

Randall  45:50

Yes. In the case of that Paladin learning, you know, learning to work with these three scoundrels, like yeah, you might realize that ah but they actually have a heart of gold, or, you know, sometimes it’s just more fun to win no matter what.

Tyler  46:03

My character didn’t learn things he died.

Randall  46:09

But that’d be a lesson to everybody else.

Ash Ely  46:12

But yeah, like with, uh, with with that kind of Paladin who’s in a party of scoundrels? Maybe they start the ideal is like, you know, only people who follow the law are good or worthy. And by the end, it’s like, well, you know, sometimes people who could work outside the law can be good, too…. in their own way.

Tyler  46:30

Yeah. And that would have been a good bit of character growth. But yeah.

Randall  46:38

Boy. I feel like that brings us to bonds.

Tyler  46:44

Bonds, yes. So bonds are what your character holds dear. So that might be people, places, things, or basically any noun is something that your character can hold dear. So, capitalist Paladin, his bond is to…

Randall  47:05


Tyler  47:06

His bond was very much to the church that he served because he believed that the church was the truest expression of like that capitalist utopia that he believed in. He believed like, yes, all of the rules of the church are absolutely flawless and should not be changed, like, you are not allowed to give people money. It is totally fine to lend people money with very, very generous terms, but you have to get that money back so that you have that money to lend to other people like it was this elaborate series of barely justifiable, ultra capitalist ideas, but like that bond very much defined that character.

Randall  47:47

And then if you had to break kneecaps to get the money back the good news, they bring them to the associated hospital to the church, where they would then go in debt to the hospital so as soon as their kneecaps recovered…

Tyler  47:57


Randall  47:58

…they would be able to go pay off their medical bill.

Ash Ely  48:02

I see why your party hated your character. Was your church a bank, was it just a bank?

Tyler  48:11

Yes. Like that. Yeah, Abadan god of commerce, wealth and trade also acted as a bank in most places because the church had money so you would lend money to people to improve their lives, but you need that money back to go lend it to the next person. So it was very much like yes, this is a bank run by the church.

Randall  48:34

Or okay yeah,

Tyler  48:38

Unsurprisingly this deity is not lawful good.

Ash Ely  48:41

I’m shocked! I’m shocked!

Randall  48:46

Maybe this is still an episode. Yeah. Do you have anything to say about flaws? Anything at all for this character?

Tyler  48:53

So I said this previously the characters flaw was greed so your flaw is something that your character does wrong, like of the traits ideals, bonds, flaws, this is the easiest to find. It’s just what does my character do wrong? Or what do they believe in? That’s very clearly incorrect, that causes them problems. And in a lot of media, when you look at a character if the character doesn’t have interesting flaws, you can say this is a bad character because everything about them is perfectly good. Like Luke Skywalker, great character, like you see his whole life play out and Luke Skywalker clickers flaw is he has crises of confidence. Like when he thinks things are going bad, he falls apart for a minute. Like he gets his stuff together, and he gets over the flaws and like those are the most interesting defining parts of the characters when he overcomes that personal flaw, but he still never shakes that flaw throughout the character’s entire life story. Also rushes into terrible situations. Yeah, he does.

Ash Ely  50:01

Yeah. And something that flaws are easily is a real easy pet trap for people. Because it can, you can think that you’re giving yourself a good flaw like Oh, I’m not very confident or people don’t like me enough that’s not really a flaw. A flaw is on a conscious choice or sometimes even an unconscious choice that holds your character back. If like your goal is the carrot, the flaw is the person yanking on the chain behind you trying to pull you away from that carrot. And  the important thing to understand when it comes to flaws, is flaws don’t ever go away. They are always there. You just overcome them at various points. Like Tyler said, like Luke never overcomes that flaw. He gets better at managing it. But it’s still a flaw. And sometimes even if that flaw no longer becomes a problem, then it just a new flaw comes and takes its place. Because humans are flawed individuals.

Randall  51:05

Yeah, I DM’d a game where one of the characters flaws was he was an alcoholic. [Oh God.] It didn’t manifest often like it wasn’t, you know, this content that was coming up. But at one point, they’re in a mansion, they’re pretty sure the mansion is like the lair of the bad folks that they’re trying to deal with. Monsters and other creatures are kind of trickling into the mansion. And we’re just I’m describing the room and I’m not even thinking about what I’m saying. And the describe is like, oh, yeah, there’s some wine barrels in the corner. And these are just immediately. Okay, I’ll go pour a glass in my answer, because they weren’t that wasn’t what I was doing this, okay, we’re doing this. It’s gonna be great.

Tyler  51:48

Yeah, it was very, very clearly, like, hey, not the time, man. But yeah, that was a perfect way to play to that characters flaw. Yeah, an addiction like that can be a pretty easy flaw, like, the character who is otherwise competent, but has some addiction. It’s like a classic trope in so much media.

Ash Ely  52:08


Randall  52:09

100%. And right, it can, it can be really tragic, like simple decisions like that, you know, turn into tragedy pretty quickly. But all of these things ultimately inform where you’re going, what do you want to do? Like, what are the goals of this character, your bonds in a huge way, are going to motivate the big decisions and the trajectories, you know, I need to save this thing, I need to uphold this, your ideals are going to influence how you make decisions, like what, you know, there’s lots of ways to solve this problem, but your ideals are going to help dictate the particular path that you’re going to take along the way. And if there’s a conflict of ideals in the party, then it makes perfect sense that in the role playing since there would be a conflict in the party on how we execute on this. It’s, you know, this is, this is the henchman for the bad guy. And we need to know the answer to where the bad guy is like, what are you willing to do to get that information? And a lawful good person is going to say it’s like, well, we’re going to ask him nicely, and then we’re going to bring him to the authorities. Meanwhile, the Rogue is sitting back like, No, I’ve got other ideas, and everybody, everybody at the table rightfully is like a little squeamish like I don’t do can we want to bills? Can we just pretend this works? But it’s, you know, it’s, yeah, you can… you can take this personality, your ideals, your bonds, and even your flaws. And you can use this to ultimately dictate, where are we going? And how are we going to get there?

Ash Ely  53:25

Yeah, I think that’s absolutely true. And another thing to really think about when you’re when you’re making your character and when you’re playing your character, is the classic literary trope of want versus need. Which is, which is another pitfall that can sometimes hold your character back. So your characters goal may not always be what they actually needed in order to grow as a character. For instance, I had a character in my game, named Nona, who she was very much of the like, I want to, you know, save the world. I don’t want to be the good guy. But she needed to learn that sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, if you want to do good. And the problem was that she wasn’t willing to do that. And it sometimes blew up in her face. And that was kind of a flaw. And yeah, so just don’t be don’t be afraid to learn things and change your character, even if it doesn’t suit their ideal because part of that person growing and finding out what they need is realizing that their goal isn’t exactly realistic.

Tyler  54:44

So it’s also important to talk about your character’s goals outside of just the party’s goals, like we talked about Guardians of the Galaxy earlier and one of my big gripes with those characters is all of the characters goals is just What is the collective goal of the party right now, which is usually decided by Peter Quill. So it’s very easy to say like my character’s goal is to complete this plotline or like to finish this adventure, but like, your character probably didn’t come into being in a plausible internally consistent world like I am, I am Bob the Fighter. And my goal is to figure out the plot of princes of the apocalypse or whatever, like that is probably not what that character grew up wanting. Yeah. So what does your character want? Outside of the current goals of the party? What like, if they weren’t doing whatever they’re doing right now? What would they be working towards. And even if that goal doesn’t come up super often, it can be very informative for your character, like my hyper capitalist Paladin, his goal come like at the start of the game before like, plot happens, his goal is okay, I have taken a government position in this small town. And I want to use my influence to grow this town into a major trade hub so that I can make everyone around me very wealthy, but also be the wealthiest person in town because I’ve done these things. And like, any time that plot wasn’t happening, he was working towards that goal like, like building relationships with, like the local bureaucracy, and like government functionaries and stuff, making friends building trade connections, like acquiring land, getting like funding for like local infrastructure projects and stuff that’s like very not adventury But towards this character’s goals. And yeah, eventually, when I when I retired the character after he died twice and accidentally changed races. He had like a large waterside Manor, like how to have a stable healthy family was like the local tax collector, among other things, and like hat, like he had his stuff going like it hadn’t all played out to his end goals yet, but he was also really sick of dying. So it was a good time to retire the character.

Randall  57:19

Feel like we’ve all been there.

Ash Ely  57:21

I’m sick and dying all the time.

Tyler  57:27

I was the party tank, it came to came with the territory. Another good question you can ask to determine your character’s behavior is what will they do when they don’t get that thing that they want? Like, you might have a very clear idea of like, my character is going to get this thing and then retire to a life of peace and quiet. Like that’s, that’s very obvious in a lot of cases. But what will they do when they don’t get it? Like? Will they keep trying until it kills them? Like will they find some other goal will failing to get the thing that they want ruin them? Like to draw an example Strahd. And I’m, I’m going to spoil the plot of Castle Ravenloft from the like 70s or 80s. But Strahd is evil, because he went out and saved the world, came back to get the girl and found that his brother had married the girl of his dreams. And that destroyed everything for him. And like that like that, like I want this thing. And if I don’t get it I burned down dimensions like that very much defines who Strahd is as a person.

Ash Ely  58:41

Yeah, I think that’s absolutely right. I think you not only need to figure out what your character would do if they can’t get their goal for whatever reason, or the party isn’t willing to help them attain that goal. And you also need to think about what will your character do once they achieve that goal? And the biggest question that you really have to ask in all entirety is, why am I still with the party? Because if the party isn’t getting you closer to your goal, why are you still there? And I had a one character that I played that had to deal with that very situation. She was a girl who was cursed to be physically 12 years old for the rest of her life, and that her only goal was to fix that. And when it wasn’t a priority for the party, it caused problems. And eventually she ended up leaving because it couldn’t really justify her sticking around. Because she was so obsessed with that goal that it superseded anything else for her.

Tyler  59:52

Yeah, beaten 12 Kind of sucks.

Ash Ely  59:54


Randall  59:57

We should be able to relate so I think really towards that conversation. I feel like this is something where the social fix, I wonder if it could have come in. So one when it comes to your goals, your individual goals, having that conversation, whether it be like one on one asynchronously with your DM, or whether it be, you know, with everybody at the end of each session, or every few sessions, making at least your game master wherever your goals, and what would happen if you couldn’t achieve them. If not the entire party through RP aware, I think it really be really powerful for keeping it at the forefront so that when there’s an opportunity to hit some of this stuff, we can hit it. I think your duty as a DM GM is to, you know, to be able to openly and honestly say like, either yes, I think we can address those goals along the way of the story. Or I really don’t think that’s going to work from the get go. Do you have a different idea? Or is there something that maybe fits more in this vein? Because that’s ultimately going to lead to everybody being happier in the long run?

Ash Ely  1:00:57


Randall  1:00:57

All right. I think we did it. Yeah, no, we did a whole episode. We have a question of the week this week. This week’s question of the week comes to us from @JacobDempsey. What is your favorite type of party role to play? And why do you like it?

Tyler  1:01:10

I really like that Jacob Dempsey also called up Producer Dan as one of the people that he wants to answer from, and I see the deer in the headlight looks from an answer.

Randall  1:01:27

That’s fair, I didn’t read it. So what is your parenthesis? Tyler, Ash, Randall, Producer Dan, question mark close parenthesis. Yeah. Perfect.

Tyler  1:01:37

So So my favorite party role to play, I really like to play the the wise Wizard bowl because I like wizards mechanically. And very frequently, when I’m a player, I’m in a group of mostly new players. So playing that, like, I know lots of things about the world and I know like lots of things about monsters and stuff very much lets me apply some of my metagame knowledge to the game like oh, yes, we have. We’ve encountered fire elementals, try getting them wet.

Randall  1:02:16

Really lets the Tyler bleed through. Yeah. It’s salted, so Okay. All right, we’re gonna pause for a second. In our current campaign, Tyler is playing a Barbarian. And occasionally we will find like magic items or these sort of things. And Tyler just makes a face like, oh, hands hold in front of them. And he’s just looking into the camera. And it’s like, ya know, the Barbarian very terrified of this guy.

Tyler  1:02:40

We, we found the wand of orcas. And I got very, very excited because it was, it was a fake, a very cosmetically convincing fake. I was so excited. Like I thought, okay, either the designers are playing a really fun prank on me in which creates like, I’m going to lean into this and really have fun with it. Or they’ve just throwing me, thrown me something very crazy. And I’m going to have fun with that. So like I was very excited. But like, the rest of the party had never heard of the wand of orcas. So they’re like, We don’t know what this thing is. It seems neat.

Ash Ely  1:03:18

That just kind of brilliant using your own metagame knowledge against you.

Tyler  1:03:23

I loved it so much. Like whatever person wrote that bit of text into the book. If you ever hear this, please send me a message. I’d like to buy you a beer because that was awesome.

Ash Ely  1:03:37

What about you Randall?

Randall  1:03:39

That is a great question. So I think we’re talking about kind of like mechanics. So like, what do you feel? Are you a Fighter? You’re dealing damage? are you controlling this sort of thing? I’m actually going to avoid answering that. And I’m gonna answer a slightly different question. I on the RP side, like to make jokes and keep things a bit chaotic you know,

Ash Ely  1:04:03

Not a Bard.

Randall  1:04:07

I’ve never played a Bard and I, yeah, I probably the next time that I do this, I will probably be a Bard, I will try to be a bit of a controller. And I think I’m generally gonna have a lot of fun with this.

Ash Ely  1:04:19

I think you would enjoy Bard a lot. Yeah. Yeah. Seems right up your alley.

Randall  1:04:24

I am into it. I’ve got it. We got to finish the campaign. We got to start a new campaign and then maybe we can make it happen.

Tyler  1:04:31

How about you Ash?

Ash Ely  1:04:32

So this is also a tough question for me. Because I tend to focus more on like, I have certain types of characters that I play, like in terms of RP, and they tend to be damaged. That’s usually the way that I’m damaged in some way. But, um, in terms of role, I think I usually lean more into support or control. Not necessarily healing, but like right now. But my main Pathfinder character that I’m playing is a witch who is very is an extremely good buffer and debuffer like that sort of whole thing is buff my friend just laid down a bunch of debuffs and is more focused on like, blood debuffs and stuff like that, which is a super cool build to play. But yeah, I like I like mechanically unusual roles if that makes sense.

Randall  1:05:27

No, it makes perfect sense. All right, I’m gonna hop in for Producer Dan so I feel like every party that I’ve been to with producer Dan, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen. You know, prepping food, making sure folks are comfortable, they got drinks, this sort of thing. Also loves telling a good yarn. Like we’re really getting some stories and like if you start trading stories, you’re gonna get some awesome stories out of it. They’re gonna tie in so yeah, a little bit of you know, kitchen prep this sort of thing, a little bit of storytelling.

Ash Ely  1:05:59

That seems right.

Randall  1:06:01

Right, Jacob. Speaking of which, all hail the Leisure Illuminati. I’m rental James you’ll find me@amateurjack.com and on Twitter and Instagram @Jackamateur.

Tyler  1:06:14

I’m Tyler Kamstra. You’ll find me at RPGBOT.net Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at RPGBOT D O T n et and patreon.com/rpgbot.

Ash Ely  1:06:24

And I’m Ash Eli, you will find me on Twitter @gravenashes.

Randall  1:06:29

If you’ve enjoyed the show. Please rate and review us on Apple podcast and rate us on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. It’s a quick free way to support the podcast and helps us to reach new listeners. You can find links in the show notes. You’ll find affiliate links for source books and other materials linked in the show notes as well as on RPGBOT.net. Following these links helps us to make this show happen every week. If your question should be the question of the week next week, please email podcast at RPGBOT.net or messages on Twitter at RPG BOT D O T N E T. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon where you will find every podcast episodes, early access to RPG bot dot content, polls for future content and access to the RPG bot dot Discord. You can find us at patreon.com/rpgbot Perfect.

Ash Ely  1:07:13

That was a good episode.

Tyler  1:07:14

Yeah. I feel like my character is motivated to continue making good podcast episodes.

Ash Ely  1:07:23

[Hearty Guffaw…]