Friday, March 18, 2011

From Under a Rock - Playing Your Strengths

It has been my experience that players tend to gravitate towards character races that they are most like or that they are most unlike. It is very rare for me to see a player play something that is somewhere between. For instance, let us take a look at the similarities often exhibited in players that choose specific races. To keep this short we'll just look at the core fantasy races.

The Elf is normally played by someone who enjoys to shoot from a distance, enjoys looking pretty and likes a bit of the arcane and has an affinity for nature. The person who plays the elf enjoys some time alone and can play on their personal knowledge of nature or the mystic.

The Dwarf is normally played by someone who is at home with the Earth, is very in tune with their heritage and enjoys a bit of drink and fist a cuffs. A player of the dwarf is often able to speak with an accent, most commonly some variation or bastardazation of Scottish or Irish, and likes to pretend to be gruff.

The Half Elf is normally played by someone who is an outsider or an intravert that enjoys sitting in the background and letting others shine. Sometimes the half elf player is someone who themselves is not entirely at peace with everyone at the gaming table and it shows in their character choice.

The Human is normally played by someone who wants to play more toward their own strengths and weaknesses in a game. I have seen a lot of times where human players tend to try to be very martial or very much the diplomat. Usually they play to their strengths but sometimes they will play to their weaknesses. Likewise the human player tends toward the divine.

The Gnome is normally played by someone with a flight of fancy and an air of fun and mischievousness with a bit of the inventor or the home body. These players enjoy building things.

The Halfling is normally played by someone who prefers to run things from behind the scenes. Obviously the most picked class for a half ling is a rogue though I have seen players make halfling rangers and halfling warriors.

Keep in mind that this is not a hard and fast rule but from my experience I have seen these types of characters played by the same kinds of people on a regular basis. It should be said that there is obvious cross over between the races and their classes and that it is the core combination of the TWO that actually make the base character however I am highlighting races and not classes in this post.

Do your observations match mine? Do you completely disagree? As a DM I would suggest a player, especially a new player, to play towards their strengths and then later try something out of the box.

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