One of the things I said in the comments on this post regarded the way that d20 (or some other ‘classic’ games) de-protagonize the player character though those instances where you’ve got this great character that blows stuff he’s supposed to be good at.
Eventually, that’s the character they become, and they aren’t the guy you wanted to play anymore.
There’s the other side to that: the situtation where you absolutely nail something you’re really not that good at. One of the examples from a recent game was in Dave’s spycraft game a few sessions back — my character was trying to occupy the guards at the front gate while the rest of the team engaged in a firefight in the back of the house. My plan (very impromptu) was to keep them tied down by pulling up in front of the gate and engaging in a firefight.
Three rounds (and three 20’s) later, I had all three guys disarmed or unconcious and was busy shackling them to the gate.
Now, I’ll give Spycraft this much: you have some control on when and how you’re going to suck and rock — I got the 20’s but I had to spend… Karma, for all intents and purposes, to really capitalize on the luck of the roll.
I didn’t have to do that… I could have left them as normal hits and saved the karma dice to spend on something I’m supposed to be good at, either to capitalize on good rolls or alleviate bad ones.
But damn, we needed break right about then — and I got greedy — so now I’m reconciling smooth-talking, psych-degree, professional profiler Agent McEvitt with “Shotgun Dylan”. Something I can deal with, yes… but noteworthy in that it is something that needs to be dealt with.
Just sayin’.
“Uncharacteristic Success” wasn’t something that it had occured to me as something that could blow your concept as well.

One comment

  1. Well, some folks might consider that “character growth” …
    It’s certainly a cinematic sort of thing, though. Except that Dylan is a lot less likely to get cocky and think that result will happen next time, since he can still see his character sheet.
    It’s probably been mentioned before somewhere, but I think a goodly part of this comes from the flat distribution D20 gives you. You are just as likely to roll a 1 as 10 as a 20. It occurs to me that if rolled, say, 3d6, or some comparable bell-curve distribution sort of tool, it would make the improper blow-it (and improper ace-it) character-busting occurences a lot less likely.

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