Super Characters

One of the great temptations for players is to create super characters. While this is not true of every player all the time, the desire for power above everything else afflicts most players at one time or another.

Many players see their characters as nothing more than a collection of numbers that affects game systems. They don't think of their characters as personalities to be developed. Players like this want to "win" the game. These players are missing out on a lot of fun.

If players are creating new characters for your campaign, you probably won't have to deal with such super characters. Players can start with ability scores greater than 18 only if the race grants a bonus, but this is extremely rare. Later in the campaign, magic might raise ability scores higher.

The greatest difficulty occurs when a player asks to bring in a character from another campaign where characters are more powerful. Unless you are prepared to handle them, super characters can seriously disrupt a campaign: Players with average characters gradually become bored and irritated as the powerful characters dominate the action. And players with powerful characters feel held back by their weaker companions. None of this contributes to harmony and cooperation among the characters or the players.

Cooperation is a key element of role-playing. In any group of player characters, everyone has strengths to contribute and weaknesses to overcome. This is the basis for the adventuring party--even a small group with sufficiently diverse talents can accomplish deeds far greater than its size would indicate.

Now, throw in a character who is an army by himself. He doesn't need the other characters, except perhaps as cannon fodder or bearers. He doesn't need allies. His presence alone destroys one of the most fundamental aspects of the game--cooperation.

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