• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

"Lifepath" systems

Straife Milton

Registered User
Validated User
So, some games have a randomized "lifepath" that means that the player doesn't really have full control over their character's earlier life and skills. I haven't played any of these yet, unfortunately... so, what are some people's experiences with these? Any interesting (or horrible, or funny, etc) stories or experiences from people who have tried these systems?
 

Jerry D. Grayson

Putting the f-u in FUN
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I really enjoy them but I can see why others dislike them.

For me, it’s the revelatory nature of lifepaths I enjoy. I get a lot of happy accidents that would never have occurred to me if I focused on making the character thoroughly consistent from the beginning.

Some of the thing that occur during lifepaths rolls give me and the GM food for thought later on. It’s a challenge sometimes to make past events work with the character during play. If I’m a devote and chaste paladin, but my lifepath tell me I had several ex-lovers in the past I have a few things I can hang story on. It doesn’t mean I’m not a devote paladin now, just that my past is a bit sorted.
 

Fenris-77

Registered User
Validated User
Some system give the players a little wiggle room on the random rolling. Maybe not rerolls, but maybe the option to chose the result one above or below the one they rolled isn't the end of the world. Either way it certainly can result in some very interesting characters and back stories that people probably wouldn't have designed on their own.
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
They're really good at implicit setting and tying characters to it. That said I favor lifepath systems that aren't random.
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
Are you just interested in "random" lifepath systems?

I consider games like Barbarians of Lemuria to have life path character gen. In that game, you pick careers to define your skills and then define your lifepath to indicate how your character moved into each career.

In another thread around here someone is rolling through a Central Casting life path example. That's about as complexes and extensive as random lifepath get.

I have had great fun with some older lifepath games like Chivalry & Sorcery, Traveller, and Harnmaster but others may disagree.
 

bottg

Registered User
Validated User
I am a big fan (as maelstrom domesday, gothic and rome show), i feel it can really tie a character to a setting. I am out at tge moment but when i get home i will post some links.
 

wryfool

Registered User
Validated User
For a long time, I was not a fan. I saw too many Lifepath systems that either punished someone for not specializing a character, produced characters of wildly different competence levels or were just straight rip-offs of the original Lifepaths from Cyberpunk (which could cause minor differences in competence, but only minor). I think that more modern versions of the system (such as the 2d20 Lifepaths) are better-written.
 
Top Bottom