Recycling characters

  • Admin

    For the life of me I can't recall if we've ever discussed this but if not it's probably worth talking about.

    How do you feel about recycling characters wholesale from one MUSH into another? I don't just mean reusing a general character concept ("I liked my Grey's Anatomy-inspired Mage so I'll do it again for this next game") but more or less the same PC, perhaps with the same name, possibly even including parts of their history and on-grid development as part of their past venturing into the new game.

    Obviously stats would need to be different based on XP availability, House Rules or even choices made to account for their new circumstances ("Bob was already burned out defending the Invictus so he's a Carthian now").

    What are the pros and cons of that approach? How would you - as potential staff, or faction-mates - welcome (or not) such PCs?

    Does it make it easier or harder if there are multiple characters using that approach (say, a pack coming in together)?

  • Pitcrew

    I can't do it. It's very hard for me to adapt a character built for one specific setting/theme and then transplant them to a new place/theme. I would, in my heart of hearts, prefer other people not do it, either, especially if it's not a reboot built to take the new setting/theme into account, but rather a transplant where the character is the exact same character, just dropped in a new place.

    Everybody's gotta chase their joy, and I definitely feel the sadness of creating a character you love only for the game not to click or to fall through too soon, but I just find it really difficult to do.

  • Pitcrew

    While I have only really done it with names/personalities it does not bother me when others do it. I even have a soft spot for a notorious one (Izzy) who is just sweet as pie and harmless ooc in my dealings with her.

    If I worried about all the things people do that dont even remotely affect my PC ( I've seen their PC on every wod game I've played in the last 10 years, if I have a new PC it's new to my PC so who the fuck cares) then I do not think I could enjoy myself on the game. And in fact I burn out when I start to worry about things like that (overly focused on meaningless things that I have no control over).

  • Pitcrew

    I do it if I feel like it.

    Fite me.

  • Pitcrew

    Hell I miss playing Kaleb, and if I had the chance to port him over to someplace to play him again I probably would. However he was unique to the setting and situation of TR, so I am not sure he would work in another capacity.

    Still, he was a riot to play.

  • I think it's generally fine as long as they don't show up with superpowers or anything that ruins the fun for others. I've done it in the past, and I've seen it done well in the past, particularly, when one star wars mush was shutting down, the cast moved over to a new one-I forget the names of the mushes, but that was back when they tended to be more sector specific mushes rather than galaxy ones.

  • I don't have any problem with recycling characters. One of my favourites was a baby gangrel vamp called Rue. She started out on Fallcoast, and when that closed and RP dried up, I moved her over to Reno (v.1). She was there for a bit, but people I played with melted away, so she hiked on over to Fallcoast. There were still stories I wanted to explore with her.

  • Pitcrew

    I'm okay with it provided it makes sense in the setting. All my characters are riffs off of 2 or 3 main concepts I always find myself playing.

    That being said, right now I have a character I love in a game I do not and I am 100% prepared to copy/paste her into another game.

  • It's not my bag. I don't think I've ever done it wholesale, though I've certainly taken similar archetypes and adapted them/reworked them. I figure it's not my business if someone wants to reuse their char on multiple games, though. There's one guy who I'm always thrilled to see turn up because his personality/name works in various genres and he clearly at least rewrites a little to fit the setting of a particular game. He's a fun player and makes it work for different stories in RP even though the base starts out pretty similar. Some characters I groan when I see them pop up multiple times but...I probably did not like the original incarnation much in those cases, so that's not an issue of recycling itself.

  • Pitcrew

    I've definitely taken concepts, even the general 'look' of a character. But I 'ported' my character from 1963 to ESH, and even in that the character changed in background and attitude. I don't know if I could bring someone over completely and keep them the exact same. It would be weird.

  • Pitcrew

    100% okay with it.

    Sometimes a character is game-specific, but sometimes a character is more like an archetype that can be present in multiple locations. I like it when there is some differentiation or change, but I think that if you love playing something and can make it fresh and fit with a new scenario? Then follow your dreams, man.

  • I've only done it once and even then certain parts of the character were adapted/changed. I never got to really play put the character's story to its end and I had other people asking me to remake her so...

    Usually I, like others have said, will just grab concepts or bits and pieces

  • Tutorialist

    I don't have a problem with this. I mean, yes, the character will require some essential changes, probably to stats and such, between one game and another (assuming a game using stat systems) but I've brought characters from one game to another. And will probably do so again.

  • We recycle entire MUSHes.

    IDC if characters get recycled, but once you're playing the exact same character, for extended periods of time, across every single MU you touch, and rarely playing anything else it's pretty damn eye-rolly.

  • Pitcrew

    I do it occasionally.

    Sometimes it works. Often it doesn't.

    I do take into consideration any changes in the setting and try to take out any quirks and details that were intrinsic to the original setting and add equivalent but different ones that are intrinsic to the new setting.

  • Pitcrew

    I like to recycle but like mentioned here it is only successful when there are changes to fit the new game/scenario. For me, if I've found a character that's easy to "get into" and really play the story then moving them to a new setting with changes to fit still usually ends up working. I think because of my comfort level with the character and it feels natural to play even if its a new environment.

  • I don't like to do it myself, at least not down to the exact same names and history, but the fact that more than just a couple of people in Haven almost religiously roll the EXACT same PCs back into every single iteration always kind of boggled my mind.

    That said, many of the people who did just this were people I preferred not to engage with anyway (because of other things) and this helped mark who they were for ease of avoidance.

  • Pitcrew

    I do this on WoD games to an extent. I rarely ever port a character over wholecloth. I usually keep the name, PB, and general feel of a character and then adjust the character to the new setting.

    I do this for a few reasons, one, the themes on WoD games generally don't vary enough to make it impossible.
    Two, WoD games have such a short lifespan that I generally don't get to play out a complete character arc to my satisfaction. The only way for me to get to the point where I feel like I'm done with a character is to play out their arc over several games. Generally, my starting point on what game is a few ticks advanced on from my starting point on the previous game.
    Three, Because WoD games are so short-lived I sometimes don't want to waste effort on a completely new concept until I know the game's going to be active for longer than a month.
    Four, Sometimes, I think a concept is going to work on a game and it just ... doesn't, so I shelve the concept and try again on a new game.

    For example, with Natalie over on echoes is a recycle of Natalie on SF. SF-Natalie was raised in a ghoul-family. The killing of the family's regnant left them mostly to their own devices. So Natalie poked at the supernatural until she got noticed and ghouled. Echoes-Natalie is one tick along the story was raised in a ghoul family with the intention that she'd always take over and be ghouled. Like SF-Natalie, Echoes-Natalie dabbled with mortal groups exploring the supernatural, but while SF-Natalie did so exploring her own family secrets, Echoes-Natalie did so in preparation for service. With both, there was a period of time that they were free of vampiric influence, but with Echoes-Natalie the choice to become a ghoul was her own, made as the best possible way to increase her family's influence. She is now utterly devoted to her regnant, though with some nagging regrets. Both characters have the same, smooth, polished demeanor and likely will interact with PCs similarly, and both have a family business that they're shepherding.

    With Echoes-Natalie, I was excited about having the char play a 'bridge' and be more involved in the mortal sphere than vampiric sphere, however at this point in the game, I very much doubt that is going to happen, so I'll likely shelve that idea and bring out a form of Natalie again on a future game where I think I might be able to accomplish that bridge concept again, or I may come up with a better idea for making a mortal-vampiric bridge character and run with that instead.

  • Pitcrew

    I recycle names and archetypes, and I do it a lot with several base archetypes. But. They're reworked to fit the setting, what's needed and which aspects of the personality I want to play up this time; the Dresdenverse half-demon is all about knowledge and bargains and temptations where the Arxian lowlife is about survival in a harsh world - and if a Silver Fang Theurge and a Shadow Lord Philodox are identical, or identical to anything Dresdenverse or Arx, then I'm flat-out doing it wrong. Sure, they may share a name and a rough personality/physical archetype, but they're different characters.

    I actually quite like seeing a) how I can make this character fit in this game, and b) what happens to them this time around with those changes. If nothing else, while I'm playing 'em a new concept might spark. It's how I got the archetypes I run now, after all.

    Edited to add: One thing I don't do is port a character unless the second game is a direct, acknowledged descendant of the first.

  • Pitcrew

    Like many of the above, I've used the same or similar names, descriptions, and concepts across games, but they're always tweaked for the specific game. For instance, the Termiane Koronel on one Wheel of Time MU* might be a Seanchan spy posing as a mercenary, while the Termiane Koronel on another Wheel of Time MU* that hasn't had Seanchan involved might just be a mercenary, and then the idea of a mercenary flirt with a burned face might show up on another game with the name Terman or something like that, but the character is always tweaked for the setting.

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