The Best Character Creation System, I ask you

In your opinion, what is the best character creation system in any game you have played?
Do you like the Wizardry way? Clicking random numbers and seeing what class they fit into?
Do you prefer the Ultima Tarot method?
Morrowind’s Census Bureau?
City of Heroes?

I would say that Ultima 6 has my vote, but in my heart I know that City of Heroes wins, because you can make fat men look silly in pink.

Do you prefer the Ultima Tarot method?

I hate that method. Hate hate hate.

Any game? You only listed Video Games. The best system in any game I have played is Champions which is PnP. For strict video games, id proabbly go with DaggerFall for mechanics, and definitly CoH for asthetics.

I love that method. But it would be nice if it also allowed you to simply choose the class you want.

What can i say? I’d take the Wizardry system any day.

Yeah, pen and paper is included, and I like the Wizardry method too.

I just zone out and click and click and click until all the classes light up and a statistical anomaly is staring me in the face.

CoH’s system is pretty damn cool. I like Morrowind’s a lot, too (though it borrows heavily from the Ultimas, which I also like). I think my favorite, though, was Fallout’s… easy to grok point-based builds with lots of goodies to spend your points on, and thus lots of tough tradeoffs to make. Those tradeoffs were made even harder by the fact that all the stats were really useful, unlike D&D, where even in point-based characters you can just bleed points from stats that have little practical value (like charisma), or that are non-essential to your class.

My least favorite system is any system that uses die rolls–especially random die rolls that most people just do over and over and over until they get the perfect stats. That sort of inane crap makes my eyes glaze over.

I always liked the Omega rogue-like “play as yourself” system that was practically begging you to lie to it. Asked you questions about your graduating percentile and how good you were at sports. The game would answer you back when it didn’t believe you.

Have you ever picked a lock? (Really. Well, the police are being notified.)

Ever have an out-of-body experience? (Wow, man. Fly the friendly skies…)

Do you have ESP? (Somehow, I knew you were going to say that.)


Megatraveller. I have no redollection of how playing the game was, but it was fun to make characters.
I did the same with the pen and paper game, spent an evening with my GM rolling up a character and bever got to play him…

The Ultima method never got me the sort of character I wanted, so I
don’t like it at all.

CoH’s method is probably my fave now, but I’d like it if there were twice
as many power choices for each step. I’ve played way too much of it
lately :)

Pen and paper: Call of Cthulhu. Silly dicerolls for attributes, but the
percentage-based skill system is what makes it good. Easy to play
without having to look in the manual all the time.

I’ll second Fallout.

Champions character creation was very interesting. The game and the character creation were absolutely amazing in some ways. It’s the system where the player really had flexibility to exercise their imagination to the max in character creation. From a boring math/game balance/game mechanics standpoint Champions was deeply broken.

If i recall the Fallout system was a Wizardry-alike. As in, lots of attributes/skill categories to click but no random rolling like the old Gold Box games.

One thing that Fallout had that i wish was used in more games was the Feat selection. Great idea. Some of those feat icons and descriptions were pretty damn funny. Not to mention the Bloody Mess feat, which is now legendary.

I’d say Fallout.


I’ll show my true geek and say Amber DRPG. You bid on your stats, and whoever won each of the four bidding rounds was the absolute, unquestioned master of that group in that stat. So for instance, in Strength, if two people met and the first guy outbid the second in that bidding phase, he’d always win a wrestling match, unless the circumstances were extraordinary. The best part was, it was all secretly bid, so you didn’t know who was good at what and who was a pushover. You all started with the same bidding points, so it was perfectly balanced. Plus you had to think about reserving points for other things that the game system used the points for.

As for video/PC games, I’d say Daggerfall.

Fallout’s creation rocked, Bloodnet’s was Ultimaish, I guess, but the questions were cute. Screw dice-rolling.

I played both PC games, and I liked the char creation in the second one a lot. It was more than just a creation tool – it was pretty much a career simulator.

I’ll take Ultima Online’s any day. Make two or three choices, then just play your character.

Chris Woods

How about something like Betrayal at Krondor? I’m not a big fan of character generation systems as a separate process. Your character should get good at what you do. If you like to swing swords, your sword ability increases. If you like to shut your eyes and concentrate until something explodes, you’ll get better at boom-booms.

The game itself should be the character creation system.