I managed to distract Sam after dinner, before he escaped back to the computer, and he agreed to discuss character creation in the D6 Epic system.
Terri: One of the downsides I always found with RPG's was the length of time it took to create a character. I can still remember the last time, it took over four hours to roll up the character. By the time we'd finished that, I only had an hour left of gaming time before running to catch the bus! Is it going to take that long with D6 Epic?
Sam:Yes; no; maybe. You can go through and create a character from scratch which can take some time to do especially if you're not familiar with the rules. However, there are also templates which are pretty much characters ready to go with 30 minutes or so of tweaking. Ideal for someone new to gaming or for a quick lets play game.
Terri: So you're saying for my own, custom, in-depth character, I'm going to have to spend the time anyway and eat up gaming time?
Sam: No, you can build your character before hand and then have the GM approve it before you play. You don't roll dice to create your character stats, you spend points.
Terri: Okay, so how do I get my beginner points to create my character? Do I bribe the GM?
Sam: The beginning points are a set number; you have 80 points to spend on your attributes and 36 skill points.
Terri: So other than no rolling dice, what's different about creating characters in D6 Epic?
Sam:There is no character class; you have character concepts. Concepts are such things as Academics - who search for knowledge. Bounty Hunters track people down. Champions right wrongs.
Terri: *scratches head* sounds a little like character classes to me. Why is it different?
Sam: Because an Academic can also be a sword wielding barbarian who is looking for knowledge for its own sake. What skills your character has aren't limited by your character concept. There are no alignments in D6 Epic.
Terri: Hey, wait a minute. No chaotic neutral?
Sam: Nope. You have character philosophies. These are your characters core beliefs, which might range from "Kill them all and let the deities sort them out" through to "Honor is a gift man gives himself". And a character can have more than one philosophy. These can be found in any daily saying book, or favorite quotes from movies - ie... "They mostly come out at night... mostly". It's how your character views life - this is his or her philosophy.
Terri: Sounds fun, and lets the PC's have a lot more leeway.
Sam: Yes, but they have to keep in mind that they must keep true to their philosophies and character concepts.
Terri: Why, what happens if they don't?
Sam: That's up to the GM. It can be anything from not getting any progression points to difficulty numbers being increased. Lowering of stats and skills. But the reverse is also true, if you remain true to your characters concept and philosophy it might lower a difficulty number.
Terri: So basically if someone who believes the innocent should be protected then leaves a injured innocent behind to save their own skin the GM will hammer them for it later.
Sam: Exactly- and a good GM will hammer him in a way that still progresses the story for all the other players except the one who messed up. A sudden bout of guilt and self doubt which lowers their concentration(ups the difficulty level) and distracts them at a critical moment causing them to fail at a critical moment.
Terri: Okay, so it boils down to be true to yourself (in character) or the GM will smite thee.
Sam: Yes! And it might be in a way that has the rest of the players laughing, such as the belt on the PC's hose breaking, tripping them up and causing them to fall head first into a manure pile. - Oh look, is that a dragon.
With me suitably distracted Sam escaped back to the computer... but not before Sam agreed to discuss Drama for tomorrow's post.