There are so many different ways that a player can make themselves useful in a game: they can be the team's medic, techie, tank, resident magic (or force) user, or even comic relief to name a few. There are skills and talents availble to every class and race that a good player can use to their advantage. Whatever the ends may be. The trick is merely to know what you want to do with your character and then follow the necessary paths to get you there. Note, however, that I said a "good player."There are just as many ways, as I have come to notice, to make yourself utterly useless in a game. Creating a twi'lik noble with nothing but buff abilities in a cambat-heavy, Run-and-Gun campaign for example. Your teammates would prefer you helping in the front lines, not hiding behind us all granting random bonuses that don't really help that much anyway. On the flip-side, creating an overpowered God character in a Military campaign that explodes everyone's head before we get a chance to question them is equally as useless. You are not Bruce Willis. Yes...terrorists just happened to hi-jack the spa resort that our so called "benefactor" sent us to, but we have no-idea if it was coincidence or not because their grey matter is all over the docking bay floor. Thanks for being a sport. Oh, and would someone please tell me what use a wannabe assassin is to a party of nobles, protected by a few Jedi, on a DIPLOMATIC mission. Just who do you think you are going to assassinate? I have a lightsaber...I will CUT you...
There are two other types of useless characters that really irritate me: the ones that take anything and everything that sounds "good" but ultimately gets them nowhere, and droids. In all fairness, I haven't played much with droid characters but the ones in our group right now seriously annoy me. The R-5 isn't so bad. It is goofy campaign anyway where we all play the most unlikely characters and our R-5 has a built in Easy-Bake oven. Good comic relief. However...she has no weapons! The other droid...I don't even know what he is trying to be or do. He spent the entire first session following the R-5 around trying to rape it. I can't believe I'm going to say this but I actually missed the pimp Jawa (complete with hoes and bling)! As for taking random talents with no apparent goal in mind...pick up the damn book and read it every once in a while. Have a character concept ready (more than just an anime-esque drawing of the cutest Zabrak the galaxy has ever seen thank you very much) and choose a race whose species traits and personality goes along with it. Pick a class that gives you access to the talents and prestige class you really want. Don't half-ass it for the first 5 levels and then bitch because you don't have ANY of the prerequisites for something you all of a sudden REALLY want to take.
Like I said, as a player you can make yourself an asset or a liability in a variety of ways. These are only a few examples that we have personally seen in our own endevors. I'm sure there are still a few that I have forgotten to mention and there will, of course, be more. Oh yes...there will be more. If you have any useless character stories you want to vent about, post them as a comment on our blog or message Fractured Transmissions on our myspace!
5 weeks ago