Hot take:

In games like Fate where your entire character is like, 4 traits, you don't get a fully fleshed out character, you get a writers outline.

In GURPS or Call of Cthulhu you get the full book.

@Canageek Personally, I feel like Aspects in Fate are more useful, in terms of thinking 'who is this character' than the list of skills generated by, say, lifepath character generation in Mythras/Runequest (I've only ever played CoC with pregens). If you use Aspects as described out of the box, they should also link up the player characters, which is something not all games are great at.

I think this is a definite YMMV thing.

@Bad_Quail To be fair, I've only played Dresden Files once at a cub with pregens.

@Canageek See, I've only played Fate with full character creation. It's something I can definitely see being not as much fun with pregens, unless each pregen's aspects were written specifically to gel or clash with other characters in interesting ways.

@Bad_Quail I still think you miss a lot by trying to condense a person down to four points that you don't with a skill list.

@Canageek I'm confused by the statement that Fate only has 4 bullet points per character. For default Fate Core, it's 5 aspects, 10 skills, and 3 stunts. The Dresden Accelerated pregen I'm looking at right now has 1 mantle, 5 aspects, 6 approaches, 2 custom conditions, and 5 stunts.

@dbisdorf Sorry, doing this from memory. I was porbably thinking of aspects. But that still just gives you a sketch of a character. Not like day GURPS were I can have a collage major and associated skills, skills for my profession, skills as an adventure and advantages and disadvantages on top of that.

@Canageek dice.camp/media/E04HfeTEJqA1ek College education, skills for education, profession, and adventuring, advantages, disadvantages, and history.

To me, this appears like a fleshed-out character, with strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and personality. This doesn't represent every possible nuance of a living human being, but neither will GURPS.

It depends on how you define "complete" for purposes of roleplaying, and I think that's a subjective standard.

@dbisdorf Like, you don't have any flexibility, just 'archeologist'

@Canageek @dbisdorf Honestly I find a lot more flavor in this than I do in GURPS. What are the character's motivations? IN GURPS all I know is what the character can and can't do. With this character I know that they like to go into the wilderness, have trouble with snakes, are highly college educated, and know a bit of lore. I can give this character to someone and they have a pretty good idea of how to run with it.

@craigmaloney @dbisdorf I won't develop a full personality until I've played a couple games, and don't think most of that should be on the character sheet anyway. How does the fact I'm a grump effect my adventuring anyway?

Plus the parts that effect play fall into Advantages/disadvantages.

@Canageek Being a grump absolutely affects your adventuring. It affects how likely you are to persuade that weapons dealer to see you a sword, or to get that biker gang to give you a ride, or to get a favor from your old lieutenant. It tells the GM whether your contacts will welcome you with open arms or a slammed door in the face.

@dbisdorf no it doesn't as a skilled karizmatik person can pretend to not be grumpy for a while.

@Canageek If your character isn't frequently and unusually grumpy and doesn't affect your behavior, it shouldn't be on your character sheet. If you put "grumpy" on your sheet, you are indicating that this is a significant fact that's going to affect your interpersonal relations.

Same goes for the 10-point GURPS disadvantage "Bully". You can't take that disadvantage and then never roleplay it because you "pretend not to be a bully."

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@dbisdorf @Canageek These are two very different ways of representing characters, and each has its strengths.

GURPS is saying "here's the character's resume and transcripts", Fate is saying "here's my cover letter and bio". Each is useful for giving you a sense of the character, and there is a fair amount of overlap, but each does it a different way because the needs of the games are different mechanically.

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