RPGs are made of out decisions. Do we forge ahead or do we rest? Should I heal myself or the fighter? Will I buy the +2 longbow or the +1 flaming version? All of these decisions can reflect character. The can have important repercussions in the game. However, I think that there are some decisions that matter more than others.

In Cleric’s case, we’ve got a conflict buried deep within his character. Is the history of his people more important than their present ambitions? Do we honor the memory of our ancestors or do we preserve our people’s well-being (in the form of a robust alcohol-based export economy)? Somewhere just off-panel, our resident drama-obsessed Wizard is wringing his hands with excitement.

In my mind, these kinds of big character choices are the ones that only come around once or twice a campaign. Do I study necromancy or shun the dark arts? Should I allow the wrath of nature to wipe out the decadent city? Is it worth losing my paladinhood to avenge my father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate? While every decision, both major and minor, can reveal something about character, there are only a few that allow you to really plant that flag and show the world what your PC is made of.

It can be tough giving up the ambiguity. The tension of the big question (What will I do when the time comes?) is a lot of fun to noodle with. But recognizing your climactic moment is important too. When the filth elemental hits the rotating blade trap, you’ll have to decide: do you start hauling ale or artifacts? There’s no time to sit there and say “umm.”

Question of the day then. What was a “big decision” that your character had to make? Was it the right one? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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