Homebrewing can be either a dream or a nightmare for games. Pulling it off takes a certain finesse that only experienced players can achieve. But what if I told you there was a way to get the exact character you wanted, even if the game system doesn’t have rules for it? Welcome to the easy way to homebrew: flavoring your character.
So what is flavoring your character? Well, it’s a simple process of taking an ability, and putting a skin on it to make it look like something else. The ability itself doesn’t change, just the way it looks. A fireball may look like a green skull, but it still burns like a regular fireball. By taking this approach to homebrewing, you can change your character’s abilities to your liking without having to play around the balance of the game. Since you’re only changing how it looks and not how it acts, you are able to play the game by both its rules and your own.
My newest player came to me with a problem. She wanted to play as a hemomancer, a blood wizard of sorts. Now since the system we are playing doesn’t have hemomancer as a playable class, we had to take an existing class and flavor it.
The first step of flavoring was to find a class that was closest to the one she wanted. This made my job as GM easier since the closer to the character we started, the easier it would be to create that character. Once we had the class picked out (wizard), all we had to do was start going through the class abilities and imagining them done by a hemomancer.
Let’s take the wizard spell magic missile for example. A true spell staple of wizards everywhere, this bolt of energy never misses. We looked at this spell and asked ourselves how a hemomancer could attack simply and without fail. What we came up with was a spell that rips blood through the pores of an enemy. Something simple, and easy enough that a hemomancer couldn’t miss with it.
That’s really all there is to it. From there it was a matter of repeating the process for every ability learned until the character was complete. With a little help and acceptance from your GM, you can flavor a character yourself! Soon you’ll have a character that’s unique and special to play with. And while you’re playing, be sure to keep those dice rolling high!