Every time I play an RPG (and I do that a lot), I have a certain concept of who the protagonist is in mind: 'a ruthless villain', 'a true paladin', 'a dashing rogue', etc.. Yet I can't remember if even once it was a 'me'.
Why is that? Well, I guess all major RPGs put the main character in a set of circumstances where I wouldn't do anything even remotely like what the plot requires me to do. A great plague ravages the city and for some reason only young graduates from the local hero academy can save the day? Screw that, I'd grab a beer, my fishing rod and take a hike muy rapido. Hellish demons attack the village looking for some silverware and a hungover farmer boy does what? Right: pawn the silver, grab a beer, go fishing. To hell with the locals - I'm not much of a people's person anyway. A blight upon the land? Ok, one silver chalice of beer, please, and a one-way to Anderfels. No, thank you, I'll buy my tackle there. Not everyone is hero material.
Surprisingly, Mass Effect was way better in that aspect. Give me a stealth cruiser, an armed to the teeth crew, a sexy promotion and an even sexier Chief Williams - well, that's a world I might consider saving. Also, it didn't look all that hard at first: a little field testing here, some detective work there - it only turned ugly much later. Also, there's beer. And potential fishing WORLDS. Hell, sign me up!
What do we have in PS:T? You simply wake up in a state of complete 'WTF?!'. I admit, I drink. So the start of the adventure is all too familiar to me - that already makes it easier to become the dude on the other side of the screen. Then what does he do? He does exactly what I think anyone would do - he tries to figure out what the hell's going on. And the game allows you to do that in any fashion. Be good. Be evil. Be trustworthy. Be shady. Be naive. Be suspicious. The main goal is morally neutral. The roads toward it are different and quite well balanced. The narrative is well written - actually, PS:T is one of the very few titles where evil actions look exactly that - evil. Yes, BioWare, I'm talking about you and your MWAHAHA-villains and bullshit heroes. And absolutely moronic dialogues. Oh, here I go again..
Anyway, back to the subject. I've always wanted to play PS:T without any character idea ready, see where it takes me. Even tried once - it was brilliant, but I didn't have the time to complete the game, only got to the Wards. Still, I knew too much of the game, which in turn led to some power-gaming decisions, like starting wisdom, choice of weapons, order of visiting locations, etc. This time will be different.
So, rules for the next playthrough:
1. Starting attributes loosely based on how I see myself: base STR, 14 CON, 13 everything else.
2. No intentional power-gaming, unless makes perfect sense.
3. Class: thief. We want to know the truth. Thieving skills come handy. Also, IRL I don't cast spells. Not to my knowledge, anyway.
4. Weapons: fists and clubs. Either you punch them quick or you hit them hard. Good knifework requires a lot of skill and training. Yes, I know, but choosing knives wouldn't be my choice were I to wake up in similar circumstances. Knuckleduster in my back pocket and a tire iron in a backpack - that's how I would go. Axes and hammers - too heavy to carry around. Not to mention unavailable to thieves per game rules.
5. No telling people about immortality - pretty obvious.
6. Acting like I don't know about immortality before first 'death'.
7. No combat saves, which leads to point 8.
8. No reckless moves: no attacking abishai, no toying with dolls resembling powerful people, etc. Act seriously. Not sure about joining the disciples of Aoskar.
9. Saving before dialogues allowed - I'm not a native speaker, I might misunderstand something and accidentally screw up.
10. No max hp scumming on level-up.
Obviously, this approach will close a lot of doors, especially points 5 and 8, and lead to a quite different from the usual experience. Thoughts? Additions?