No, you may not play a Jedi!

Every once in a while, I get asked by a new player, “Can I play a Jedi?”

I usually say no. Sometimes I explain why, but sometimes not, because I've been asked this so very many times. I prefer that my players use their own ideas for characters. Something all their own.

If I said yes, I'd have to shoe-horn someone else's universe into the one my players and I are building together. I'd have to say, “Yes, this is the same universe that the Jedi are from.” That forces me to be consistent with it. No thank you. Too much work. That's why I make my own stuff.

I don't mind my players emulating characters from other sources. That's okay. I had a few players that loved this movie called The Shadow. They made psionic characters that were a bit of a mixture of The Shadow and their own ideas. I don't mind that at all. Eventually I even saw the movie. Very good, I might add.

Sometimes this Jedi question isn't asked directly. Sometimes the player tries to get clever about it. This is the way it gets on my nerves:

Player: Can I play a psionicist?
GM: Sure. (If it fits the campaign, anyway)
Player: Can I have telepathic powers.
GM: Yep.
Player: Can I take the ability to make psionically enhanced suggestions?
GM: Okay.
Player: Can I be really good with a sword?
GM: Whatever. (Not quite paying full attention, since I'm helping others make their characters, too)
Player: Can I have a magic sword?
GM: Yeah. That can be your starting magic item. (Something I often do in fantasy campaigns)
Player: Can I make my sword glow with mind powers?
GM: I guess. (Starting to get suspicious, preparing for the next question that I know is coming.
Player: Can I make it really hot with my mind, so I can melt through stuff with it?
GM: No, you may not play a Jedi!

There's a few variations on the above, but they all end with that one statement. *Sigh* Why does everyone and their dog want to play a Jedi?

These days, this is one of the stories I tell my players while we're in the midst of the first character creation session. I usually get a few smiles or a chuckle. It also subtly gets the idea in their head right off the bat that I prefer that they play something original.

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