Role Call 32: Licensed to Play

James asks:
When playing a licensed roleplaying game like Lord of the Rings, do you like to play characters from the setting, or original creations? Why or why not?

I prefer my own creations.
It’s not a failure of characters…who wouldn’t want to be in your favorite RPG setting–its just that I think that I do better with creations of my own, than with established characters.
Consider Amber (as always). I usually don’t play Elders at all, or seek out Elder games. I much rather would create a new Amberite/Chaosians than play a pre-existing Elder.
And consider that although Delwin seems to break that rule–Delwin and Sand as Liz and I have envisioned them are very acanonical. It’s really playing brand new characters, rather than anything gleaned from the books.
Heck, I even wrote a piece of erotica once that was set in the Stak Trek The Next Generation Universe. On the Enterprise, no less. But my two protagonists were NOT cast members, nor was their any, um, prurient action between them and the characters from the show. I just liked the setting.
So too, Amber, Star Wars, LOTR, etal. Give me the universe, but let me create someone of my own.