In what system was the first character you played in an RPG other than D&D? How was playing it different from playing a D&D character?
This is kind of hard for me to remember. I DM'd a lot in the early days, and didn't get a chance to play much. There are two candidates though, both of which were probably about the same time (late junior high/early high school). My parents had friends who would often watch me when they needed a sitter, including when they took trips that I didn't go on. They had a daughter who was quite a bit older than me, and she had a boyfriend who played rpgs. He was really big into the 007 rpg, and I played a short campaign with him one summer. He also bootstrapped me into grokking Traveller, and I remember running a few sessions for him. There was also a guy who was a grade or two older than I who lived in our neighborhood, and I played Call of Cthulhu with him. So it was either 007 or Call of Cthulhu. How playing the character was different...I couldn't tell you. I remember the CoC character more than the 007 character. I created the character with the intent that he would be unhinged. It was, perhaps, my first brush with intentionally doing something that might harm my character (SAN loss from reading tomes and going toe-to-toe with Mythos creatures). He eventually went completely mad and I lost him as a PC, but for that brief time he was a M1911 in one hand, spellbook in the other type investigator.
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Mekton II had the most enjoyable character creation, because of the novelty of the Lifepath. It was one of the few games where I would create a character just to roll on the Lifepath tables. A close runner-up would be Traveller, for the same reasons. Having the mini-game include uncertainty made it fun. For least enjoyable, I gotta say Hero. I spent three days making a character for a Hero game once and I think I came away from the experience with less of an understanding of the process.