My sister's offering her thoughts on trying to play a 'type' of character - and failing.
I don't know what brought it up, but I've seen this happen in my campaigns a few times. You get a player who comes up with a solid concept -- then blows it. In my old SCION campaign, one player was trying to make the 'calculating' and clever type, but kept running into combat, and ultimately derailed the adventure, being taken off by Aphrodite and killed off by her for his idiocy. Another player tried to make a decent, tragic character for L5R, and wound up always succumbing to the Taint, until Fu Leng literally
tore free of his body to start the Day of Thunder.
In my wife's 7th Sea campaign, we had an Eisen player, who wanted to be 'the beat stick'. Zweihander, lots of Drachensteel, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, the character was slow as molasses, which didn't work out so well in comparison to my character's '3 actions, dropping hordes of extras with each action' sort of play style. I liked playing over-the-top, and while he wanted a character like that, his build didn't account for what he saw in his mind's eye.
Now, I'll accept that sometimes what you pictured in your head doesn't survive contact with the campaign. Because of that, I'll make a character, develop a background, but I hold off on specifics until I've been a few sessions in -- this allows me to see how the campaign's headed, and tailor my character to the campaign. Some things, obviously, I don't bend on, but usually these aren't game-breaking, and more a way to keep some manner of self determination alive in the setting. I've seen a few players though get highly
upset when things didn't work out as they foresaw.