Character creation - (cont)

edited May 2011 in Story Games
There was a discussion about 'the last question of character creation'. The assumption is that character creation can take a long time for some games. It does for mine.

Someone said something that I have heard a few times in that thread which was writing stuff down at character creation time is a bit self-defeating because often you think of cool stuff later during play, whereas character creation time is essentially a static situation where you are required to be creative with almost a blank page. Some people like this (I do) a lot don't.

Got me thinking are there any games out there where character creation is more dynamic, like you play a mini-game that is aimed at character creation. by that I specifically don't mean just sitting down to play, and filling in your character sheet as you go along. Then the emphasis is on general play, not on character creation, and in some games (like mine) having a fully formed character is vital to general play. You don't want to start without it because then you aren't really playing the game.

I know there are a fair few games, like traveler for instance, where you sit down and roll for 'histories' on a table and that sort of thing, which is a bit like a mini-game, but its more of a solo game of chance.

Im thinking specifically of everyone sitting together and in some fashion interactively playing a mini-game that may or may not have rolelplaying aspects but the agenda is specifically character generation. And rather than random charts and so on, the players and GM are creatively in charge.

Has this been, done, and any thoughts on how ti could be done if not? good idea/ bad idea?


  • The Life Board for the Operation: Fallen Reich RPG utilises boardgame-like elements in character creation.

    It's an interesting experiment. I found that the main value of the boardgame-like process was giving a group space to think and collaborate while rolling up characters, and not much more.
  • That is certainly unique -- well at least i havent seen it before.

    'The last question' thread got me thinking about a question-based mini game for interactive group character creation. Sounds awfully hippy, doesnt it?

    So instead of asking yourself that question at the end, have everyone at the table asking each other multiple questions.

    Like, in turns, you announce a one sentence character concept to the table - A silver-tongued pirate with deceptively fast reflexes who survives on his rat cunning.

    And then everyone at the table gets to ask you one question about your character. As a way of getting you to think about your character in ways you might not have done if each person is scribbling away on their own. I mean, some groups might operate like this naturally anyway I suspect.

    You would need a bunch of example questions that might be particularly insightful.
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