Crowd source Influences

edited September 2011 in Story Games
What Influences can you think of that could constrain, compel, or otherwise affect a character's behaviour?

INFLUENCES: "Relationship, social bond or situation that is likely to effect the character’s behavior. Drivers and complicators"

current examples in the form of -

duty: “I must protect the village”
love: “Will do anything for his sweetheart”
obligation: “Owes some money to some very shady characters”
loyalty: “The other soldiers in his unit are like family”
friendship: “Her friend is the first one she calls when she is in trouble”
dependence: “He has moved in to look after his frail mother”
kinship: “She doesn’t really like her cousins, but after all, they are family”
employment: “He hates his stupid boss”


  • Addiction - Can't get enough of ... "Can't wait til the next round. I've been researching my picks for the fantasy football team for days."

    Disgust - Can't stand to be around ... "It's not that she's not a nice person. But she has that tic and it just gives me the creeps."

    Comfort - Doesn't want ... to change because she likes it the way it is, or at least fears that change would be for the worse. "I don't know why Susan is in such a hurry to have a kid. We just got married and I'm still getting used to that."

    Ambition - Wants to improve ... and be recognized for having done so. "If I can get this project done early I'll be way under budget. And reviews are coming up next month."

    Avoidance - Wants to get through ... with the fewest negative results possible. "I know Jerry wants an answer, but if I reply now I'll just get drawn in and I need to leave in 15 minutes to pick up my kids."

    (Can you tell I'm writing these at work?)
  • Just a nitpick, if you plan on putting that into a book: influences "A"ffect a character's behavior. [/peanutgallery]
  • Thats why god invented speling checkers :)
  • Mortal Coil calls these passions and breaks them down into Love, Hate, Duty and Fear. I think most drivers can be easily placed in one of these baskets. It's easier to create them if there's some organising principle. Here it's the kind of emotion felt by the character but it could be along the lines of internal/external or active/passive for example.
  • Im using the 5 categories of 'Motivations' below, of which influences is one. Beliefs, Desires, Issues and Dispositions are all internally driven. Influences are supposed to represent external factors that drive or complicate things for the character. (Maybe that should be stated explicitily)

    Im just not sure whether that is a valid way to categorize a character motivation or not. Its a bit handwavy, and looking at the suggestions that people have given so far, it probably points to 'Influences' just being a mix of things that could easilly belong in any of the other four categories.

    The only reason to categorize at all is to help people come up with a range of motivations for their own characters. I think another thing I need to do, besides provide examples, is some questions players could answer for their characters, a few under each Motivation.

    i.e. for Issues, a good question is "What does your character get emotional about"

    beliefs: Ideas and convictions that the character is prone to act on. These tell what a character stands for -­‐-­‐ What type of person they are.
    desires: An urge characters are likely to go out of their way to satisfy. Primarily drivers.
    issues: Something that emotionally troubles the character such that, in some situations, they may be driven to irrational plans or inexplicable (for them) behavior. Emotional complications.
    influences: Relationship, social bond or situation that is likely to effect the character’s behavior. Drivers and complications.
    dispositions: Attitude towards another PC that is likely to affect interactions with that character in a way th will drive or complicate things for your character.
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