I ran character creation for a new short-run FATE game called Wandering Stars. It's my cybernoir lovechild of Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. In 2112, several dead or executed criminals (the PCs) are revived, sans certain memories, and work to repay their debt to their mysterious benefactor. The player group was a mix of my weekday players and my weekend group. This is the second RPG for two of the players (Mountain Witch being their first), so it was interesting to see how well/fast they picked up the concepts and came up with ideas for their characters.
Mechanically, character creation broke down into the following phases:
1. Background - The character's upbringing and childhood, as well as information about what kind of lifeform they were (human, cyborg, android, robot, AI).
2. Career - Profession, adulthood, possible pre-criminal activity.
3. Crime - Information about what they did that got them killed or executed.
4. Flashback #1
- A memory - just a scene - that they remember from the time that is otherwise lost to them. Ideally, it involved another PC or one of the aspects was contributed by another player.
5. Flashback #2
- A second memory.
And each character had one predominant skill - the thing they and they alone were best at - that will go at the top of their skill pyramid. All other skills will be chosen and locked down On the Fly.
I didn't hold fast to the phase structure, using it more as a framework for getting at good aspects for the characters. I was loose on players giving each other suggestions, how much the players knew about their characters' crimes, whether they'd been killed on a job or executed for a crime, and a few other things. As long as they ended up with strong, tasty aspects and some connection to one or more of the other characters, I was happy. About halfway through the process, it was pretty clear what each character's skill was going to be.
Also, the character names are deliberately weird. I told the players that there was an information war in the 21st century which destroyed a lot of human records. The new convention for names were to take the names of historical figures, even if it lead to weird combinations. Some of the names may sound silly, but I think one of the things we're looking forward to is playing the characters straight - they don't know that some of their names are patently ridiculous; they take them seriously and wear them as badges of honor. The names below aren't necessarily finalized - there still a bit of discussion going on regarding them.
Here's what we ended up with (listing aspects in order of the phases during which they were chosen):