In my current design of Uncharted Worlds
, part of character creation has the players establishing the reason they're part of the crew. While this does give a tangential bond to the other player characters, the important part is defining the bond between the character and The Ship ("the ship is home, the crew is a dysfunctional family"), the reason why they don't just get off at the nearest planet. They do so by picking out of a list of one-line roles, or coming up with their own. In an effort to supply them with as many options as possible, I'd love to hear your ideas. Don't worry about clichés; as long as they're not too specific, making an oblique reference to characters in existing Space Opera settings is fine.
So. You're on a starship hurtling through space, cooped up in tight, cramped quarters with the same people for days or weeks on end. The air is stale, the water is recycled, the food is tasteless at best, the toilets are constantly clogged. Tell me again why you don't just get off at the next planet and never come back. Why ARE you on this ship, anyway?(The list so far)
• ____________ was the original owner of the ship.
• ____________ put a big down payment towards the ship.
• ____________ is the forward face of the ship, whether the crew or they themselves like it or not.
• ____________ keeps us honest. They are the ship’s moral center.
• ____________ is the driving force of the ship, keeping it running smoothly and on time.
• ____________ is the problem-solver, though not everyone agrees with their methods.
• ____________ is the heart of the ship. We get along better when they’re around.
• ____________ is damn useful, practically essential, but also causes a lot of trouble.
• ____________ is the only one who knows how half the systems work.
• ____________ keeps the passengers and crew in line.
• ____________ is in it for wealth and fame. As long as they send some of it our way, it works out.
• ____________ is on the run. Their enemies are now our enemies, unfortunately.
• ____________ is the ships’ doctor, and has saved the life and limbs of the crew.
• ____________ has a strong relationship with one of the crew, and tags along.
• ____________ was rescued at some point in the past, and they’ve stuck around ever since.
• ____________ has nowhere else to go. They’ve since ingratiated themselves.
• ____________ has an abrasive exterior, but cares more about the crew than they’d ever admit.
• ____________ wants to learn. The enthusiasm is infectious… and often quite useful.
• ____________ has a job to do, and does it exceptionally well.
• ____________ owes a personal debt to a member of the crew, and is working it off.
• ____________ is acting as an observer and advisor on behalf of a specific faction.