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cczernia
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PC backgrounds

Post by cczernia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:32 pm

I while ago my group did character gen for Dresden Files. In it have you to write this little stories (about a paragraph or two) and then exchange the stories and write your character into that story. I've done this twice.and while it sounds great on paper, honestly, I don't like it. Everyone sits around struggling with what to write and it sucks the energy out of room.

However, it does tie the characters together fairly well and that might help roleplaying. So, I was curious what techniques might be fun before a game starts that helps tie the characters together, but more importantly gets the PCs roleplaying with each other?
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devlin1
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Post by devlin1 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:58 pm

I have no concrete ideas for this, but I'd love to work up some sort of randomizer for PC connections -- either a table or cards. I have no idea how it'd work, but I find that being forced to make sense of a random background element like that really inspires creativity.

F'rinstance, in Sigils, my sword-and-sorcery hack of Icons, everything about a character is randomly determined (as it is in Icons too, but in Sigils I think it goes a little deeper). I've enjoyed rolling characters up and trying to figure out how the Hell they were, say, a thief, a city guardsman, and a noble. So it seems to me like something similar for character connections could be just as fruitful.
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Post by Uber_snotling » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:15 am

I think Devlin's idea is a good one. While I also like the idea of writing connections based on background story, it always tends to get people stuck and slow things down too much.

It would be better to have a set of 6 or 12 common background elements and either roll dice or choose from the table if they get stuck. Having a cheat sheet can help to spur ideas and get things moving. Alternately, don't wait on the connections and figure those things out during play. Just get going and let the stats and background work themselves out later.

Off the top of my head, here's some stuff.
  1. Relatives
  2. Organization
  3. Childhood friends
  4. Competitors
  5. Lovers
  6. Common goal
  7. Common enemy
  8. McGuffin
  9. Fiscal ties

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Post by cczernia » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:56 pm

That sounds like a cool idea. It sure would be interesting to see how the relationship comes into play, if it does at all.

Any ideas on how to bring the relationship into play... mechanically?
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Post by devlin1 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:08 am


[quote="cczernia"]Any ideas on how to bring the relationship into play... mechanically?[/quote]
[i]Smallville[/i] does a good job of this, IMO. Your relationships with other PCs are created organically during chargen and rated in dice. By complete coincidence (seriously), [i]Leftovers[/i] works similarly.



The/A big difference, though, is that in [i]Smallville[/i] you can challenge those Relationships (capital R), which means you get to roll [i]three times[/i] the listed rating (e.g., if it's a 1d6 Relationship, roll 3d6; if it's 2d8, roll 6d8) when you choose to act contrary to the normal nature of the Relationship. Afterward, the Relationship's die rating steps down until you get a chance for some downtime, at which point you rewrite that Relationship to more accurately reflect what just happened.

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Post by cczernia » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:55 pm


[quote="devlin1"][i]Smallville[/i] does a good job of this, IMO. Your relationships with other PCs are created organically during chargen and rated in dice. By complete coincidence (seriously), [i]Leftovers[/i] works similarly.
[/quote]


I really like the idea of relationships (PCs or NPCs) as mechanics. Unfortunately, I've never seen it used well in game. A lot of times it gets over-looked.



I'm looking forward to trying Smallville because the relationships are the core mechanic and hard to ignore.

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Post by devlin1 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:52 am


[quote="cczernia"]I'm looking forward to trying Smallville because the relationships are the core mechanic and hard to ignore.[/quote]
On a related note, I may run [i]Hommlet[/i] -- my D&D [i]Smallville[/i] hack -- at either OrcCon or the Hyph next year.

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Post by cczernia » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:50 am


[quote="devlin1"]On a related note, I may run [i]Hommlet[/i] -- my D&D [i]Smallville[/i] hack -- at either OrcCon or the Hyph next year.[/quote]

Sweet, just don't run it on a Friday. :confused:

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Post by devlin1 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:03 am


[quote="cczernia"]Sweet, just don't run it on a Friday. :confused:[/quote]

Okay. :screwy:

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Post by jimmy corrigan » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:21 am

flashbacks.

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Post by cczernia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:05 pm


[quote="jimmy corrigan"]flashbacks.[/quote]

Good call. PC initiated flashbacks that involve other players have worked well for me in a number of games.

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Post by devlin1 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:35 pm


[quote="cczernia"]Good call. PC initiated flashbacks that involve other players have worked well for me in a number of games.[/quote]

Isn't that a central feature of [i]Leverage[/i]?

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Post by mordraine » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:14 pm


[quote="devlin1"]Isn't that a central feature of [i]Leverage[/i]?[/quote]

It's a central feature of Lady Blackbird, that's for sure! I had the impression that the flashback mechanic in Leverage was something to allow players to set up something for a heist/con/job (ala Ocean's Eleven).

Hey man, I'm slinging volume and fat stacking benjies, you know what I mean? I can't be all about spelling and shit!

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