Group character generation for NPCs

When I first started posting about group character generation, I did not expect it to be such a theme of my blogging. And yet I find that I still have things to say about it. As I have not been able to play in a single RPG this week, this is what I’ve been doing instead…

The Court of Miracles

My friend Louis is running a game based on the Three Musketeers stories. My character in this game was raised in the criminal underworld, the Court of Miracles, and in the next session we’re going to explore it a bit.

As a conscientious player, I didn’t want to give Louis the task of inventing a ton of characters from my backstory, so I decided to invent a few NPCs that he could use (or not). To do this, I decided to follow my own advice (from my first group character generation post) and randomly generate some Relationships using a Fiasco playset. Since this is about the criminal underworld, I used a Mafia-themed playset called Hit the Mattresses! by Loki Carbis, and tweaked the results to suit the specific time and setting. For example, “Third Family mediator and the one who doesn’t trust them” came up a couple of times, and I simplified this to “one doesn’t trust the other”. I also ignored options about law enforcement and civilians.

The result? It worked amazingly! The relationships web gave a very solid framework to build characters on, and I’m really excited to see how these characters are used. I’m not going to give any information here just yet about the characters I came up with, since they haven’t appeared, but I can confirm that Fiasco playsets can help generate some really interesting groups of NPCs for your game, in any system.

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“Oh THAT’S why I’m hanging out with you!”: More group character generation

Last week, I talked about the importance of group character generation at the start of long-running campaigns. I gave examples of lifting mechanics from games like Fiasco and Smallville to improve cohesion of adventuring parties and make campaigns more character-driven. When I submitted the post, I had no intention of writing anything more on the topic, but in my natural internet wanderings I found several things this week that build on exactly the things I discussed last time, and I was drawn right back in.

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“Why do I hang out with you again?”: The importance of group character generation

I am a huge believer in doing group character generation at the start of a new RPG campaign. I don’t just mean getting all the players in the same place to do character generation, but actually doing it together. Of the RPGs I’ve played in, nearly all of the ones I’ve enjoyed most have made character generation a group activity.

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