2017-07-10 New Characters

Random Face From a discussion I’ve been having on Mastodon: What about group character generation? Remember all those Fate games where you describe past events where your character was in a scene with another character? Was this awesome and made for a better game? Or was it boring and you just wanted to get into the game and have an adventure now instead of talking about adventures your characters had without you?

The problem with this approach is that not everybody enjoys this process; I’d rather begin playing right away. In my mind, character generation is not play.

And then there’s the problem with new players arriving over the years. Their characters will be different, so how much have you actually gained in the long run? Eventually, none of the characters in the party will have that shared past. All of them will simply have adventured together, at the table. And that’s great. Perhaps there was no need for group character generation.

That’s why I like character generators. When newbies join the campaign, I just let them pull a random character from the stack. Play starts immediately.

I have long running campaigns with people slowly dropping out and coming in, so party cohesion is usually provided by the old hats and newcomers are just tagging along until they develop their own characters.

As for the rules, I usually just hand-wave all that and tell them that we’ll explain it as it comes up. I guess that’s why handing out random pre-generated characters works for me.

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