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D&D 3E
This has been discussed here before, but... 
1st-Jul-2005 07:33 am
wicked handclasp
My RP group made a major mistake at character creation. We all made our own characters, with our own wonderfully dramatic and interesting pasts, and our own passions, convictions, and motivations. And we didn't take into account anyone's character but our own. As a result, group cohesion sucks. So, we are trying again. The emphasis this time will be creating a character you like, *with* the stipulation that it can actually exist as part of a group!

Now, I know with DnD many people could care less about group cohesion and take a much more hack'n'slash approach. Our group is more interested in having the excitement of combat mixed in with the drama of roleplaying. So. As I was trying to think of some ways we could accomplish this, a list sort of formed. It was formed around the idea of having a group character creation session in which we all sit around, make characters, and brainstorm. I wanted to share this with you, see what you think, and hopefully you'll add some of your own expert advice! ;)

Istril's Top Ten Character Creation Tips!

1. Remember you are part of a roleplaying group. Be flexible, and stay open to feedback from others about your character.
2. Avoid creating a character who’s convictions or other extreme characteristics will prevent them from being part of a group.
3. But, give your character their own passions; try not to be overly conformative just to keep the peace.
4. Try not to rely on "gimmicks" to set your character apart or make them special or unique. Just roleplay them well.
5. Allow the group dynamic and the roleplaying itself to mold your character rather than predetermining all the intricacies of their persona.
6. Take into account the setting in which your character will exist. What is your character's place there?
7. As much as possible, let the present drive your character's actions, not their past. When the focus is on the now, campaigns are more dynamic and memorable.
8. Incorporate something into your character that will allow them to contribute somehow to the group.
9. Enjoy your character; you shouldn't "settle" for something you don't really want to play just because you think it would compliment the group.
10. *Climbs up on Soapbox* A certain degree of conflict within a group is essential. (And really, really fun!) It provides a wonderful opportunity for character development, gives us a little bit of that spice called drama, and just makes things a bit more interesting. However. Internal conflict to the point where you are straining to find reasons for your character to stay with the group is almost always damaging to group cohesion, and can be taxing on the players' fun. Remember, the right type of conflict can actually *increase* cohesion. The wrong type of conflict destroys it. *Climbs off soap box*

*bows with a flourish*
Comments 
1st-Jul-2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
That's a great list. I'd actually like to re-print it on GameWyrd in the Lost Archives as a quick article, credited to you, of course. Does the idea fill you with horror?
1st-Jul-2005 01:04 pm (UTC) - Cool... XD
*blinks*

*blinkblinks*

... You flatter me!

Heheh. Yeah, go ahead! Glad someone got something from it! ^_^ Can you tell I'm easy to please? ~_^
1st-Jul-2005 01:07 pm (UTC) - Re: Cool... XD
I can just create you a GameWyrd account (I assume the name istril is still free) and credit the list to that. Alternatively, if you've time, it would ideal for me if you could whizz through the account login yourself and email/comment me your user name at GameWyrd. (I'm at work, on a busy day, and although I can let LJ distract me a little, logging into my own site to create you an account is being a bit cheeky.)
1st-Jul-2005 01:16 pm (UTC) - Re: Cool... XD
done. My username is indeed istril. ty again, glad for the feedback.
1st-Jul-2005 09:28 pm (UTC) - Re: Cool... XD
unrelated, but yay for Jury!
4th-Jul-2005 01:01 pm (UTC) - Re: Cool... XD
1st-Jul-2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
Great list! I think, however, that it's worth pointing out that, except for #6, all of these can be accomplished without having a group creation session, and even #6 can be done without it if you know what the setting's going to be. You're still likely to get a mildly imbalanced party, but the feeling I get from your list is that you're coming up with a group of characters that can and will work and roleplay as a team, rather than making sure you've got 2 fighters, a cleric, a wizard, and a rogue.
1st-Jul-2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
This also takes in consideration that everyone who plays is willing to RP as a PC. This may sound odd to you but my husband will play this with us but isn't a big RP fan. He does like the hack'n'slash stuff and thus I know he will have a fighter and maybe a figher/rogue because he likes the theifing abilities. And he will even come up with a cool PC name (or ask for my help with one) and use it. He's not totally into this kind of thing but will make the charater come alive with things his PC does. last time we played he had two and they stood out because of their actions. So I can live with that.
And they were chotic evil characters in a mostly neutral good the like group that did fine. Only a few quarrels.
1st-Jul-2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Good list.
When I run a game I let the players go off with their background and such and then write my games around that. If they have a character that does not mix well together (A lawful priest and a necromancer for example) then I give them a common goal or bond. It’s funny to sit back and watch the two sides try to work together sometimes. I try to keep them from killing one another which is really not easy sometimes. Over all I have had some good luck with this so far.
1st-Jul-2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
very good. I've had that problem a couple of times. More precisely, I've had the completely opposite problem, which, in some ways, wraps back around the problem spectrum and becomes the same problem. For whatever reason, groups I'm in have a tendency to all make the same character. We show up to play and look around and....hey, well this will be interesting, unless we get in a fight. Last game I went to, we had an enchanter, a bard and psion, and...that's it.
3rd-Jul-2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
I have run games for over two decades. Anywhere from D and D (1st Ed), WhiteWolf(camp, werewolf and changling)to Chainmail to WarHammer Fantasy RP game. All in all i say that the list is pretty decent.

I have found that if you limit a person's creative ideas when it comes to their characters, then you lose something out of the game. For some PC's maybe the past is all they can go on. Most PC's will already have something to donate to the group, if its simply just the fact that they can swing a weapon or cast spells.

I feel that its the GM's grand experiment to create a situation where the different players can make their creations not only mesh, but work as a team. Now even today we have players (talking about pro sports) that dont want to play on a team and either create havoc while they are there or find themselves quickly traded away. That is how I deal with my problem PC's. While I do require them to roll their stats in front of me, what they do with their background is not my call. A player that continually disrupts the game because they thrive to much on the team conflict idea very quickly finds themselves out of a game (after I talk it over with the group and the player...)

Good list though.
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