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23

Short answer; don't. Based on what you've said it's not that his character is a problem, just that his theoretical goal is untenable. Make it clear to him exactly what sort of trouble he'd be in for if he decides to have his character pursue that vendetta. Let him know it would be impossible (or almost impossible, depending on your GM style) to fulfill and ...


20

I think this question is related to another one, at least in the broad strokes. In that vein, I will refer you to my answer to that question. But your question doesn't seem to be as focused on following the plot of a pre-existing piece as it is on letting the players take on those roles. Which, if I am interpreting you correctly, makes this a very different ...


20

The question is a bit broad and rather subjective, but I think it's a good one, nonetheless. There are as many answers as shamans, though: it depends on the person and their circumstances as much as on their totem. Here, let me present a few examples I'd consider stereotypical (though YMMV, wildly, of course.) First of all, imo, practically any shaman can ...


18

Were either my expectations to "get started and wing it a bit in the beginning" or her expectations of "I want the whole backstory up front" wildly out of place? Either one is reasonable, as long as it is understood up front. I tend to go with the "wing a whole lot of it" version personally, but I make sure the group knows that up front. And yes, ...


18

"Hey, that sounds like a great idea for an epic game. We're actually going to be playing something more low key in this campaign, though. How about if you have a vendetta against (lower powered authority, but still powerful relative to the character and more fitting with the situation)? That would fit in really well this this other ...


17

The first part, seems like a classic miscommunication problem which can be solved by just talking about it after it first appear but before it becomes a major issue. It is all about expectation and disclosure of what the GM and player want. The first part of your question would superbly server as an example of what you are trying to do. Making sure that ...


16

Your level is about how much experience you have so far. It says nothing about where you are in the story. Consider the Lord of the Rings. At the beginning of the adventure, Frodo is a beginner, level 1, just starting his career. Aragorn, however, has been in many stories so far (even if we don't see them ourselves). When he joins this adventure, the ...


15

The GM takes on more work than any individual player in making the world and the game come to life. Obviously a GM without players has nothing, but the lynchpin of the game is still the GM. Having played in many games and GMed many more, I come into any game with the understanding that because the GM has to do so much work just to get the game going, that ...


15

The FATE system (I'm most familiar with the Dresden Files RPG which uses it) has this as a major part of character creation. In DFRPG we answer (in collaboration with the other players and the GM) the following questions are part of character creation: Background: Where did you come from? (PC's youth, his life as a "normal person" before getting embroiled ...


15

You may try the trap idea with the following twist: The group finds a door that blocks their advance in the dungeon. It has a lock for each member of the group, which cannot be picked or broken open. The door also has several engravings, depicting a fearsome monster, and a mysterious text: Five locks in the door, Five minds in front of it. Five memories ...


15

One good way to get players thinking about their backstories is to pose each of them one question. For example, in my current campaign, all of my players had to tell me the answer to the question, "What one thing does your character wish for above all else?" Other good questions are, "What one thing does your character regret more than anything?", "Who would ...


13

I think it has to do with this bit of background: You previously pursued a simple profession among the peasantry, perhaps as a farmer, miner, servant, shepherd, woodcutter, or gravedigger. Several of the defining events indicate that he may have expertise with said shovel as a weapon or as a tool of his trade (farming/mining/grave digging). ...


12

The best way to make sure your players invest in character backgrounds is, in my experience, to actually use those backgrounds, and reward players that provide them. Players will not do something they don't consider worth doing. The rewards vary from group to group. If you haven't done so already, I suggest taking notes of what kind of thing is the most ...


11

SURGE is an acronym of Sudden Recessive Genetic Expression. It occurred in the 2060s with the return of Halley's Comet (SR4A, p. 32 & p. 54). In 2061, a massive mana pulse affected revelers bathing in the holy waters of the Ganges. The traits expressed by some were unusual skin tones and a pair of extra arms. They are called the Nartaki (Dancers) in ...


11

There are only two situations in which it is ever appropriate to restrict a player's creativity (especially new players who might get discouraged) when constructing an origin story for their character in an RPG: The origin story gives a player a mechanical advantage over the other players. Example: My noble family is old, influential, and extremely ...


10

Poor* *This only applies to their starting lifestyle for adventurer league play. For a home game you can let them start with whatever they want. It's important to remember that adventurer's league is a specific interpretation of the rules for organized play. More importantly though, this gets at how downtime works in Adv League. Downtime days in Adv ...


10

This is going to be up to the DM, but if you are the DM asking what you should do, I would suggest that "temporary use" means "for as long as you need to complete a concrete objective task". The temporary use is referring to both the horses and the equipment. You have quote the exact text wrongly, leading to the confusion: your rank to exert influence ...


9

You won't be an effective combatant on UMD alone. You just won't, not without substantial splat support. To be effective: Just build a mundane badass. You don't need to fight with Fireballs for people to think you are a big-shot magic-slinger. Display your badassitude by knowing things (accomplished with skill checks) and taking charge (accomplished with ...


8

Check out character themes, namely the GuttersnipeDDI (featured in Dragon Magazine #399). Should provide some nice flavor as well as a few mechanical bonuses. Edit: This should give your warlock flavor without making any sacrifices and still get the rogue elements you might like.


8

Full mages and shamans are about half as common as doctors, and can do impressive things if they can even master a few spells. They will usually be fairly well off as a result: if you can cast healing spells all day, you should be able to make plenty of money, but there are plenty of alternatives. If you can cast combat spells, you should be able to make ...


7

The first question is; am I more of a rogue or more of a warlock? If more of a rogue take Rogue as the class, Unseelie Agent as your Theme, take the Warlock MC that gives you a Pact and choose Fey. Now your Theme and Feat represent the benefits you gained from the book, while your class represents the rest of your character's life. Use the Theme's Utility ...


7

Back in the day, and today available as a PDF on the web somewhere, is Paul Jaquays' Central Casting: Heroes of Legend. A detailed, stand-alone system of tables, charts, and role-play guidelines for creating thoroughly individualized role-play characters. By following simple, step-by-step instructions, both game masters and players can give life to ...


7

Themes and background benefits, though both usually related to a character's background, are separate mechanical elements. Themes usually give a character a class feature and/or a power for free at level 1, and then give additional power options that character can pick while leveling up instead of a class power. With the exception of Dark Sun themes, themes ...


7

Questions There are no mechanics as such, but every White Wolf game has a section in character creation about breathing life into the character. This is just a list of questions that help players think about their relationship to the setting. They also encourage you to play a short freeform session with each character individually. This prelude usually ...


7

Tell him where the problema lies. "Man, your character knows that the target of your revenge is maybe the most well protected guy ever. Do you really want to have such a target, that it might be justification for your partecipation to the story but can't be reached (at least not soon) or would you rather like to choose one of his menas your target?" Build ...


7

Being a caster-from-items isn't possible on any sort of realistic budget. Assuming that this is a character backstory concept and not literally the case, I would either play this as the wizard choosing to be level-drained back down to 1. As an intelligent "not a spellcaster" I can only recommend the Factotum from Dungeonscape. While it's not a pure ...


7

My first response would be to question whether the players know every single thing about their characters, even after the number of sessions that you have played with them. I find it very difficult to believe that there are not gaps in their backgrounds that you can use this as an opportunity to flesh out. Looking at the list you've provided, it seems clear ...


6

There's a French RPG where characters are crusading Templar knights, called Miles Christi (French). It's not been translated into English nor have I used the system, but I've heard good things about how the game succeeds in giving players a feel for the environment. There's a really nice and enthusiastic write up of a small Miles Christi game held at SGA ...


6

Good question - a lot of folks concentrate on out of game activities (questionnaires, character background writeups) to generate character backstory (often referred to as Design At Start, or DAS), but it can be very effective to instead do in-game activities that drive Design In Play, or DIP - see also What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in ...


6

I highly recommend the random background generator from Ultimate Campaign. There's several automated tools around to roll it up for you if you don't want to do it yourself. Here is one. For an example, I just gave it "Non-evil Dwarf Fighter" and got back: Dwarf Homeland Hills or Mountains Dwarf Parents Both of your parents are alive. ...



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