View Full Version : Help with a Game Idea

2009-09-18, 08:48 AM
In my local group, we have digressed into just rolling up characters and playing whatever until the characters die or until the game dies, whichever comes first. Usually the game just dies. We have 5 regulars and have just added a sixth. Three of us take turns being DM.

My opinion is that we have stopped "caring" about our characters. We just pick a class that seems cool to us and try to beat the DM. We have stopped putting thought into why the character is there.

So in an effort to turn things around, and have a game that has lasting power, I have decided to try and run a completely character driven game. I want the players to write a story for their character and then put the classes to the story.

My story idea: The players will create their own organizations/empires. The more creative they are, the better their creations will be. So far the rules will be that they can only have 1 NPC friend/cohort, that will be there to help them from day one. They can be allies or enemies or anywhere in between. They will be in the Forgotten Realms world. Their actions could make enemies and/or allies, of any and everyone, from the Harpers to the Zhents, from the Red Wizards, to the Purple Dragons of Cormyr. Or just local rivals. I want their imagination to be their limit. Almost anything from a WoTC book will be allowed.

The problems I see with my idea, is that some players are just more creative than others. So one player could conceivably be much more powerfull than another. Long term, this is not a problem for me, thats the way life works. But I want them all to start on relatively even footing. Another problem is where to start them. I don't want to start them out at level 1, and just starting out. I want them to put some thought into what they want to do, how to do it and make it happen (at least some of it) before we even start playing.

It sounds like alot of work to me, but if everyone really gets into it and enjoys it, then the rewards will be well worth it for me. So can I get some help with the launching pad, with ideas to help with the problems mentioned or any others that you might see that I might have overlooked. Ask any questions you need to help get a clearer picture of what I have in mind. Thanks ahead of time for input. :smallsmile:

2009-09-18, 09:37 AM
You're on the right track. To help the players, take that chapter in the back of the character creation section of the PHB, the one that asks about appearance, mannerisms, likes, dislikes, family associations, attitudes, etc, and have the players do that and actually write down the answers. Only after they've completed that section should they be allowed to assign ability scores or choose class/feats/skills/etc..

A useful technique for getting the players involved in the world is to have THEM come up with the ideas for the recurring friendly NPCs and recurring villains. Require each character to begin the game already knowing one of the recurring villains in some non-hostile way (e.g. the BBEG is your guildmaster/brother/ex-girlfriend/teacher/etc.). This encourages the players to get involved more deeply in the characters of the story.