View Full Version : Writing an Example Playgroup up

2021-07-18, 08:27 AM
For my homebrew system in the Homebrew forum, I've been told what I need, to get people to understand the mechanics much better, is a lot of examples. So I'm in process of making up a GM, players, and those players' PCs to write examples about.

Any ideas what I can do to get readers invested in these pretend characters? Like, catchy/quirky character concepts I should use to make them relatable?

I'm also not sure how many examples I need. Like, I'm considering coming up with a second imaginary playgroup, so that I can have examples of low-level and high-level play. But that seems excessive.

Silly Name
2021-07-18, 09:10 AM
I prefer my examples of play to not be too quirky or strive too hard to be relatable. The point of the example is to be easy to understand and serve as a reference, so one should cut down the noise.

Make up your players and their characters. Pick a few, simple traits for each of them: Tommy is careful and listens closely to what the GM says but doesn't speak up a lot; Louise is more carefree and likes to "rush in", but she knows Tommy needs prodding to talk so she makes sure to ask his opinion when unsure what to do; Jasmine is the most expert player of the group and tends to take the leader role, reigning in Louise and directing the others. Then there's Marco, who's the newcomer and asks a lot of questions about the rules.

Have them play simple, iconic characters. The kind of stuff you'd put on the front cover - even a bit stereotypical perhaps, but the focus should be mostly on the player group, not their characters.

A lot of the time, you don't even have to write down a scene. You can just explain how a rule looks like in actual play like this:

"Emma, Louise's character, is running away from the pursuing guards, and while escaping through the rooftops she comes across a big problem: she has to take a pretty big leap to reach the next roof, and the fall is very high, perhaps even lethal. Louise asks the GM if Emma can make the jump and land safely on the other side. The GM says [insert what sort of action needs to be taken to clear the jump]"

You can insert this directly in the text, so that it flows naturally, or in a sidebox. The important thing is that it's close to the rule it references, so that it's easily found.

EDIT: for examples of high-level play, there's no need for a second group. You can simply "timeshift" the original group, showing character growth and a degree of familiarity with the rules.

2021-07-18, 10:30 AM
That's some good ideas, just what I was looking for to prod me to get started! Particularly the personality stereotypes of the players; I'll probably copy those pretty closely.

Reach Weapon
2021-07-29, 10:02 PM
Any ideas what I can do to get readers invested in these pretend characters?

I'd suggest a slightly different path, make it exceedingly simple to keep track of them and what they are. For instance, you might have:

Alice (apathetic) playing Agthor the Angry
Bob playing Boba the Barbarian
Charles (cautious) playing Cujo, a cleric
Doug (diligent) playing D'magii the Druid/rouge multiclass
Edith playing Ettrach the Educated (skill monkey)
Gary the Game Master

While it may be helpful to keep them tightly packed alphabetically, another option may be to jump around and have:

Quincy (quirky) playing Quorny the Questor (a homebrewed class name)