Monday, September 6, 2010

The Toolbox: Character Catch-Up as a Party Generation Tool. (PART ONE)

Yesterday's blog about "Character Catch-Up" got me thinking.  I acknowledge that using an out-of print source like Cities is kinda craptastic for those of you who may not have it.  It's a generic Chaosium publication, so it's not covered under Mongoose's draconian licensing restrictions, so I'd imagine it would be up to either Chaosium or the authors to reprint it.  Something to look into when I am back in the U.S. of A.

Taverns in Greyhawk are full of people NOT picked for adventuring parties.
 Anyway, clearly from the last post, I love the Character Catch-Up.  I was thinking about other ways to use it.  What if you used it to bring a party together?  Sure, if you have a group of players who have an idea of how they are connected ahead of time, or if you, as the referee, have a plot-derived one, you wouldn't need to figure out how the players know each other.  How often do you get that?  From my experience, you often end up with four to six very unconnected characters.

How do you connect these characters?  Well, you can try to bring them together from the past, or you can bring them together through a random series of events which reflect the randomness that we all tend to meet our friends through.  PLUS, like shown in yesterday's blog, it gives the GM a lot of leads on future opportunities.  Now, some settings and systems are better served for the Character Catch-Up system as it's written right now.  So, for me to test my theory out, I'm going to stack the odds in favor of the system:  Mongoose RuneQuest and the Lankhmar supplement.  A big, cosmopolitan city with clear class structure in a system well suited for the way the system works as its written.

So, we are going to take four brand new RQ characters and have them, week-by-week, go through life in Lankhmar until they get to a point where it's reasonable that they would adventure together.  Then we'll see what leads the GM can take from this and I'll post their final stats in a Rogue's Gallery.

After some work at the East Bagram Green Bean, we have the following heroes:

Grim Vermundson, a bard from the Cold Wastes to the north.  His considerable skill with the hurdy-gurdy and song were not enough for most of his barbarian ilk to overlook his physical weaknesses.  He came south to seek greater acceptance and adventure.
Husayn Tawil, a massive and powerful escaped slave from the deserts of the Eastern Lands.  In Lankhmar, he hopes to find the things that were denied him in his native lands--freedom and gold.
Suleyn the Brewer always felt like he was destined for more.  An accomplished brewer and decent enough baker, he longs for a life outside of his employer's shop.
Marcus Cassius Brutus, an aristocratic warrior-soldier who has returned from campaign.  The decadence of his peers conflicts with the honor of his trade and the guilt from his past weighs heavily on his present.

In Part Two, we'll start the process of running through the weeks to see how the characters' lives devlop and intertwine.