I read this over Robin D. Laws’ Livejournal this morning.
He starts with:
Given that we’re learning a new crunch-based system I was concerned that the characterization could get lost. So I asked each of the players to submit a two-pronged character arc. This consisted of two opposed possible outcomes for their characters as they develop through the course of the campaign
That is a very true concern that I see being bounced around and his proposed solution is a very simple and interesting way of addressing this.
Here’s the example he used for his players:
Frodo Baggins: find the endurance to serve as the ringbearer, or give in to temptation and despair
He then creates a table where he placed each of his players arcs.
I assumes he gave the table to all his players because he then went further and added more two columns . This is where he put how each players choose a way his/her character could act as a positive influence toward the arc of another player and as a negative influence for another.
Wow, I love this.
You see I’m not so much concerned about the crunchiness of 4e being detrimental to characterization because, well, there’s not much to threathen.
While most, if not all of my players would like to have bitching characterization, we all more or less suck at
developing coherent stories that fosters party cohesion.
So that’s where I turn, once again, the mic toward you.
I’m asking you to submit to me (and to the readership in general) a series of short easy-to-implement tricks to help poor, story-handicapped gaming groups like ours develop better stories and characterization. Robin’s arc matrix is once such trick.
I’m looking for individual tips and broader, group story tricks.
Now to make this a contest here’s what I propose:
Contest will last 1 week (up to noon of May 31st).
I’m currently sitting on a Near-Mint, complete, used-once, copy of AD&D’s 2e Planescape Setting that I want to get rid of.
I’ll ship it out to a randomly chosen submitter.
Aside: That thing is worth 55$ used? Maybe I should hold on to it… Nope, I have no use for it and would rather give it out to someone who wants it more. I hope to get more than 60$ worth of tips, so tell everyone about the contest.
Multiple entries are encouraged, but you only get one chance of winning regardless of entry (he he, I learn).
Once again, I’ll make a freely available PDF of the combined, edited entries. That means that by entering the contest you are giving me the non-exclusive rights to do this and you also allow me to derive (and keep) ad revenue from the traffic generated by them.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance!
Edit: The contest’s deadline has been extended to June 7th. Plus, if you have been refraining from participating because you didn’t want to gouge me with shipping fees, here’s a deal:
As an alternate prize, I will offer a 15$ gift certificate for DrivethruRPG where all kinds of cool Planescape products are.
Or, if you live in Europe, Asia or Australia and you are willing to pay for shipping, we can talk.