Tips for the Table: Building a Group.

By Rodger Moss

     Many gamers trying to get into the world of RPG's are overwhelmed by the choices and complexity of trying to put a game together. Over the next few weeks I will delve into making what I feel is a successful campaign for a great beginning to entering the world of Role Playing Games. Today we are going to look at the formation of a group and how to make characters that fit into a world.   


    OK, so you have picked the game you want to play and have chosen a few friends to be the group now the real fun begins building characters for the game. Most GM's will do a group creation session where the players and GM go over what type of game this will be and if there are any special rules for this campaign. Now this is the part where the group will go over roles for the group normally a fighter, a healer, and someone to do the talking that is the normal break down. This is where I suggest a change. Instead of making characters as a group make them separately and give each player the same background ass you would if the group was together. You will get a more diverse group of Player Characters this way. 

    Instead of players working the roles to the needs of the group the players will make what they want to play, yes you may end of with a group of Fighters and no Healers but that's not a bad thing. No one will be pressured into playing a class that they are not interested in. the most important rule for beginning players is to have fun and its hard to do that while not playing what you want to play. Also take a look at real life your not friends with people because they fit a class that is missing from your group, but more for the reason you enjoy this persons company. Lord of the Rings the foundation of fantasy games had a Wizard, Ranger, two fighter, and hirelings (hobbits). Lets face it Frodo was just Gandalf's hireling to carry the loot to dangerous for him. 


    As the players make their characters ask them questions about their past. Treat this like a conversation you would have on a first date. Where did you grow up? What do you do for work? Childhood friends? Nothing to deep for the players to think about but this will put them in the head of the character and they will start thinking about this paper as a living being. Some have gone as far as to make a questionnaire for the players to fill out. Use this info given to you later it will give your group a more connected to the world you have built feeling. 
    After everyone has made their characters it's time to introduce them to each other. I recommend a one shot throw away session one that gets everyone used to the rules and lets them play around with the character that they have created. A bar makes perfect use of this but a carnival or some other gathering will work as well. Let the players get to know each other and work as a group.


    Most importantly have fun let your group make what ever characters they wish as long as it fits. You will end up with better Role-Players and a happier group. 

    Stay Geeky!