Friday, September 23, 2011

Group Templates

Listening to FtB talk about "Group Templates" today I thought I would post the test from Neoclassical Geek Revival dealing with group templates.  This is designed to fit in with Schrodinger's Character to allow for fast PC  generation in the middle of a game without slowing things down.   In high fatality (or potentially high fatality) games this can be very important to keep the game moving and still giving a reason for all of the current characters to associate with each other.  Character's get perks for tagging as a way to encourage adoption as a benefit rather than a chore.  Two different characters are tagged by each person to avoid a central character who the entire group revolves around.  Thus if that character died in the first 10 minutes the group would no longer have a solid reason to adventure together.

From Neoclassical Geek Revival on Page 20:

Creating a Group Template
When a new group of characters
is built, it is important to have a group
template. This gives the characters a
reason to band together beyond meeting
in a tavern. Each character must have at
least two relationships to other party
members; the character whose player is
seated to the left and the character whose
player is seated to the right. You cannot
alter another character’s history without
the other player’s consent. Thus if you
chose 'Romance', you could not declare
the two character’s had dated. You
could declare that your character had a
crush on the other character. Likewise if
you chose 'Family' it does not mean their
character consider your character family
or that there is a blood relation, it may
simply be that for some reason your
character considers them ‘like family’
(perhaps your character knew their
parents). Each relationship has a slight
mechanical benefit. A set of example
relationships is listed below:

Relationship: Family
Gain: +1 fate
Example: This relationship represents a
blood relation, adoption or a strong
friendship or sense of obligation
resembling family. For example, you
could be the child of a close family
friend to the other character. Either way,
your character feels a familial bond.

Relationship: Protector
Gain: Target gains +1 fate
Example: This relationship represents a
sense of strong protectiveness. A parent,
a bodyguard or a trusted lady-in-waiting
is examples of a protector. A character
could feel protective of a character they
have only recently met and it does not
need to imply a long history. Never the
less the relationship is strong not merely
a passing sensation.

Relationship: Romance
Gain: Target gains +1 luck point
Example: This relationship covers
everything from long-term marriages to
unrequited love. This is a romance
beyond minor attraction or infatuation
and is unlikely to ever fully leave the
mind of the character.

Relationship: Employee
Gain: $500
Example: This represents any financial
relationship; the character has been paid
and has a job to do. This could be that
your character was paid by the target, or
paid by a third party to watch over the
target or perform some other action.
This relationship also requires a
dedication to reputation and work ethic
that this is a major impact on behaviour.

Relationship: Higher Calling
Gain: 50 Piety
Example: This represents a sense of
divine duty. Perhaps your character
believes the other is a chosen one, or
simply part of a wayward flock. Either
way your character sees their destiny as
dependant on the safety of the target.

Relationship: Life Debt
Gain: +250xp
Example: This represents a deep sense
that the character owes their life to the
target. Perhaps the target saved their
village, spared their life or saved them
personally. This could also represent a
debt that the character feels he owes to
the target’s bloodline, nation or species.
Either way, the character feels an
unshakable debt to the target.

These are only some examples,
feel free to create other relationships
with GM approval, they should always
be generic however to leave room for
both parties to determine exactly what
they mean to each character.

EDIT:The Alternative:


  1. Interesting, and a good way to patch together a reason for party coherence.
    --Is this used every time? For each character? What about replacement characters?

  2. I like to use it every time for a game that is intended to be long term. If its a one shot or a small event than it isn't a problem since you sat down to play an adventure. But when its time for the group to choose their next adventure in the sandbox..problems can arise if there is no reason for the group to be together. It works well with replacement characters as well, giving them a reason to join the party.

    well, beyond this: