Hello Everyone! This Sunday (4/10/20) we’re going to be playing a little character creation game, to help create your characters’ backstories and flesh out the world. This blog-post is going to outline what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it, and what you’ll need to take part. We want to help you have fun and get some RP in, so let’s go!
What Do You Need?
All you need for this session is your concept, clan and covenant. The concept doesn’t need to be especially detailed either- we’ll be building that up as we go along. As long as you have some idea of what you’d like to play, this session will build that up into a more complicated, fully realised character.
If you’d like to take a look in advance, you can find the material here.
What Are We Going To Do?
We’re going to be playing a modified version of the ‘Climbing the Ladder’ mini-game from the 2e corebook, with a few inclusions from 1,000 Years of Night. This game takes us through important moments in your character’s life, from their first exposure to the supernatural to their choice of covenant. We chose moments that will help enmesh your character in the themes of the Chronicle, making it easier to build a character that fits into the game.
We will also create a web of characters. This will put PCs and NPCs on a page, showing their connections. These are built as we play the game, showing how everyone is connected to each other by debts, boons and emotions. The web gives your character context and relationships, meaning you’ll be entering play with links to the other Kindred and motivations to act.
There’s going to be a lot of moments presented, and not all will fit your character. If a particular section doesn’t suit you, it’s perfectly ok to pass it up! There’s no pressure to take part in every section. There’s also no such thing as a bad response, even if it’s different to other characters. We want to help you create a character you’ll enjoy playing, and there’s no wrong way to go about building that. Ultimately we’re here to enjoy ourselves, so approach this as something fun and collaborative. We’re not quizzing you, just talking about our characters.
How Will We Do It?
Each step consists of two stages- internal and external. The internal stage asks you to explain your characters emotions, decisions and beliefs to the group. This helps you get into their head, and allows other players to offer suggestions if you get stuck. For example, one step asks you about a moral line your character crossed. The internal stage asks you to explain how it felt, how your Beast responded, and what floodgates it opened. By answering those questions, you get a feel for your characters monstrosity and potential degeneration- both important concerns for vampire.
The external stage creates an NPC in the world. These NPCs are important pieces in your character’s story, and are connected by an emotional link. As the game progresses, NPCs are connected to each-other and the other players, creating a web of characters with different attitudes, motivations and alliances. For example, the step mentioned above asks you to create a Mark- someone who has something you want. You write down their name and covenant, then connect your characters with a line. You then write ‘has my X’ on it, representing what they have. You then connect them to another character on the map and write ‘Willing to help’ on the line. This creates both an NPC and potential plot- if you move against them, their ally will surely retaliate.
As mentioned before, you don’t have to take part in any part if you don’t want to. There’s going to be plenty of creativity flying about, so if you want to just soak up some ideas feel free to hang about and watch. The ideas you get here can be used to build your character privately- feel free to message the ST team and have a chat!
Why Should I Take Part?
To make your character real. Climbing the Ladder isn’t concerned with mechanics, it’s concerned with who your character is. This session will help you to create a dynamic, complex PC with connections and impetus to act in the world- you’ll create wants, mistakes and goals to chase in game. By the end of the session, each character will feel like someone who truly lives in the world, with a reason to care about what happens.
To wet your appetites, here’s one of the sample steps concerning the mysterious Red Plague. It was written for this chronicle, and your responses will help shape the games to come. You can find the rest here. Enjoy!
A plague swept over society, showing Kindred monstrosity in the flesh as well as mind. It ravaged your court and covenant, turning its victims into twisted reflections of themselves. This step deals with how you reacted, and what you did to survive.
Tell the group- who did you blame for the plague? Describe how you prepared, or failed to do so. As things turned dire, explain to the group what you did to survive- does anyone know? What happens when everyone finds out?
The Plaguebearer: who do you blame for this? Who do you resent, for profiting while you suffered? Write their name and clan then draw a line connecting you- write ‘Resentment’ on it. Allow someone else to draw a line connecting them to another character and describe the emotional context.