Saturday, 26 October 2013

Character Creation: Edge of the Empire

So we recently went through character creation for EotE and I really felt this was one of the easiest and most interactive character creation processes I've ever taken part in.

To set the scene - I've got about 9 people interested in playing and that number might increase so looks like the Active/Passive approach is going to be a must have here.

On the night that we got together for character creation only 5 of the players were able to make it.  Some of the players had fairly strong concepts in mind whereas others were largely winging it.  Lots of good chat followed and the players settled on the following.

Human Explorer (Fringer)
Human Smuggler(Scoundrel)
Human Smuggler (Pilot / Scoundrel)
Rodian Colonist (Politico)
Wookie Tech (Outlaw Tech)

What was most interesting though was how the characters changed as the players went through the process of creation.

One of the mechanics of EotE is called Obligation and this brings a very simple narrative measure of what connection the character has to the fringes of the galaxy.  Within the rulebook the player has the option of rolling d% or choosing an Obligation from the list; or with agreement from the GM they can develop another Obligation entirely.  There are other narrative components to the creation that develop the character's origin, journey to the fringe and their motivation.  All of which help to hone that initial character concept into a more rounded playable character.

The other thing about Obligation is that it matters how heavily obligated the whole party is to those fringe elements.  e.g. The higher the parties obligation the less likely that respectable (if only publicly seen that way) connections might be willing to do business with them.  The counter to that though is that if their obligation isn't that high then certain parts of the underworld might not take them seriously.

What was of particular interest here and something I was keen to do, was how the players started to knit their characters together through shared Obligations and other elements of their backgrounds. Alongside that those players with fairly strong concepts at the start of the process were happy to revisit and adjust them to create those links between the characters to ensure that the party had a strong foundation to work from.

When it comes to creating the other characters those same links will need to be woven into any underlying plot for all the characters that will be taking part in the game.  That's one of the challenges of the Active/Passive approach - involving all the characters in the game.