In one future, humanity has colonized the Sol system but still struggles with population pressures, competition for resources, and ideological differences. Open and official First Contact with galactic societies, themselves at war, raises the stakes even as frontiers broaden and beckon. Who will rise to the challenge?
Fellow role-players, here are 10 steps to take as we begin considering Player Characters, a new party, and the setting for my upcoming “Vortex” space opera campaign!
1. What species is your Player Character? Human, near-human, gennie/synth, or alien? How close are you to the norm?
2. Where does your character come from? What’s his/her/its homeworld? What is the P.C.’s nationality? What was your family and educational background? How old is your P.C.?
3. What’s your current occupation? I’ve used classes based on Star Wars: Saga Edition as examples: Diplomat, Explorer, Mystic, Trader, Warrior, but you can also think of things like spy, engineer, martial artist, and space marine.
4. What are your ethics? Does your P.C. have a personal code of honor, allegiances, or duties? The more specific, the better.
5. What’s your motivation? Why is your character adventuring, and why would it be part of a mixed team? What are your shorter- and longer-term goals? We’ll also be discussing party tone and objectives.
6. Who are your associates? As I mentioned previously, what affiliations does your P.C. have with other people and organizations? What are your attitudes toward things such as other species, governments and megacorporations, or various regions or factions? This is related to our setting conversations, and as with the Pathfinder teleconferencing team, we may have group generation of supporting characters.
7. What are your other interests? Does your character have any distinguishing features? What are your hobbies or personality traits? Are there any strong likes or dislikes? Signature items or style? How will others first see you?
8. Share your initial concepts. The “Vanished Lands” Yahoo/eGroup and “Holy Steel” Google Group message boards can help us coordinate. So far, this is what I’ve heard (and feel free to elaborate here):
–Paul J.: male near-human Mystic with exotic weapons
–Beruk A.: male human Trader with a mysterious past, possibly a former government agent
–Brian W.: Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) Explorer, xenobiologist
–Sara F.: female alien (species and occupation to be determined)
–Josh C.: male Terran human Warrior, sniper with a strong code of honor
9. Write it up. Pick two of the rules sets we’re considering — BASH, FATE, GURPS, and Saga — and see how your concept looks. I can help with nonhumans and setting notes.
10. Bring it! Be ready to discuss concepts, rules, and themes in the next week or two! Nothing’s written in stone yet, but I look forward to tightening up our ideas and role-playing! -Gene