April 12, 2003

Game WISH 42

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 42: Reusing Characters

Do you ever reuse characters from game to game? When you reuse characters, what do you bring from game to game: a name and a personality, stats, or more? What kinds of characters do you reuse and why? If you GM, do you like to have players bring in existing characters? Why?

Yes, I do reuse characters and always have.

It's a familiarity thing. Its often easier for me to get into the head of one of my characters than to create a brand new one out of the blue. I'm trying to limit myself from doing that these days, though...Arkantos is a branching out from my usual set of characters that I employed successfully in Chris Kindred's Weirmonken game last con.

One of the primary motivations for me to import characters is the fact that a lot of games die, a lot of games never get off the ground, and I feel sometimes that the character has gotten short shrift, and so he "deserves" another chance somewhere.

Lorius, now an NPC in Strange Bedfellows, started in a game that did not last very long, one involving Random and Vialle announcing an heir, and Martin showing up with a chaosian girlfriend (played by Rob "Xagnut"). That game died quickly, poor Lorius left underdeveloped. So I've used him at cons, and popped him into SB as a NPC.

Likewise Scipio and Hadrian also came from games that died or strangled or were killed off improperly. Although Scipio is not in SB, he does make turns in just about every con game I run.

Even Tynan from Bete Noire was originally for a game that never got off the ground.

What I usually import is the look, the personality, oftentimes the parentage of a character. But the thing that justifies it to me is that my characters grow and develop through these games. Tynan in BN is certainly a different breed than I envisioned him in his original setting.

Marcus, in Bridgette's Age of Retribution , has grown and developed from the original game that he starred in. (Xagnut's Shadow War game)

As far as on the other side...no, I don't mind at all that players might want to import existing characters. It's possible that I know of the character already (eg. Priya, Bridgette's PC in Ghosts of the Past, is actually in SB). Of course the PC might not have all the hooks, or in different forms, but I've never minded importations and variations (eg. Jenn's character for AAPA based off one of her own old ones). It can often bring a different set of spices to the "dish", and can help change the game for the better.

It's good to know, though, with my successful debut of two new characters, that my skills at creation of characters is not diminished by a penchant for reusing Pcs. Cadmus, in Deb's Rites of Passage, is developing nicely in his second year of existence, and he was most definitely sui generis.

Posted by Jvstin at April 12, 2003 11:11 AM