Thursday, July 04, 2013

non-mechanical charsheet fodder

So here's a thread I started on Google Plus that I wanted to save.  Here's what I said:

I think it was the Compleat Arduin where I saw a character sheet with a spot to fill in your PCs best friend. I thought that was a brilliant example of the kind of non-mechanical info we need more of on our charsheets. Please help me brainstorm some other ideas.

Here's what everyone came up with:

*****
Favorite Oath, Curse, Swear or Expletive:
Favorite Intoxicant:
Monster or Animal That Gives You the Willies:
More usable by the player then the character; but theme song.
no. 1 friend, rival, enemy.
What are they afraid of?
What would they be doing if they weren't adventuring?
What family role do they play? (parent? kid? foundling? weird uncle?)
Siblings
Prized or lucky posession.
Most influential person -- -- they don't necessarily have to have even met and they might be entirely fictional. Alexander the Great's might be Achilles, for instance.
Favorite item of clothing
Most shameful act
How/where did they acquire their weapons/armor/spellbook etc.
biggest flaw or greatest fear, family and/or business ties. One one conveyed something in game for the GM to use. 
"I'll get that guy...someday" 
Why are they adventuring in the first place?
Important Person, a formative or influential person in the PC's history.
Hiding spot. What's hidden there.
Favorite food
accent/regional dialect (some people can't do voices but want their characters to have them anyway)
most important memor(y/ies)
most important possession and/or person
family's social/economic standing
favorite hobby when not bashing heads in
most applicable diagnosis (since most adventurers are actually pretty crazy or dramatic sorts)
Why can't you return home for some time, if ever?
[Seems like brevity would be key if you wanted these things on a character sheet.]
In #torchbearer you have best friend, enemy, parents, mentor and home
What are they going to do when they get out of this shit? (War Movie rule #38 they need to harp on that in conversation right before they get it.)
Annoying catchphrase, ofc.
Civilization level
Favorite bar/tavern/pub
favorite drink order
most successful pick up line
preferred hangover cure
Morning Temper
Mannerisms and quirks
"Tell" when lying
One thing loved/hated
Secret dream/secret shame
Personal strength/personal weakness
Favorite color (Blue!)
Beliefs about the causes of diseases and infections
Favorite LoTFP publication
Political position on the association between rats and copper pieces
[Let 10,000 designs bloom around the idea of quick-starting a character with an online dating profile instead of the traditional sheet!]
Hero from childhood
"Signs" from Over the Edge: Tell-tale signs that hint at your character's abilities without stating them explicitly (for instance, "thick veins and beefy arms" could be the sign for high strength.
I've used Drive (something like Sex, Money, Fame, Knowledge) that the character is motivated by, and Aversion (something like Commitment, Attention, Work) that the character seeks to avoid.
Rival's been one I've had fun with. "why can't you go home" also seems incredibly useful. 
Who do you hate in the party
Who do you like/need/love in the party
What's the worst thing you've ever done
Commonly used expletives
Most shameful desire
Failed Profession
Some for more modern/Sci Fi feel, some just taking the piss, some of more general application
  • PCs favourite TV/holovision program 
  • PCs favourite fast food 
  • If this was PC was a kind of fruit what kind would he/she be? 
  • How much this PC hates telesales calls 
  • Hours spent noodling on the internet per day 
  • Favourite vacc suit/combat armour air freshener scent 
  • Tattoo, location and how badly it is misspelt 
  • Organ Donor Card? 
  • Length of criminal record in feet and inches 
Battle scars and Amputations
Parasites
Where they've stashed the loot.
*****

So that's some good stuff, but also a lot of stuff.  How should we navigate all these good ideas?  The DM could pick a few categories.  That would be a signal to the players that those things were important to the campaign somehow.  Allowing players to pick would give them interesting ways to round out their characters.  Or you could turn your favorites into a random chart and have everybody roll d3 times or so.

Original post.