One thing I have noticed, though, is a tendency that runs amongst the great gaming groups throughout the area—the idea of the “multi-purpose” group.
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Writing scenarios with this in mind has several benefits. As a GM, it certainly reduces the amount of prep-work necessary for any given scenario. Rather than creating new characters for each module, you can simply use the same ones in multiple ways. Having put together six Deadlands characters by hand last night, I can tell you, it makes a big difference. Having done the same thing for Heroes Unlimited last year took me no less than three days of work! Being able to avoid that amount of prep is a massive benefit!
But, beyond the simple prep-work, it also allows the GM to gain a better handle on each character’s abilities, tendencies, and gear. There’s a bit of a learning curve with any character—PC or NPC—that both player and GM need to overcome to play a character ‘effectively’ from both the mechanical and roleplaying standpoint. When the GM is able to eliminate his section of the learning curve, it frees them up to be able to help the players with mechanical questions and table-related issues.
|Bazzati's bestest friend!|
Similarly, these characters must each have a unique niche. Each character should have their own unique abilities, which echo their unique personality. Bazzati was so unique as a character, because his mechanical abilities--his utter mastery of fire-based powers--reflected his own chaotic stance on life, and his tenuous (at best!) grip on sanity. Rubella's power choices reflect her nature as a 'nuturing protector', particularly one set for motherhood with a certain noble in the party. Nearly all of the AB Games characters work this way in some sense, which is a masterful stroke in providing hooks for one-time players on the convention circuit.
So, what do I have in store? Well, I'm glad you asked (hypothetically speaking)...remember those Deadlands characters I mentioned earlier? Well, I've finally decided on a full party of members. Enjoy this brief preview of what's in store!
- Nigel Worthington-Smythe--an India-born British big-game hunter, Nigel's spent his life with a high-calibre rifle in his hands, searching out the most elusive and dangerous prey. He's taken down elephants near the Bay of Bengali, lions in the Serengetti, and wild boar in the Rhine forests. However, with tales of Mojave rattlers and California Maze Dragons lurking out in "the Colonies," Nigel packed up his belongings and made for the Weird West!
- Ricky "One Armed Bandit" Parker--A former riverboat gambler, Ricky Parker made one bet too many with a black-hearted desperado aboard a steamboat on the mighty Mississippi. One thing led to another and Ricky took a slug in his left arm. The sawbones had to amputate, but that only made Ricky's drive to be the best grow. Since then, he's learned a few new tricks...
- Benjamin Three-Bass--A Union-educated scion of the Lakota tribes, Benjamin served for a time as an ambassador and delegate before the Dakotas became their own nation. However, with war on the horizon, Benjamin has left his tribe, seeking to bring peace--one way or another--to the West, atoning for his failures in the Dakota territories.
- Shawna McClintock--If you can ride it, rope it, or drive it, Shawna's already done it. And damned if she can't do it better and faster than you. Shawna would still be racing across the Weird West, delivering for the Pony Express, if not for the Texas Rangers that have been pursuing her ever since she made that one delivery...
- Melissa "Miss Meliss" Garrett--It ain't easy being a "soiled dove" out on the plains. Melissa could sure tell you that. But, if nothing else, it gives you a chance to get real close to a mark...close enough to relieve him of that fancy gold pocketwatch, pocket a letter from someone 'connected', or even slide a switchblade between some ribs. Miss Meliss has done it all, and damned if she's not going to be a survivor.
|Morgan Arringon looks over his schematics...|