If you're interested, the thread still exists--just poke around and you'll find it under "Allowing Things in a Campaign", but that's not what I'd like to talk about today. Rather, I'd like to focus on one of my responses.
|Has no business in a pirate game...|
You see, friends and neighbors, I've become a bigger and bigger fan of "group" character building, the longer that I've been gaming. This isn't to say that people shouldn't generate characters as individuals--that's half the fun!--but rather that some degree of communication has to occur when a group sits down to plan an extended campaign.
Our current Dark Sun group suffered from that, as half of the group were planning on playing amoral desert survivors, while others planned on being active agents of the Veiled Alliance. As you might have seen in previous entries, such did not turn out well. Had we managed to be honest with one another at the start, expressing what we wanted out of character development and plot points, a compromise could have been reached, but we just didn't think that far ahead.
|Equally, has no business|
in a Call of Cthulhu game...
Honestly, this is also one of the issues that I have with Call of Cthulhu. Don't get me wrong: I love CoC in all its various incarnations. But, the disparity that exists when you bring together a history professor, a private detective, a teppanyaki chef, a college student, and a half-crazed journalist makes for a group that is ultimately unskilled in necessary areas, while are masters at items that may only come up in one session or as a group-joke. That takes the inherent horror of CoC and degenerates it into slapstick comedy. It's a fine line to walk, believe it or not...
For extended campaigns of all sorts, I've taken to spending an entire session for group-building and, as ChaoticFrederick calls it, "theorycrafting". While this has met with mixed results--particularly in the "Tear of Ioun" game last year (heavy on the 'theory', light on the actual 'crafting')--it's helped to explain how the group got together in the first place, as well as what tactics they use when in combat or in investigations.
Have you encountered another system that rewards diversity or group character-building? Or, do you have your own methodology that works? By all means, do tell!