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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 30, 2002
    Posts: 147
    From: 1313 StoneCastle Way, Free City of Dyvers, W0G 13F

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:44 pm  
    Greyhawk Character Cards

    Happy Greets all, it has been awhile and it is very pleasant to see the site still thriving.

    Working on a personal game project and I am sourcing some opinion for it. For my Greyhawk group for new characters I'm trying out Greyhawk orienated PC cards to give a player a general history of where they are from, some NPC known, villiages/towns they have visited (if any), family, social status, pets?, local villian/fear story.

    I am trying to fit it all on a standard playing card size and make it kingdom grouped... i.e. 10 GH PC card profiles from the Great Kingdom, 10 from Sunndi, 10 from Free City of Dyvers or Greyhawk, etc...

    I introduce these during PC generation, having the players to "pick a card". I haven't developed any yet to reflect dwarf or elves...etc... but I am working on these.

    I am interested to know if anyone else has adopted a similar PC generation method and or if you guys have any opinions on this approach.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.


    AncientGamer Cool aka BusterBudd
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 171
    From: Laporte IN.

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:50 pm  

    Havent done anything like random background, but if your looking for a place to make your cards, go to " The Game Crafter".

    It cost a little cash, but it will look VERY NICE when your done and you can keep them for other camp.

    Hope it helped.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 79
    From: Texas

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:58 pm  

    Hmm. I had a DM do something similar. He handed us all 'expanded' sheets and let us pick from them or create from scratch. The expanded sheets were filled out with a bit of history, family ties, all stats and skills and feats. His method appealed to me a bit, but I ended up building from scratch because he didn't leave enough freedom to me for my taste with the pre-made ones.

    Your idea, however, sounds like fun to me! It still leaves plenty of room to add personal touch if I understand it right, but also gives an opportunity to play something already woven into the plot and perhaps even something you wouldn't normally consider.

    I hope it goes well for you! Smile
    Shadows and Dust; Just Another Soul.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 01, 2011
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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:01 pm  

    I remember listening to a podcast from...Fear the Boot I think that talked about one game where they used old Magic the Gathering cards, and the players drew five of them or what not.

    They had to use some element from the card in the description of their characters background. So for example if they got...oh I don't know a Goblin Warrior or something maybe his family was attacked and killed by Goblin Warriors.

    Anyway's I think you get the idea. So long as you are just giving sort of vague idea's without strangling your PC's with too many restrictions I think it could work out just fine. :)

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2715
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:44 pm  

    I think the biggest problem you'll run into is as Crystaltears and Iressi have already pointed out - your players may object to being told what their character's background is. They may feel that their creativity is being stifled or even that they are being forced to play a character with a personality/phobia/etc. that they aren't interested in playing.

    I think that your idea can still work if you allow your players to determine their own background to the extent they wish to do so, then you take what they've created and expand upon it by adding neutral information that doesn't commit them to role-playing a character personality or background they object to.

    For example, say one player decides to play a human fighter from the Great Kingdom who has deserted the army of whatever lord ruled the land. You can write up cards that add things like:
    1) "You have been constantly dogged by soldiers from your old unit commissioned to bring you back to face execution for desertion. You managed to get word to your family and warn them to flee, but you aren't certain where they have gone as you've been unable to contact them since going AWOL."
    2) "You were knocked unconscious in a skirmish between your unit and soldiers of a neighboring lord. When you came to, your enemies, having been victorious over your unit, were piling their bodies onto a pyre. You managed to gain your feet and flee without drawing any attention. You would like to avenge your fellow soldiers, but know you lack the skill to accomplish that task on your own. You have no interest in returning to the service of your previous master.
    3) Etc.

    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 30, 2007
    Posts: 71
    From: Nevond-Nevnend, Duchy of Tenh

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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:55 am  

    Shocked Very nice ideas!!! Maybe I'll try something akin to it when I start my next GH game!
    Servant of Azmekidom the Most Prudent Despot, The Unapproachable One

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3311
    From: Michigan

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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:18 pm  

    Some players want to extensively develop their own character backgrounds, while others don't care very much and will likely be happy to have random cards to spur their creativity.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 30, 2002
    Posts: 147
    From: 1313 StoneCastle Way, Free City of Dyvers, W0G 13F

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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:59 pm  

    Happy Wow... Excellent input guys, thank you.

    Thanks SirXaris, I see what you mean, but that was not my main intention as the real detail of the PC will up to the Player, its more to help give a knowledge that each PC would have that may be used for the campaign or a later non-related game.

    The cards are more to help establish the PC background and give them specific player knowledge to the areas they are in. I am trying to keep them very generic and wouldn't always use these. My approach was maybe creating a WoG PC group specific to an area, with one or two from someplace further... i.e. six players, four draw cards from Furyondy and two from other areas. I then would sit down with each player and we both would work out details...

    This way this particular campaign approach can be gear towards a certain theme... and the PC's could have specialty classes from those areas like a Knight or Priest of Furondy (Hart associated? ...religion determined) could become a home grown Order and some task into the wilds of Iuz? ...just as an example. Persons, places, and lore of the area they are from...the good, the bad, and the things that make one go "hmmm" Smile

    Mainly, looking for the card to randomly give each player a common but diverse start with personal details ironed out for the campaign...but quick and dirty! Wink

    I really appreciate the opinions/views/suggestions... once I finish these I may place an example up to better illustrate my proposition.

    Thanks guys! Please keep it coming.


    AncientGamer Cool aka BusterBudd
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 30, 2002
    Posts: 147
    From: 1313 StoneCastle Way, Free City of Dyvers, W0G 13F

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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:11 pm  

    Post Script...

    Good to see you again Rasgon. I agree, some WoG player may feel rail roaded, however depending upon the campaign approach, the cards would be applied with purpose. If the player didn't want to use the randomness of the cards... then they could develop their own in line with the campaign idea.

    I would encourage the Players to create a background akin to what they have drawn.


    Say, has Maldin been by recently?


    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:20 pm  

    I often make pre-generated origins for PC's at the start of a new campaign. It's never class-specific, but family name or business or the like.


    Bon Vivant, Returning Soldier, The Eldest of Two Brothers, Town Watchman, and so on.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 31, 2004
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    Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:57 pm  

    You might want to take a look at Fight On! #12. There is an article within by Michael Curtis called "It's All in the Cards" which essentially details a simple method of character background generation using a standard deck of playing cards.

    The system "not only determines what the PC did prior to becoming an adventurer, but also decides his social rank, his connections with other PCs, and, if necessary, provides him with a reason for beginning a hazardous career as a freelance treasure hunter."

    It's a great article and the system is very simple to use.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:27 pm  


    Good Idea a players primer to the land they play in or are from is always good. Especially with new players it gives them direction not orders. However if your playing with long time friends or people who are knowledgeable about your campaign it is less likely they will need it. I still think its a good idea.

    So when you have them professionally printed you'll send me a copy right! Wink


    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
    Posts: 1846
    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:09 pm  

    In the only 3e GH game I ran I came up with four characters with interrelated backgrounds and had the players (all 2 of them) pick characters. It worked out pretty well and they were happy with their backgrounds. In my current group none of the players know much about GH so one of them I pretty much made up her entire background and she was very happy with it. Another player took the links I had given them to the GH wiki and ran with it, coming up with something great on his own that I've incorporated into the background of the campaign. Another made up a general background and relied on me to fill in the blanks to make it GH specific. I guess what I'm advising is feel your players out and see how much they'd like to do and work with that. Everybody is pretty much happy in my experience.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 15, 2011
    Posts: 85
    From: Staug, FL, USA

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    Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:29 pm  

    In the campaign I'm running three of the players are 10-11 year old girls. While their parents veteran roleplayers, I figured the kids could use a bit of help in creating their characters' background. I ended up using a modified version of the Lifepath tables from Mekton (also in Cyberpunk and Fuzion). The tables are fun and provide a basic skeleton from which you can provide the details. One of the characters ended up having an estranged boyfriend and a dead parent (which turned into the ex-boyfriend murdering the character's father). Fun stuff. :)
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:01 pm  

    Points finger at Azzy1974,

    That's evil! But I like it.

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