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Idea: Character controlled by all players

Started by Llogres, February 11, 2010, 04:19:05 AM

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This is just a quik thought i want to hear a few opinions on:

In addition to each players character the players would have a sort of group-character that is controlled by all of them.
The advantages would be to have a character that could be more powerful, or have more influence to the story than the others without putting one player above the others. The group-character would oppose every other character sometimes when it's about making decisions, but could as well help any character. This would open a few story possibilities that would be hard to manage without one special character in a group.

For the ones that are familiar with Robert Jordans "Wheel of Time" a little example:
Each of the players controls one of Rand al'Thors friends, like Perrin or Mat. But all together they control Rand, because he himself has to much influence on the story to be played by one player alone.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about: take King Arthur. Each player plays one of the Knights of the Round Table, but together they have control over the actions of King Arthur.
Those are very rough examples but i think you will get the idea.

Now - did anyone ever try that? Would it be easier to establish a group-character if there were rules how to do it?
Do you have more examples or ideas of usage for a campaign?

Just wanted to share the thought,

Eero Tuovinen

I did this roughly a decade ago. The premise of my game was that the main character would be a Conan-like sword & sorcery hero, while the players would play various secondary characters. One of the players would play the main character in each session.

My game worked well - it had a specific rules system, though, so not just an overlay on an existing game. I chose to make the main character playable by one player at a time because I envisioned him as a pretty active, but equal, participant in the events; a commonly played character would to my mind be either a passive background element or an overbearing center of attention that leaves little for the players' actual characters to do. Depends on the particulars of the game, of course.

Anyway - fully doable, this.
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Callan S.

Hi Chris,

Not a few roleplayers I've encountered are socially...let's say...pushy. They'd effectively control this mega character by themselves.

Granted in some groups this wouldn't happen. It depends if it's part of the design that in some groups it's mostly shared, while in others by cult of personality, one guy will effectively own the character.

If not, I'd suggest some sort of bidding mechanism, if two or more people want more/full control at the same time. Eero's one session each is also a good, strong mechanism.
Philosopher Gamer

David Berg

Heck, you could even treat the bigshot character like a state -- chop him up into areas of responsibility and allot each of those to a different player.

One player controls fighting, another controls verbal exchanges, another controls magic use, etc.

Or, one player controls the bigshot's decisions regarding Family, another controls his decisions regarding War, another controls his decisions regarding Government, etc.
here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development


I tried something like this once in a Star Trek game I ran, except that the "character" was the ship itself and the parts were helm/navigation, phasers, and so on. Not as successful as I'd like since some of the players didn't get to do much on a regular basis, but an interesting experiment!
Marv (Finarvyn)
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