Season 1, Episode 7

Happy new year!

In Season One, Episode Seven, Chad and William invited their wives, Meghan and Christine respectively, to join the podcast with the topic of: 

How to help your players build their characters?
  1. Decide some things before going to your players:
    1. How much will I require of my players to do by themselves?
      1. What preparation will be optional?
        1. Will you use a reward system for voluntary content?
      2. What will be required to play in the campaign?
      3. Questionnaires
      4. Short term hooks and long term hooks
      5. Background stories
      6. Pictures/figurines?
    2. Generalizations are fine.  Ask them to draw comparisons to characters in other fiction.
    3. Are there any specific mechanical instructions need to give?
      1. Hard cap/soft cap on stats?
      2. Power/feat restrictions?
    4. What will players know about each other?
  2. Give your information/instructions to your players.
    1. How much information about the world will you share with my players, and what will you share with their characters?
      1. William - gave rough information on the general layout of a region without much specifics unless the players justifiably knew them.
      2. Chad - lots of player-specific information that is not supposed to be character knowledge, such as specific demographics, nations and a detailed history of the geography.
      3. In the dark - the players will be going somewhere new anyway, they'll discover as they go.
      4. A mix - players will be in someplace familiar with information, but they'll be interfacing with a new geography too.  Examples:
        1. The party has business to do interfacing with another world - like they fey, they have to go back and forth
        2. The city that appears out of no where, or a civilization is discovered underground or deep in a forest.
        3. A parallel world is discovered: bizarro world where the players themselves change!
      1. Make sure the players have time to think about it and take it into account before the first [planning] sessions.
  3. The player, the party, and the DM collaborate on character concepts, character hooks, and party interaction.
      1. Two different basic methods:
        1. Move from individual creation to collaborative development.
        2. Move from collaborative creation to individual refinement.
      2. The DM is involved at all steps providing bits of world knowledge.
        1. Oh, you want to be this?  Here's a great way to fit that in to the world.
  4. So what should the players be doing during the collaborative parts?
    1. Have players think of two or three (shallow) concepts for characters, they'll chose one.
    2. The players can bring together what information they wish and share with the other players.
      1. These can be as simple as race/class combinations,
      2. or common backgrounds or archetypes (e.g. meathead, scholar, assassin)
      3. or common goals
      4. establish personality ties and conflicts
    1. Perhaps the first campaign session or half of the session is talking only.
      1. or perhaps this happens on the second campaign, or via email
  5. By the end, the players should finalize:
    1. a background
    2. a list of hooks both short and long term
    3. their wiki entry?  (wink)
Our Gadgets of the Podcast:
  • Encounter: The raid on Baron Tornash
  • Tee Shirt: Guns don't kill people, Magic Missiles do
  • Character Concept: The Last of his kind
  • DM Tip: Shuffle the deck, switch players.  
    • This was an actual three-table Delve at our house one night, DM'd by William, Christine and our most excellent, most now-distant friend Drew.
  • Player Tip: Use one of these links below:
Links for Character Questionnaires:
 More info on starting a campaign:
Right-click and Save-As (42.8mb) Download here!

Check us out on iTunes and give us some reviews and/or ratings and/or hurtful criticism!

What do you think?

Give us reviews in the comments below, hit us up on Twitter @ExemplaryDM, or shoot us an email at exemplarydm at gmail dot com.  We're also looking for comments and thoughts on our next podcast topic: how to run a campaign with multiple dungeon masters.