The Donner Party

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1: Recordings from Taunton
2: Notes from Taunton


My Social Experiment: A Community Background

As a group we’ve done lots of stuff to make backgrounds. We’ve tied characters together, and worked stuff up where other PCs could have input. I’m going to try a different route. I don’t know how it will pan out, or if it will even work. I’d prefer not to spend all night long in a bout of arguing. I’m asking my players to create their own small background, but leave the last year or so alone. It’s this last year that will be special. It will be a community background.

What is a community background? Well, in my mind it’s the same thing as a normal background except there are more than just one player’s mind coming up with the ideas. It allows any players to have an idea and the others to add more to it. It’s kind of like brainstorming with a team of people.

First, the players will work out their introduction into the troupe. Which order did they arrive, how did those who were already there react to them? That sort of thing.
Second, each player will get what I am calling a “Flash Point”. Which is an idea for the community background. It should be kind of like a bare bones idea so the others can add on to it. In other words, everyone gets a turn to be in the director’s chair.
Finally, each player will go around the table and determine their kind of relationship with each other player. This is kind of like one of those many flowcharts in World of Darkness books where they’d have pictures of NPCs with little arrows pointing back and forth giving a one line description about how they view each other.

Finally, my hopes with this experiment is that the players can form a group of PCs that have had about a year together. Bringing with it all the memories, and some character building that traveling together would bring. If it fails, so be it, but if it succeeds it could be a tool I’ll use in the future more often. Especially when I have a game based on a bunch of people who already know each other. I might even be able to convince our other GMs it could be a useful tool they can utilize as well (We have 4 potential GMs other than myself at our table).

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