The People Bank… to pre-gen or not to pre-gen

As I prepare for Pandoracon (with still no idea on how that is going to play out), I am finishing up the loose ends of the Red Widow campaign that I provided in my last post for anyone interested. Again, this is a scripted adventure that plays out in 4 scenes. As part of that, I intended to create 5 pre-gen characters so that people can just sit down and start playing. This got me thinking… would making a bank of pre-gen characters help groups get to playing Reclamation? After all, the first time you sit down to play this game (or any RPG for that matter), the learning curve can often be a bit intimidating.

Character Generation + New Rules + New Setting= AHHHHHHH!!!

Ironically, making characters is one of my favorite parts of the role-playing experience. For a game to be exciting, there has to be more than just an excellent storyline in mind on behalf of the gamemaster; the players MUST be invested in their characters. They have to want their own personal stories to unfold in tandem with the overarching plot of the FateDealer. You get this when the players have taken ownership of their characters, and frankly, that is hard to do when the character has just been handed to you. When I go to conventions, I of course expect pre-generated characters because I don’t want to spend forever making a character–especially if it’s a game I’ve never tried before. Let me just get in there and try it out already!!!

That being said, I have had a few people ask me if I planned to provide pre-gen characters on my site, and when I asked on FB, I got a few responses as well. So for anyone out there reading my little blog, I have a few questions for you:

  1. How far would you want to see a pre-gen character taken? Is it just the core stats and background? Do I give starting inventory? (Obviously if I give someone 60 resource points worth of stuff, that would be weird if you wanted to use the pre-gen for a survival game). Do I choose the Gifts of the Fallout?  ok… that was more than one question… consider it question cluster #1!
  2. What about personal backstory? Should I provide one? If so, how long? I kind of thought maybe a short paragraph for each one, because ultimately, that could be disregarded by the player with a new one introduced altogether.
  3. What others things would you like to see from me in terms of extending the accessibility of Reclamation? A little off topic–I am making these pre-gen characters and I’m providing a few sample adventures to get people started, and of course, I’m trying to ramp up my convention attendance. What would you find helpful? If you’re struggling with the combat system (which is admittedly very different), would cheat sheets or other visual aids help? What about FD campaign sheets where they can fill in information about the story, track monster stats, etc.?

4 responses to “The People Bank… to pre-gen or not to pre-gen

  1. The plan for the adventure I’m writing is to make the full package with Gifts chosen, a short background paragraph, and the whole nine yards. I’m doing this because it’s friendlier to the contrary desire – a player who wants to create their own character and background has the option to throw out a pregen, but a player who comes to the table with nothing (no setting knowledge, no rules knowledge, just a “hey this looked interesting in the event catalog” or “I have a ‘play games all weekend ribbon’ and people seemed to be having fun last slot”) is going to have a really hard time catching up if there isn’t something they can just pick up and play.

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