Yesterday was our fearless leader and my other half, Ian’s, 30th birthday! To celebrate, we had a couple of our friends over and I DMed a game of “Dead House: Watchers of the Night”. Since it was Ian’s birthday, I decided to do a stand-alone mission based off of a topic of interest to him: the assassins.
Now I will be the first person to admit I don’t know much about assassins historically speaking, so this choice gave me the opportunity to do a lot of research on the assassin order: where it was founded, who founded it, the modern day area, and so on. It was a lot of fun using the real history of the assassin order and then adding on to it to make a mission that would be something we would see in the “Dead House” universe. To me, this is one of the most fun ways to make missions; by taking something historically true and making it your own!
As the mission started up, we had some new characters that had to be introduced and brought into the action. We have quite a few humans in this mission, which doesn’t usually happen. We had 5 players: an immortal time-displaced samurai, an Egyptian ailuranthrope (cat-form therianthrope), a Fae-touched human, a human former spec-ops agent, and a human shinobi (with a penchant for explosives and void magic). As I watched the players interact, it occurred to me something that seems obvious on the surface: CHARACTER CREATION IS A BIG THING!
A lot goes in to character creation, but there is definitely more to it than meets the eye. Character creation is way more than just filling in the blanks on a character sheet with some information from the game book and choosing a name. All of the players listed above had backgrounds for their characters, and these backgrounds really can make or break the character. Backgrounds can take your character from flat to multidimensional, and I really seemed to feel the difference with the player party I had yesterday. A good example was when the immortal samurai was given an op-sat (a communication device which is a handset similar to a cellular phone, but can also be linked to an ear piece for hands’ free communications) yet he had no idea how to use it, so the shinobi helped him out by changing the settings to function in Japanese.
Background can be a game changer when it comes to how your character reacts in certain situations, too. Say you have a lycanthrope character who can’t stand ailuranthropes due to some problems she had with a rival pack in the past, and a Seelie Fae who thinks therianthropes are all awesome. The lycanthrope and the Fae would act like polar opposites when it comes to dealing with an ailuranthrope NPC, or player character for that matter.
A little extra forethought about who your character was before they were brought into the mission and what that means for them as a person can add depth to the game, and make it more fun for everyone involved! Yesterday’s game was a big success and everyone had a lot of fun, so that is a win for sure 🙂