Meeting a new cast of characters…

2008 October 13
by Dante

This week was my first week at my new job in Colorado, however we are not entirely moved out there yet. Most of this week was steeped in the pleasantries of meeting new teammates, managers, and hangers-on and it offered me a unique opportunity to reflect on how these interactions play out both in real life and in roleplaying.

First impressions matter.

The words you choose to introduce characters to one another can really influence the dynamic of their first interaction. If a given character selected slightly more threatening words or a passive tone of aggression, they might be welcomed differently than they would if the person was overtly friendly.

I found that in my (boring ol’) Real Life, the experience I have in roleplaying really helps me identify when my impressions are getting colored by the words people choose and the tone that they take with me. This doesn’t prevent me from making my first impression, it just helps to give a little additional perspective.

You can’t underestimate that ‘click’.

As I began interacting with my new work team, a few people instantly ‘clicked’ with me. The intangible connection that you feel with some like-minded people can really go a long way if you don’t resist it in your roleplaying games. Some good advice I can give to prevent artifical damaging of those inherent connections is not to typecast your NPCs.

Let them have shades of grey and personality quirks that will endear them with the players. Capitalize on those connections as they occur and don’t resist them just because you had a certain idea in your head when you made that character. Let them grow and evolve just like player characters and they will serve your storytelling much better than the alternative railroaded NPC.

The main takeaway from this discussion is to let characters be characters, regardless of who is running them. Let their interactions and first impressions occur, and then evolve as the characters grow. You’ll end up forging some strong character relationships that will serve you all throughout your campaign!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Todd Bradley permalink
    October 13, 2008

    Where in Colorado are you working and living? I live in Broomfield, north of Denver.

    (sorry if this comment gets posted more than once – Google is being weird)

  2. Gorthmog permalink
    October 13, 2008

    Welcome to Colorado! I’m in Louisville, just SE of Boulder. There’s a decent number of gaming stores, especially in Boulder and Denver.

  3. Stupid Ranger permalink
    October 13, 2008

    We’re moving to Westminster, and from my limited driving experience, I at least know kinda where you both are.

    Hope you don’t mind a few new, crazy neighbors! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS