massivepony
 member, 17 posts
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 16:11
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
Typically an RTJ would include a character proposal, possibly including a whole build, as well as some details on what makes for a good game.

Some games (in this instance PbtA games) are much improved by creating the characters (and some setting details) as a group, and as such the standard RTJ doesn't really apply. What do you/would you include in an RTJ for this sort of game? What do you think would help select players that would be appropriate for the game you're proposing, without necessarily defining anything too specific?
donsr
 member, 2790 posts
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 16:21
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
 As is my wont, i use my games  as a model, needless to say other  successful games  may vary.

  My RTJ comes to me, i contact the player  and  tell them what to expect from the game, and what we, as a community, expect from them. If they are good with the games premise  and  my 'system'. I will have the  fill in parts of a very simple CS, along with thier   Character idea, some tiem that idea  need retooled  or tweaked  to fit the game.

  some player  will send me a character  with a back round and  what  position they wish, and that is  gratefully accepted, it cuts  time  to getting the ready to go.

 If i player is  interested, and depending on what time they have, i like to drop them into the game, so they can hit the  ground running...needless to say, some of the charcter  ideas  might be refused, because they are  not in line  with the game. But it  does speed up thier entrance

 The fastest way to the death of a  game , is letting eager player  rot while  waiting for the CS...as a GM , if i have the Abilities, that should be enough while we work out the rest. If   I, as a GM cannot   work them in without a full CS? i should not be  a GM
Ski-Bird
 subscriber, 222 posts
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 16:31
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
I find that for games that rely upon a collaborative CharGen process [PbtA, FATE, etc] having a GM that succinctly explains the type  of story they are interested in telling goes a long way toward recruiting the right mix of players.

Similarly, instead of finished character concepts, a GM can ask for a concept or theme that the player would like to explore.  This could be in a quick questionnaire format.

It also never hurts to ask someone to briefly explain the last time they have played in a similar game.  The concept they landed on, etc.  How far they took the campaign.  What was the story arc of their character, etc.  Those answers can be very informative regarding how comfortable the potential player is with the system (it has been my experience that folks will sign up for just about any game even if they have very little experience with the system (it's fine for some, but it might require a level of tutoring, hand-holding and rules-explaining that not every GM will feel up to ... it's better to know what sort of headache you might be inheriting if you aren't planning on running a tale for newcomers).
I
Lastly, a writing example from a previous game can be very helpful.  As a GM, I can personally attest to feeling frustrated when after I have accepted a player   I find them to be that 'constant one-liner' sort of player.  The kind that does the absolute bare minimum.  The kind you are always waiting on.  The kind where their posts never really move the story/scene forward in any substantial way.

You can let folks know ahead of time that you would prefer something more than a 1-2 sentence scenery-chewing post ... but it has been my experience that folks usually nod and smile when you just warn them and are only too happy to join a tale and contribute little more than one-liner boringness.  So my way around that is to do slightly more than simply tell them, I usually tell them and also ask them to show me an example of a post they are particularly proud of from a previous game.

tl;dr ... a short conversation with potential players to see if they are the type of player that will fit in well with your tale can go a long way.  Then, after being accepted, the collaborative CharGen can begin.
Davy Jones
 member, 118 posts
 Consulting Theologian
 Veteran
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 17:00
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
1. I disagree with your premise that "collaborative character creation" is objectively "improved," let alone "much improved." Your experience may not be echoed by others'.

2. The answer to your query depends largely on how important collaboration is to creating each character, and where that collaboration begins in the process.

Taking PbtA games as an example, where collaboration begins at the selection of the playbooks, I would have them RTJ with three ranked choices, and include a quick pitch line (or short paragraph) for each. Then, you take the players with the best collective pitches and begin the process there.

Looking at a game like Mongoose Traveller 2nd Ed., where the collaboration aspect comes later in character creation (how characters know each other, package skills), you should be able to do a standard RTJ (including the role they'd like to fill), and pick the ones that work best for your campaign.

Regardless, it's important to ensure the RTJ message includes how you plan to pick the players, so everyone knows what to expect from the start.
jmurrell
 member, 84 posts
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 17:13
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
You can ask them what roles they think the party should have. (And what roles they are interested in).

So for a modern/SF police investigation game if you get:

Forensics and medical specialist
Computer expert and researcher
'Good Cop'; friendly social skills, streetwise and contacts
'Bad Cop': Intimidation and interrogation

And another is:

Former street kid; streetwise, parkour, and criminal/street contacts
Beat cop; the heavy intimidating, big and strong, skilled brawler
Ex-military: weapon and outdoor skills
The rookie; nave, fresh from the Academy, book learned skills

That tells you something about how they see the game.
Waxahachie
 member, 181 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 18:46
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
An RTJ can do many things, so it depends on what you're looking for it to accomplish. Personally, I use an RTJ to ascertain player-game-GM fit. Find out what they're interested in, what type of character they would like to play, and basic details about other things that will contribute to the game (time zones, posting rates, etc.).

Let them know about the collaborative aspect, and give some insight as to what that will mean for the character they play. You want to make sure here that people understand what they're signing up for here.
LaughingKefka
 member, 9 posts
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 19:23
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
There are plenty of real time and asynchronous collaboration tools from classic whiteboards and mindmaps to fancier things. Many of which have free tiers available. You could turn the RTJ itself into a collaborative exercise. An example might be that everyone has to toss up X number of pictures with an attached elevator pitch; the categories might be PC concept, location, and an NPC, and everything submitted after the first has to have at least one tie to something else on the board.

Much like with any other rtj, you can then make your selections from there. I'd recommend setting a time limit on it, and being clear about both what you're looking for, and whether or not items from the application jam are going to appear in the final game or not.

And yes, some people won't want to use a third party tool for the process. To me, that's perfectly okay - that lets me know up front that they wouldn't have been a good fit for what I was looking for to begin with.

TLDR: You don't have to do it the way it's always been done just because that's the way it's always been done.
steelsmiter
 member, 2209 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Wed 1 Mar 2023
at 20:12
RTJs for games with collaborative character creation
massivepony:
Typically an RTJ would include a character proposal, possibly including a whole build, as well as some details on what makes for a good game.

Some games (in this instance PbtA games) are much improved by creating the characters (and some setting details) as a group, and as such the standard RTJ doesn't really apply.

Well, wrote two PBtA games and have so far not had trouble with my standard RTJ process. Characters in both of my games are built using Archetypes inspired by the Class Warfare supplement for Dungeon World (which starts players off with 3 initially). Players pick their starting archetypes, take the starting moves, and Key Item picks and any bonds are chosen before play begins.

quote:
What do you/would you include in an RTJ for this sort of game? What do you think would help select players that would be appropriate for the game you're proposing, without necessarily defining anything too specific?

I usually do a survey that pretty well helps me gauge the patience level of my players. It's usually about how well they fit in English speaking adventure groups, but on rare occasions, the survey includes questions about how they fit in the world. The questions in most cases are intentionally broad. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it particularly well.