Thursday, September 23, 2010

Discussion: Origin Stories

Apologies for a Discussion today and not a full post, but today and tomorrow are really busy with school and work stuff for me. Anyhow, how do you feel about Origin Stories being played out in games? Several games, particularly in the old world of darkness, recommended doing a prologue one on one with a player for their first change, or when they were embraced, or otherwise woke up to the supernatural. However, a lot of groups didn't have time to meet up one on one as well as at game, so they'd also be done at session. Something that can leave people bored as they sit there, waiting for their 1 hour out of a 5-6 player session. Granted, time management can help to fix that, but it can still be an issue.

So how about it? Do you prefer to run origin stories at the table? Or just talk it out and have the player write it up for you? Do you do both? For those who have run the origin stories, any stories of epic success to share?


  1. I've never really 'run' an origin story. In my games, players generally make up their background and clear it with me. However, I HAVE run side-sessions with people to explore certain personal stories. But when I have done this, it has not been during 'game time' with the group. I used to indulge players with more 'asides' earlier on in my gaming, but in my group at least that led to some grumbling that a few people were monopolizing all the time at the table. All that having been said, I'm not AGAINST the idea of origin stories. But if I ever did them, I'd probably want to do so prior to the group getting together.

  2. In theory, I would set up an "origin story" so that the other players could participate by playing supporting characters. Of course, this means that either I have to come up with stats for all of those supporting characters (lots of work, even just with NPC skeleton details) or let the other players come up with them (risky, but phenomenal payoff if it all comes together). And it also means that the other players may want to get their own "origin story episode", which means an entirely different set of supporting characters for each of the PCs.
    Still, if nothing else, it provides me with a stable of NPCs and dangling plot threads to inflict on the PCs...