Next Contestant (Ideas for Second Characters)

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Sometimes character’s die. And sometimes that character is yours. Often when a character is lost in an ongoing game there is a lull of downtime, a disjoin of purpose, and otherwise a disruption of play. A solid idea of where you next character is from and why it is joining a campaign can swiftly get the game back in action and suffer less damage to the engagement of the group or any one player.

Ideas for the Character Que

When readying a potential follow-up character a solid concept of the replacement and the reasons behind it. Make sure your GM isn’t already ready for such contingency plans.

  • Friendly Rival – The replacement could be a possible rival of a character (the deceased or more likely living survivor) who is “here to help” in the time of need.
  • Distant (or not so ) Relation – A staple of classical literature and myth is the relation who arrives too late only to find the heroic tasks that remain unfinished of the deceased are now the best way to honor that person’s memory.
  • Student – More common in mid-level games, the character who arrives hoping to study from another party member (possibly the deceased) can make a great new addition to the party. Remarks about the others reputation from hearsay or inaccurate re-tellings of deeds done can be used to add levity to an otherwise awkward transition.
  • Friend of the Family – One of the nice things about the family friend option is that it is possible to easily tie the character to more than one of party members. A friend who group up in the same village as one party member may well have the same mentor as another.
  • Messenger – Sometimes a fun replacement is the messenger who was too late to delivery news to the departed. If the message, now meant for now one specific is compelling enough, the messenger may stay on to see it though.

Having a good idea of where your next character is coming from and its potential connection to the existing party members is key to having easier transitions with character mortality. Consider building common ground early on and make the new character faster to connect with as a player and a party.

Need new options for new characters? See our other products at: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.

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