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Old 07-01-2019, 05:11 PM
Babydoll Miley Babydoll Miley is offline
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DM Chosen Player

Everything in BoxesSo I've long had a campaign idea that I've never been able to run in any form. I think PbP is probably the best format for the campaign since it's story driven and involves less combat than most.

The main idea I'm exploring is having one of the PCs play a DM made character. I would not reveal the whole character to the PC and part of the play would being figuring out who/what the PC is. Do you think this would work, or are the players going to just be smart enough to figure it out right away and 'ruin' a main plot point of the campaign? Or should I just run it as an NPC, which honestly I think makes the PCs less invested in the character.


Last edited by Babydoll Miley; 07-01-2019 at 05:12 PM.
Old 07-01-2019, 05:42 PM
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Phettberg Phettberg is offline
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I don't know what the twist is, but I would question the need to tie it to a premade character. I don't think everybody would want to play like that, also due to a lack of investment in what somebody else has come up with. An npc that tags along with the group and then finds something about themselves they did not know before might be something nice to witness - but if that's the main part of the story the players might indeed find themselves sidelined quite a bit or lack reasons as to why to run after the important npc.

But there are such twists that can be non specific to who the character is. For example in Baldurs Gate the player character is unknowingly a child of Bhaal, but it does not matter what race, gender, class they are (upbringing was in that game of course predetermined), and actually it doesn't even give them any mechanical benefit. Something like that might be more rewarding for the player in question, solely story based but without restricting the design of the character.

Since you make it sound like this would be a group game I also feel like asking if only one character would have a twist about them. If the answer is yes, then that can also be a problem, because why are the other players extras in the story of the chosen one out of the bunch.

So anyway, without knowing any of the details it still sounds like this is very much your story about some character, which is quite tricky. Sounds like if such a thing would be possible you may have more fun running that character yourself. Many dms can be talked to about secret character backgrounds to introduce during a campaign, that is unless it affects the mechanics in a way that is unbalancing.
Old 07-01-2019, 05:50 PM
Babydoll Miley Babydoll Miley is offline
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Another Cute Box!You make a lot of good points. It would just be one character, so yes they might end up feeling special or the other players not feeling special. The character wouldn't have any mechanical advantage over the other players, but the idea of a PC playing them makes their choices more important.

The story isn't really about this character, though they are a piece of the larger puzzle. I suppose it could randomly be one of the PCs that fills the same role. Hmmm,.. lots to think about on this one.
Old 03-24-2020, 05:05 PM
HansJS HansJS is offline
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"You wake up with Amnesia" and have to figure out who you are, is a strong plot device if done right. I'm not sure if that would require the DM to make the entire character but that would be one way to do it. I think I've seen that done before and I've run something like that (but I didn't make the character).

And "strong plot device", I'd mean it's something that can dominate all the action if you aren't careful. Basically, if you're going to do a "mystery person" plot, I'd imagine you'd want to work out how all the other characters relate to the mystery person (give other characters clues they might not always share, etc).

This kind of thing might also work better on a one-shot or several session rules-lite game than in ongoing campaign, though you could have some other plot twist appear once the character regains some memory.
Old 03-24-2020, 08:25 PM
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I once designed a campaign based on one PC in it finding a magical McGuffin, and it bonding with him. Problem was, a shadowy guild wanted it back, and him dead.

That would have been similar to your idea, where one PC was "featured" a bit more than the others, as the owner of the device and the target of the assassin squads, and his task would have been to complete the magical puzzle and avoid death, by getting allies (other PCs) to help him. I did it this way, because I truly had one player who had been steady and always at the table, and a bunch of others who came and went.

Figured I might as well focus the story on the one guy I knew would always be there, every game night. And as others came and went, their PC's could come in, stick around and enjoy, but if they stopped coming, the game idea continued.

It worked for us, for a while.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:27 PM
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PHIL 490 PHIL 490 is offline
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I like twists to normal playing, and that idea might work, but you would need a dedicated player to do that.
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