Posts belonging to Category Secondary characters

Reprise: Secondary Character Exercise: Someone Else’s Story

Originally posted January 27, 2010.
One of the biggest problems people often see with secondary characters is when their creator doesn’t take much of an interest in them. I’m not saying they suddenly need to steal the story, but it helps to spend a little time in their heads, make them more than [...]

Your Secondary CAN Be “Not Awesome Enough”

It’s a natural thing for a creator to worry about the secondary characters stealing too much of the spotlight. It’s happened in fiction of all stripes, particularly when the main character is left fuzzy for audience insertion purposes; it’s a common risk in RPGs, and likely to end with a bunch of very annoyed players. [...]

Rival Searchers: Alliances

One of the things I find most fascinating about having multiple rival searchers in a search plotline is the strange bedfellows it creates. If you’ve got more than three or four different parties trying to get the same thing, there are bound to be alliances, people working together—at least for now—to increase their chances. What [...]

Rival Searchers

It may not have been the first search plotline factor I mentioned, but the possibility of rival searchers, along with being a sure source of tension, is one of the most complicated potential elements of a search plotline. Each rival searcher only adds to the complexity.
How many are there? If you’re going for a straightforward [...]

Learning from Video Games: Zelda and the Art of the Game Shepherd

Yesterday, I wrote about the game shepherd NPC. What got me thinking about that character type (or at least, what got me thinking this time) was that one feature that all of the 3D Zelda titles share—their local equivalent of the game shepherd, someone to look over Link’s shoulder and tell him about things that [...]

The Dangers of the Game Shepherd NPC

One of the things we’ve learned pretty quickly about introducing a player or group to a world they’ve never played in before is that they might not really know what the place is like. Not everyone reads the setting info cover to cover, after all. This is usually where we bring in the Game Shepherd [...]

Reprise: For Side Characters to Live

Originally posted on October 8, 2008, because worlds that obviously revolve around their protagonists are dead boring.
The secondary character exists when you’re not looking at her.
That should be pretty self-explanatory, but it’s easy for people to forget that. In stories, you have characters that for some reason are always there, always available, always [...]

Semi-Generic Characters and How To Reuse Them

Every now and then, you just need a character(s) from a certain group. Such and such a cult. Such and such a location. Such and such an army. The personalities don’t matter as much, just as long as the characters have the appropriate background and will deal with the group in a certain way. Sure, [...]

Cute Things!

One of the interesting things I found about my game was if in doubt, I could generally stall for a game by introducing a cute thing. Small and fluffy, childlike, prone to noises that could’ve been speech if it’d had the intelligence to support it—it really didn’t matter. It’s a recognized pattern, I think—or at [...]

Prepping Character Groups: Role Play

Yesterday, I talked about some of the elements for creating groups of characters that could also function as one somewhat complicated character role-wise. One of the points I touched on was the idea of each character’s role in the group, and how these roles can be used to ensure that the characters aren’t misplaced (unless [...]