Posts belonging to Category Secondary characters

Prepping Small Groups of Characters

Sometimes you’re going to have a group of characters that are so associated that they might as well serve as one single character; you hardly ever see them apart from each other, and it’s usually either plot-related or a fact about feasibility when you do. Presenting these sorts of groups onstage is a challenge, particularly [...]

Give Bureaucrats a Chance!

One of the things I found myself thinking, when writing about corruption among bureaucrats, is that in many stories and games bureaucrats, desk jockeys and others who live by papers and numbers get the short end of the stick.
We’ve all seen the types. You get the corrupt ones—oh, so many corrupt ones—who are behind everything [...]

Antagonists and the Details That Redeem Them

This was inspired by (and, in fact, supposed to be a comment to, before it turned post-length on me) the recent Hathor Legacy article “Pride and Possession”. In it, Gena responds to seeing a debate on whether or not Mother Gothel might not have been so bad after all (I’ll admit, this concept rather scares [...]

On Differentiating Antagonists

We know all characters need to be differentiated one way or another, but it’s particularly important for antagonists. After all, even in standard fiction, villains drive the story enough that it takes a really spectacular main character to make up for a bad one, and—well, since the protagonist in a game’s been outsourced to the [...]

Group Dynamics: The Character/Relationship Connection

One of the most difficult elements of group dynamics is looking at the connections between characters and other characters’ relationships. After all, it’s not connecting to a tangible thing like another character, it’s doesn’t have the same consistency on the other side of the link as tracking a character’s relationship with the idea of the [...]

Group Dynamics: Five Cool Sources of Character Links

Yesterday, I talked about group dynamics, and how they’re based around several types of connection within a group of characters. Today, I’m going to look more closely on the first and simplest kind of connection, the one that directly connects two characters.
So what sorts of things might connect two characters, either before or after they [...]

Group Dynamics: Three Types of Connections

We often find ourselves creating groups of people who are together for some reason or purpose. Protagonists, antagonists, neutral characters, potential allies, combinations of the above: these groups are all over the place. In order to make them interesting, we can’t just look at them as groups moving in lockstep, nor as sets of individuals [...]


I talked a lot, a long time ago, about how to choose characters’ names. But what about when the character just plain doesn’t have one?
There are a lot of downsides for a character not having a name. For one thing, it makes it harder for the audience to refer to the character quickly (though to [...]

View from the Gallery

Back in January, I proposed an exercise involving writing plot synopses for the story as it would be seen if centered around one of the secondary characters. At the time, I was mostly thinking about it in terms of caring as much about the secondary characters as the lead, but I’ve found another use for [...]

Willing to Talk

One of the advantages I’ve always found of tabletop RPGs as compared to console RPGs is the ability to talk to one’s enemies, whether it’s face to face, by distant proxy, even (perhaps especially) in the middle of a battle. In fact, battle banter is one of the few situations in which I will almost [...]