In November 2020 I was unpacking boxes of different Role-Playing books that I had collected over the various years. This was the first time a lot of these books had seen the light of day. I was wondering what I could do to get more use out of these books besides sitting on the shelf, then it dawned on me.
One of the biggest ways that I enjoyed the game when a campaign wasn’t running was to create different player characters for the game. I may never get a chance to use them, but the act of creating the characters was a way to learn about different aspects of the system. I should take a challenge where I create a different character once a day for an entire month.
When should this be done was the next question. Every January people usually challenge themselves to a “New Year, New You” where they try to get into shape, change habits or just eat healthier (i.e. the infamous “New Years Resolutions”). Why not adopt this theme for the Character Creation Challenge and run this event in January. In the Inter-mountain West, January is one of the wintry months with bad travel and extreme cold weather. These combinations usually stuck people indoors. This also led to the conclusion that January would be a perfect month for this event.
So I created the graphic/meme seen at the top of this page and started posting it on different social media sites. I was amazed how a lot of players not only shared the idea stating they wanted to participate, but also offered suggestions to make the event better. The hashtag of #CharacterCreationChallenge was adopted and several questions were answered. I’ll be posting some of them below.
Do I have to make characters for one system or can I do multiple systems? I plan to do a different system each day. Some participants have told me that they will only be using one system or a handful of systems. The final choice is up to the participant.
Where do I post the characters that I’ve created? I plan to post mine on this blog as an entry once per day. Then I can share the blog posts to various message boards and social media platforms. Where you decide to post the new characters will be up to you. Just sharing them with the hashtag of #CharacterCreationChallenge will help other participants to find your entries.
Can I use a character creation app to make my characters? If that is how you have fun creating the character, then go for it. I am planning to use the books and roll the dice for my entries for the challenge.
Do I have to make up the character on the day or can I prep ahead of time? Aspiring authors participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are allowed to prep before the month starts so that when it comes time, they are completing their writing challenge within the time allowed. I am taking this same attitude for my own challenge and I am planning out which games I will be creating on which days. I may write down a few notes before hand (Name, race, concepts, etc.) just as I would before creating a character for a campaign.
An additional challenge could be to created characters for games you have never played or haven’t played in five years. I can see where this would be enticing for some participants. That determination will be made by the people taking the challenge.
How much detail is needed for the characters? Besides generating the stats and equipping the character, I also plan to make sure that enough information is available for the character to start play. For me this includes name, traits and a little bit of a background.
What’s the most important reason to participate in the Character Creation Challenge? To have fun and to share that fun with others.
Let me know where you’ve posted your characters by emailing Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com and I’ll try to include the links in an after-action report. Once the first year is under our belt, we’ll see if we want to try this again in 2022 and if any changes need to be made.
Here are some of the locations where people have been posting their entries into the Character Creation Challenge. I’ve also noticed that the hashtag #CharacterCreationChallenge has pulled up entries on twitter, facebook and instagram.
RPG.net Character Creation Challenge (Message Board- lots of entries)
A Light Ahead (Tumblr Blog)
Alesmiter (Blogspot Blog)
Barking Alien (Blogspot Blog)
Chimerical Realm (Blogspot Blog)
Dynasty Zero (Blogspot Blog)
Flubs and Boons (Blogspot Blog)
Green Sage Library (Blogspot Blog)
Halls of the Nephilim (Blogspot Blog)
Kersus’s Blog (Blog)
RPG Brainstorming (Tumblr Blog)
Rummaging In The Junk Drawer (Blog)
Stone Among the Divine (Blogspot Blog)
The Gnomish Embassy (Blogspot Blog)
The Other Side (Blog)
The Old Dragoon’s Blog (Blogspot Blog)
The Watch House (Blogspot Blog)
Thorr Kan’s Journal (Livejournal)
Traveller (Blogspot Blog)
Traveller Adventures (Blogspot Blog)
V&VRPG Adventures (Blogspot Blog)
See Also: Prepping for the Character Creation Challenge. (Blog Post)