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Defining the relationships and bonds between the player characters of a tabletop role-playing game

2013-07-29 20:04

While I was watching the YouTube video Warhammer 40k Dark Heresy RollPlay, an introduction I heard them talking about defining bonds, or relationships, between the different player characters at the table. Since I thought it sounded really cool, I started to research this topic on the Internet and even a discussion in the #DnD channel in Freenode broke out. Apparently this is a game mechanism which is already used in a few RPGs out there, including the Monster of the Week and the Under World RPG.

Since I have just started to try and become a Game Master for the Pathfinder RPG, I wanted to try and incorporate this into my own group to create some inner-party chaotic relationship conflicts among the players ;-)

So, what I have done is tried to gather, summarize, rewritten and compile a list from my research, a list of different ways two characters could be bonded with each other.

I have actually created two lists:

Rolling on the relationships

Since I have two lists, I will ask each player to make four rolls - two rolls for each list. So for the first list, a player might roll; 1 and 2, and for the second list they might roll 3 and 4 (I just made up these rolls).

Afterwards I will tell them their options (1 and 2 from the first list) and that they have to pick one relationship where their character has influenced another character, and then a second relationship (3 and 4 from the second list) where another character has influenced their own character. The player cannot pick the same character for both relationships, meaning they have to pick two character - one character for each relationship.

I think it is also important that the players acknowledge and honor their newly created relationships, and keep it in mind during the games ahead!

But to be honest, these relationships can be distributed in any way, this is just how I am planning to do for my own group.

List 1: A relationship where your character has influenced another character

  1. You think ___ is not the sharpest tool in the shed and working on enlightening them.

List 2: A relationship where your character has been influenced by another character

  1. ___ thinks you are not the sharpest tool in the shed and is working on enlightening you.

If you have additional cool relationship suggestions, or have any additional comments, feel free to post a comment! :-)

Old comments from Disqus

Chuck777 Friday, September 27, 2013 6:58 AM

Ooooooooo! So using this!

Janick Hertzum, Monday, August 19, 2013 12:06 AM

Nice. My D&D 3.5 group have recently used this table. Good job :)

goldrax, Tuesday, April 7, 2015 1:07 PM

well i am deffinitely gonna suggest my GM if we could use these in the 40K RPG we've got going.