Themed Parties

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

When starting a new campaign, do your groups ever get together and decide on common themes to design your characters by? Either to fit the campaign/setting or just because.

I mean stuff like a team of all Aasimars(Teiflings)/Celestial(Abyssal/Infernal)) Sorcerers/Eldritch Heritaged characters as the descendants of a single Celestial or Fiendish being, or a group of classmates from a magic school, or a party of Kellish/Shoanti Barbarians/Shamans/etc out to make their way in the world from their home village.

So yeah. Has anyone tried this? how well did it work out? Is it your preferred form of playing?

Sovereign Court

My group has been discussing this idea a lot lately. So far we have pretty much made characters based on GM instruction. The AP players guides have helped everyone pick something out to fit the campaign. Frankly, there has been a pretty steep decline IMO of the usefulness of the AP players guides. That is what has us reevaluating our party creation process.

We are considering trying out a bring three method. Each player brings three characters they would like to play. The group will vote on choices. In any event, we will be spending most likely the entire first session on character creation. That is something we have avoided in the past. I look forward to trying it out.

From my experience, it depends on what the GM has planned.

If he had in mind to do a pirate campaign, having a team of dwarves specialized in exploring caves might be problematic. Talk to him or her to know what is planned for the campaign. If you have a character concept or team theme, that might spark some campaign ideas.

I have a theme camapaign that I am preparing for my players. They are all the sons of diffent Demon Lords whose mother is a famous crone (Iggwilv). They wake up with an arrows in their chest pinned to a tree. They use to be mythic warriors of chaos and evil, but the trees drained them of their power (so they are level 1 now) and purified them of their evil (they are neutral). Basically they get a chance to make different choises (or make the same), find some of their personal relics to regain some power, and meet old allies and enemies (they also forgot a lot so they do not know who to trust, who is who, etc).

A good theme we had was me playing a prince, another player my bodyguard and the three other players played people from the enemy nation. We were all teleported on another plane during the culminating battle between our nations. This was session 1. We had to overcome our differences to go back to our respective nations (and try to make peace, but when we came back, things were as we expected). Pretty cool, but that was all planned by the GM. He pretty much chose our backgrounds. That worked for us, but it might not be for everyone.

I DMed Legacy of Fire with a party who were all part of a band. They didn't get much opportunity to perform as a band, but when they did we all had lots of fun roleplaying.

I gave each character some free skill points to put in a Perfom skill of their choice.

Nope, always "I'm gonna play this, well I'm gonna play that..." next week it's "I changed my mind..." Fortunately, we plan ahead. :)

It really depends on players and game fluff. I ran a campaign recently with my stated theme as "dark fairy tales"; one of the players created a pair of PCs with the last name Grimm and this sparked the creation of a hunter's organization the PCs all began as a part of.

On the other hand my current campaign is composed of people who are all new to one another. Since no one knew each other ahead of time no one wanted to coordinate character gen so we ended up with 4 distinct PCs.

Personally when I was a player (back when dirt was new) I liked making themed parties around famous parties from great comic books. I've run fantasy versions of the 80's x-men, the Avengers, the 3 Musketeers, etc.

I like to build whatever i feel like, so I don't like themed parties from either side of the GM screen. Of course i will be willing to put up with a few constraints imposed by the campaign setting or theme, i'm not going to make a heavily armored cavalier in a pirate campaign, or an android artificer in a stone age campaign world.

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I love themed parties!

I find that, with something to tie a party together, campaigns tend to make more sense, last longer, and even be more fun.

Liberty's Edge

My players never really seem to do thins beyond maybe two players inking their characters, such as the good twin/evil twin thing that cropped up in my Shackled City game. In the future however, I think I will start encouraging this and wish I had thought of it before I began Reign of Winter.

We're starting a tengu game.

Okay i do have to admit a few player race themes i would totally go along with, like the just now mentioned tengu party, or a goblin party.

Or a party where everyone is allowed to pick any intelligent monster up to a certain CR and add class levels to it until everyone is equal CR.

Here are some of the kinds of things I've seen parties built around.

History - Everyone is from the same town, extended family, guild, neighborhood, etc.

Environment - Everyone is geared for wilderness, cities, underground, desert, the high seas, etc.

Cause - Everyone serves the same god, king, patron, political faction, etc.

Strategy - Everyone has stealth, a mount, darkvision, or some other reason why these characters work better with each other than with a randomly assembled party.

Race - Everyone is the same race, or from a subset of similar races. (An old group of mine once had an all-shorty campaign. We were all gnomes, halflings, and dwarves.)

Liberty's Edge

I like the idea although in my case getting 10 people to agree is a bit of a challenge. Also the players I work with develop pretty indepth background stories and its fun to roleplay when some of these dark secrets are revealed.

I think Bluelucks suggestion of everyone serving the same King or Queen could work. This still leaves plenty of latitude for character builds.

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