We’ve started up a 4E game. Given that we’re learning a new crunch-based system I was concerned that the characterization could get lost. So I asked each of the players to submit a two-pronged character arc. This consisted of two opposed possible outcomes for their characters as they develop through the course of the campaign. Examples provided were:
Frodo Baggins: find the endurance to serve as the ringbearer, or give in to temptation and despair
Andy Sipocwicz: achieve redemption as a good cop, or allow his demons to consume him
Once the two-way arcs were established, each player was then to select one PC for whom he served as a good influence, and another he pulled toward the negative outcome. In this latter case, the characters didn’t have to be consciously bringing ruin to their comrades. Rather, by pursuing their agendas, they could be unknowingly inching friends toward their dark destines.
The resulting matrix looks like this:
When inserting plot to connect and unify the various killing-them-and-taking-their-stuff sequences, I’ll be looking for ways to hook into these triadic relationships between the characters.