Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Character Generation Project: Ghostbusters International

Those of you who are new to the blog can find an overview of what's the Character Generation Project is all about here. Stephanie's overview of her normal approach to character generation is found here.

For this character, we did things a little bit differently. See, I received Ghostbusters International as  a Christmas Present this year, and immediately decided that I needed to do a one-shot.

Since I'm planning to do a one-shot of the game, I sent instructions to the group on how to make a character. I didn't tell them what the game was, however, other than it was "urban fantasy/horror with a comical touch." I was curious what I would wind up with - and the group did not disappoint.

Stephanie was the only one who knew what game these characters were being made for.

No-one (including Stephanie) was given a skill list. Skills in this game are called "Talents."

Ghostbusters International
Click on the sheet to see it (larger) on Flickr.
Which game is this for?
Ghostbusters International

How long did it take you to generate the character?
Maybe half an hour

What was your character concept going into generation?
A fame-hungry Kaylee from Firefly 

Did you feel like character generation captured the flavor of the setting? 

How much control did you feel like you had during character generation? 
Quite a bit

Did the game help you make the character you wanted, or did it feel like you were fighting the game?
It was very open, so I felt that I was able to make just about anything I wanted.

Do you like the character you ended up with?

Do you think your character fits your concept?

Do you feel like your character would be effective and/or useful in a game?
I think so - she’s not much of a fighter, but she’ll keep your car running and can probably plan pretty well. 

Was there anything in particular that you struggled with mechanically? 
Not really - I had more trouble coming up with the talents, because they were open to just about anything. 

Did anything run more smoothly than you had expected? 
I didn’t expect it to go so quickly.

What changes would you have made to the character generation process? 

Did anything leap out at you as obviously broken or unbalanced?
It would depend on how the GM would allow people to use the talents they came up with, because it’s possible to make some vague talents that could be broken if the player pushed it.

What led you to choose this game as the next one to make a character for? 
We want to do a one-shot of this game soon.

How would you compare your experience with this game to your experience with other games?
It was very easy.

Is this a character you would be willing to play in a campaign? 

Does this character make you want to play this game?
I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Have you given any thought to what game you'd like to do next? 
Not yet.


The complete list of Talents I received from players was pretty good.  Here are the Talents which the other players came up with:

  • Something Doesn't Add Up Here
  • Me? I'm Indestructible
  • Run Away!
  • Dressed for the Occasion
  • Intuitive Leaps
  • Impenetrable Immune System
  • Fast Reflexes
  • Unflappable
  • Good At Remembering Names and Faces
  • Stronger Than He Looks
  • Quicker than Shit
  • Fades Into The Background
It's got me looking forward to the one-shot ...

Which reminds me: I have more handout material to work on.


  1. So how did it go? Or have you yet to run the adventure?

    I think that list of Talents is officially Better Than What's in the Book (tm). It's my working theory that, when given unbridled opportunities for creativity, a group of players will invariably come up with something to equal or exceed anything the designers of a game could ever achieve alone. I think your list there pretty much proves it.

    Amongst the gems my own players have come up with for Talents are "Hang On for Dear Life", "Jump the Shark" and "What Explosion?!"

    1. I haven't run it, yet. We were trying to schedule, and then my wife and I bought a house, and now we're prepping for GenCon ...

      After GenCon, one of my priorities will be Finding The Box With GBI So I Can Run That One-Shot.