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Fill In The Gap

Shades of an Individual

by Matt Turnbull
Sep 28,2005

 

Introduction

Welcome to Fill in The Gap, a column devoted to individual, "one-off" scenarios, that any GM can run for his/her group.

This month's scenario is late. And I'm sorry. Instead of a short role-playing scenario, today's column details a role-playing exercise designed to get your players in the mood to dramatically participate. It only takes about thirty minutes to run, but can be pretty satisfying if you've got a group focused on the more dramatic aspects of role-playing specifically.

If you need to know more about the FITG(Fill in The Gap) system/column, please check out the first (and second) of these monthly columns. Without further ado, I bring you today's scenario:

Shades of an Individual

Shades of an Individual is a role-playing exercise for five players.

As always, if it's a possibility that this scenario will be run for you by YOUR GM, then read no further for fear of spoilage.

The Premise

In Shades of an Individual, the players each represent individuals who have something in common with each other, but have all lost their memory. The goal of the game is for the players to as a group figure out what group they belong to. It's played by each player first receiving a card, with a list of character traits and lingering emotions towards the other characters that define aspects of who they are. 5 minutes of conversation between the 5 amnesiacs occur, each player attempting to convey the personality of their character by conversing with each other In Character. This is followed by 1 minute of conversation between the players Out of Character.

During the one minute of free out of character discussion, many things are discussed, as monitored by the GM. People are during this discussion not allowed to mention or discuss their own character's traits, but can discuss other character's traits at will. The GM has to be pretty attentive during this part. Player's should not be allowed to either confirm or deny any noticed traits about themselves by the other players.

When this has been done, the players have a chance to posit 1 theory as to who they are to the GM. If they get it, great! If not, the game continues. The Gm at this point gives a hint to the players. The first hint is usually obscure, but it gets more meaty each time the players fail to guess. Each hint can be treated as in character knowledge by the players, to be used to try to better portray their character's personality.

In the Characters section, there are two groups complete with character descriptions and hints that work well for this game. Feel free to extrapolate more of your own.

It is recommended that the GM who runs this game takes the time to make sure everyone in the group of players will be aware of who their characters are. If everyone's a character from some obscure 18th century novel none of the players have read, they're never going to get it.

The Characters

One group of interesting characters, is the Greek Gods and Goddesses.

Player 1 is Zeus. He's male, and his character traits are loving, fatherly, strong, gruff, has grudging respect for player 4, love for the other characters, is world-weary, and somewhat lusty.

Player 2 is Aphrodite. She's female, and her traits are flirtatious, sensual, proud, haughty, vain, arrogant, treats all of the male characters as suitors, and the female characters as competition!

Player 3 is Hephaestus. He's male, as well as ugly, gnarled, old, kind, intelligent, calm, madly in love with Player 2.

Player 4 is Hera. She's female, proud, tough, matronly, cunning, disdainful of men, caring of Player 3, a feminist, and has grudging respect for player 1.

Player 5 is Hades. He's reclusive, morbid, sad, lonely, cruel, and has a general indifference to the other characters.

Hints

Hint 1 : The characters all work together.

Hint 2 : Their line of work is EXTREMELY prestigious.

Hint 3 : All of the players are related by blood.

Hint 4 : They all have supernatural powers.

Hint 5 : They're mythic figures.

Hint 6 : They're Gods and Goddesses.

Another group of interesting characters, is the characters from the sitcom Friends (minus Ross.)

Player 1 is Rachel. She's a women who is vain, kind, funny, interested in clothing, loves all the other characters, and is kind of ditzy.

Player 2 is Monica. She's a women who is shrill, clean, funny, a little pompous, a little arrogant, obsessive, cares about self-improvement and helping others improve. She's also cares alot about the other characters.

Player 3 is Phoebe. She's a women who is flaky, strange, spiritual, musical, funny, an animal lover, and a dreamer. She cares about all of the other characters as well.

Player 4 is Joey. He a man who is kind of dumb, loves eating and sex with women, finds the other women all attractive but considers them too close to hit on, is proud of his heritage, and has a deep commitment to the other characters who he cares about.

Player 5 is Chandler. He's neurotic, possessed of mannerisms, comes from a broken home, uses humor as a defense mechanism, is very funny, and cares very much about the other characters.

Hints

Hint 1 : Players 2 and 5 are married.

Hint 2 : Characters 4 and 5 used to live together.

Hint 3 : Characters 1 and 2 used to live together.

Hint 4 : Characters 4+5 and 1+2 were neighbors.

Hint 5 : The Characters are all very close Friends.

Hint 6 : The Characters often all drink coffee together.

The Theme

This game's purpose is to practice role-playing, and picking up on clues given in a dramatic fashion. Important skills for many RPGs.

The End

Let me know what you thought of this scenario by E-mailing me at Msturnbull@comcast.net

See you next month!

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