On the off-chance you forgot, Arcane Archer is more than a cute fox boy. He is a kitsune, and that means he’s got access to the fox shape racial feat. Now scooping up field mice and boppin’ ’em on the head is not what you’d call a conventional first date, but I think it’s the sort of thing that a pair of shapeshifters could bond over. It’s also a good example of finding common ground between PCs.

Over the course of your roleplaying career, you won’t always have access to a full-fledged Session Zero. Intertwining character backstories are a luxury, and in-depth planning won’t show up in every game. If you’re sitting in on a one-shot at a con, guest starring in a long-running campaign, or playing BESM, you’re going to wind up with some wildly disparate PCs. Figuring out the connections between a half-dragon gnome monk with a Ruby Rhod personality and a blatant ripoff of Optimus Prime isn’t easy. It is, however, a skill worth developing. 

In lieu of today’s discussion question, what do you say to a little character workshop? First, describe your favorite PC. Next, tell us about the party member you’ve got the least in common with. Finally, invent at least one new way to develop their relationship. For example: 

  1. A flamboyant martial artist with a gift for gab, half-dragon-gnome-monk-Ruby-Rhod is his own best hype man. Unfortunately, his diminutive size means he isn’t half as intimidating as he thinks. 
  2. Totally-Not-Optimus-Prime is an honorable warforged paladin. His player mostly presents him as a strong silent type, but he does like to make the occasional speech about teamwork.
  3. As it turns out, it’s easier to talk a big game when you’ve got a badass metal man in your entourage. Ruby treats Optimus like his personal bodyguard, leaving the long-suffering warforged to talk his way out of fights he didn’t pick. 

Of course, this is the sort of thing you’ll want to hash out with your fellow player before implementing it in-game. But the larger point is that it’s always possible to find connections between characters, even when they seem to have nothing in common. In fact, that’s when it’s most necessary. 

So now I put the challenge to you. How would you forge a stronger relationship between your favorite PC and a dissimilar teammate? Let’s hear your best brainstorming down in the comments!


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