Another brilliant article was posted at Gnome Stew about the different methods of character creation for campaigns. Personally, our games lean more toward the one outlined as GM Directed Development, which is better than the madness of letting players just come up with whatever they like without regard for the campaign or the rest of the group, but I’ve always found the idea of collaborative character creation to be a lot more interesting.
In this case the group builds the characters together, having input into every aspect of every character. They review what races and classes people are going to play, and as a group select the optimal mix so that the party has everything represented. They then review skill choices together, to make sure that there is someone in the party who has every critical skill (Joe has lock picking, Brian has healing, Carl has arcana…). The process moves on to make sure that feats/powers/spells are coordinated, and in the most extreme case, that equipment selections are done so that there is no duplication, and that everyone is carrying something for the party.
The concerns of sapping creativity are well-founded, and I personally find the concept is better applied to character stories and backgrounds and how the group interacts over raw statistics and abilities. What do you think?
Read the rest at Gnome Stew