Why are you together as a party? “Why am I with these guy again?” While some hard jawed folk will fall in with people they don’t know if there’s coin in it, not all characters would be so comfortable joining utter strangers! So what if that random wizard you met in the evil ruins, right after you were attacked by the last guy you met, was someone you’d actually run into before? It’d make sense to pull together with someone you can find a bit of trust in. And just conveniently, that wizard or fighter or druid or whatever is another PC! Link everyone together with the handy following chart! They’ll have a history where to some small degree they have crossed paths before and sort of know of each other already.
This can be used to good effect with the PC mid dungeon introduction chart I published previously!
How to use this: Write down the names of the PC’s. Now take the first name on the list and get the player to roll 1D20 on the chart. With the description, where the text refers to the other PC, that’s the next PC on the list! Then roll for the next PC in the same way, linking them to the next PC on the list. When you get to the end of the list, roll for a link between the last PC and the first PC! Done!
If you’re meeting a new PC in the middle of the dungeon: Just roll randomly to pick one or two current party members, then have their player roll 1D20 on the chart to find their connection to the new PC! It’s that quick!
If you want to have an even more interconnected group, write out the list of PC names again with a number next to each name. Then go through the first list of PCs one by one and have the player roll randomly for which second connection they have on the second list. Draw links from one list to the next to show the connections (hey, it’s a relationship map!). If a PC rolls their own name, roll again of course. With this process one PC might be known by several other PC’s, or there might be a spread. This livens up the social connections!
Now your PCs have a connection with the other PC, and they will be connected to those the second PC has a connection to and so on! Until one of them knows Kevin Bacon! Now you’ve got more of an idea of who you are to each other!
Good luck in finding out how you already know a little bit about each other!
- The mark – In the past the two PC’s both felt drawn to a piece of equipment with a strange symbol on it, that they bought or took specifically from loot. Now they find each other with the same symbol on a piece of their gear. What could it mean?
- Shiner! Once the PC was in a tavern brawl and got into a bit of a situation. Someone helped them to get out, but in the chaos they never saw them again. Until today – the other PC was the stranger who helped them!
- Clerk – For a time the other PC worked in a general store and have seen the first PC coming in to buy supplies, but never got a chance to speak to them. The other PC paid his debts and never caused a problem at the store. Seems pretty upstanding that way!
- Riding hard! The two PC’s had passed by each other on the road, both spurring their horses into a gallop with little time to see each other except as a glimpse, as they were going in opposite directions. But they both instantly recognised each other adventurers! They just thought they’d never see the other after that.
- Stable – One of the PC’s was in a different party at the time or working at the stable, but because of hard times or an overbooked inn and no other options, you both slept in the stables. Perhaps the other PC with their party, passed over a few drinks at the time as they drank and talked and the first PC joined them for part of the night, before you parted ways the next day.
- Miss order – Awhile back the barkeep brought your meal to the wrong patron – the other PC, sat mysteriously by the fireplace, was good enough to correct the barkeep and bring your meal to you. You passed each other a nod or a wave but went back to your own affairs. Now you’ve found yourself forming a party with each other.
- Gossip – You pick up a lot of gossip in a tavern. You’d heard about the other PC and some of their exploits. And sure enough they’d heard some gossip about you. But you’d only knew each other by rumour and having met now, you’re just starting to piece together that this other fellow is the one you’ve heard of before!
- Dealers description – You had an artifact that you found a dealer for and you’d wanted to make sure the buyer had the ware with alls to pay for it, questioning the dealer carefully. As had the buyer questioned the dealer about you, who wanted to be sure he was getting what he was paid for. Now it’s starting to become clear the first PC was the seller and the other PC was the buyer! You sort of know each other by the dealers descriptions, but that’s not the whole picture!
- On the cards – You’ve played a few games of cards to while away a storm during the night and you recognise the other PC is a fellow card player from the past, who exposed a cheat at the game one time! There were many a player at the table though, dropping in and out and surely you both left the game at some point and didn’t see each other again until now.
- Showman – at a village festival the other PC put on quite a show or spectacle during it. They don’t know the first PC, but the other PC got quite a special nick name for them selves during that festival and the first PC knows it!
- Walked into a bar – He’s a gruff barman, seen his share of fights and has looked out for your PC, but has put in a good word for the other PC. If he can pass by a barman’s evaluation, he might not be all bad!
- The kid – The orphan lad who does odd jobs around town passed on some news, in exchange for a crust of bread, that a reliable adventurer is about – and that adventurer is the other PC! The kids usually in the know.
- Roof work – somehow you were both on the rooftops at the same time, headed in entirely different ways and conducting entirely legitimate business! You both kept a wary eye on each other as you raced on, but it seems you both understand the same sort of business as each other!
- A snorer – you’d caught a ride on a wagon, but there’d been this other fellow there who was asleep and snoring the whole way. You went to wake him up, but the driver said to let him be, he was a good sort who’d gotten him out of a tight jam once. This is the other PC, of course!
- Rousing fire – Somehow a local building got on fire and along with the locals you were impelled to help try and put it out. There was another figure there who put in some effort to help put out the blaze and it seems now you’ve run into them again as that’s the other PC.
- Laundry day – Sometimes leather just gets a bit of a whiff to it? Or whatever armour you use – even robes and loincloths (especially loincloths!) can get pretty rank. So you got a washerman to clean them for you (what’s the point of clearing dungeons if you’re going to clean your own bloodstains?) – but when you went to pick them up you got the wrong clothes! You took them back and the washerman was really abashed and thanked you profusely – he thought he’d brought shame on his profession because they were the clothes of a great adventurer, or so he kept describing this other fellows deeds. Now you recognise some of the clothes – the other PC is wearing them!
- Enemy of my enemy – One day at the tavern a bunch of reputed bandits stormed in, demanding to know where a particular fellow was – some kind of adventurer, they called him out by name. Seemed he’d crossed them and really made them mad. Must be something to this guy if a bunch of bad guys don’t like him. Turns out the you’ve heard that name again – it’s the other PC!
- Axle – As you travelled, you saw ahead a farmers cart had broken an axle on the road. Someone had stopped by and was already helping, they all insisted they were fine so you travelled on. Now it seems you’ve again met the samaritan that was helping the farmer that day and they are the other PC!
- A cowardly lot – You’d walked into a tavern once and a bunch of ruffians looked askance at you. Or more exactly the weapon at your side. For a moment they thought you were someone else, because of the particular styling of your weapon. Now you’ve met another adventurer who carries the same sort of weapon with the same styling – the other PC is the area and they seem the sort who give ruffians trouble?
- A good word – One of your contacts has said they were told to put in a good word for the other PC, but the contact wont say who told them. Usually the contact is reliable – perhaps some benevolent force is trying to assemble a team. Happens sometimes. Though why they remain a hidden benevolent force is a mystery. Either way, it’d be good to keep an eye on this other PC!