A Family Affair:
Character Info

Writing a Character      |      Character Descriptions

Writing a character

The many plots of A Family Affair will be based entirely on the characters submitted by players. As such, the more material you can send in the better! Eventually, each players should expect to receive back many pages of background material detailing his character's personality, history, worldly resources, knowledge, and relations with the other characters.

In order to assist you in creating a fully fleshed-out character who can fit into a variety of plots, please use the attached character quiz. Be sure to separate all character info into "public" and "private". The public information will be published on the game's web site and eventually listed on almost all character sheets. Private information will be known (initially) only by yourself and perhaps a few others. Players are encouraged to develop characters with links to each other, and may revise their characters as new ones come in. Remember, almost everyone at this party knows each other and has a long history of contact and relations.

Initial character submissions (at least a name and short description) are due by August 8. Full submissions will be due on September 12. Completed character sheets will be distributed to players at least one week before the game.

Character Quiz

1) What is your relation to Michael Cavanaugh? Did he invite you to his birthday party out of friendship, duty, or some unlterior motives/reasons?

2) What is your position in the world? Describe your financial resources, business holdings, political offices, or other areas of influence, if any.

3) What major aspects of your life do you wish to improve? Do you wish to gain money, power, skill, love, friendship, respect, revenge, or personal growth?

4) What, if anything, do you want to change about the world at large? Do you believe in some cause, a code of ethics, or are you simply out for number one?

5) Name at least three secrets about yourself that would be embarrassing or damaging if they were publicly revealed.

6) Name at least one secret you know about another character that would be embarrassing or damaging if it were publicly revealed. (This secret need not be something the other character knows himself!)

7) Name at least one favor that another character has performed for you. Name at least one favor that you have performed for another character. How important is it to you to repay or collect on such debts?

8) What is your relationship with each of the other characters? Friendship? Hatred? Indifference? Uneasy alliance? Friendly rivalry? Respect? Dependence? Give details!

9) List at least six goals that you hope to achieve this evening. A long list of examples follows.

Economic Goals
Convince character A to call off your gambling debts.
Convince someone to invest $1 million in your latest project.
Business Goals
Convince character B to recommend you for a seat on the board of his company.
Destroy the reputation of character C so you can take her job.
Political Goals
Convince characters D and E to support your election as mayor of Long Beach.
Destroy the credibility of character F, who has always opposed your policies.
Criminal Goals
Bribe judge G to dismiss the case against your partners.
Convince crime lord H to switch his loyalty from his current boss to you.
Romance Goals
Convince character I to break her engagement to character J and marry you.
Have sex with character K without letting your spouse find out.
Personal Goals
Be better at all things than your rival, character L.
Support the goals of your old friend, character M.
Ideological Goals
Support the long-term goals of your chosen political party or religion.
Convince Hollywood producer N to make more science fiction movies.

The following questions are less plot related but provide "character material" which will enrich your characterizations.

10) This is a birthday party, so what, if anything, are you bringing as a gift?

11) Describe one or more jokes or amusing anecdotes that you've recently heard and would likely share with other people.

12) Describe an "interesting" incident that happened to you in the last week. Did you buy something new? Start up a new project at work? Almost get in an auto accident? See a good/bad movie? Have a mild cold?

13) Have you been following the news recently? Are there any events that are of interest to you, or on which you have a strong opinion? Remember, this game takes place in the modern day, so your character is likely to have an opinion on the Lewinski affair, the gubernatorial debates, the Russian financial crisis, the weather, recent movies and TV shows, the pros and cons of Microsoft, the new '99 car models, etc, etc.

updated 9/8/98