‘Relational Character Design’ is a really clunky title. Despite being based on the tabletop RPG Fiasco, calling this tool a ‘Larp Fiasco‘ would really not be a good idea. In larp never name something after what you borrowed it from. Let me introduce ‘Cabal’.
Cabal is a free tool for RPG and LARP players to generate coherent groups. It is a ‘game’ with two pages of rules, and two pages of tables which are used to create a cohesive set of relationships among members of a fantasy adventuring party. Cabal is played by everyone at the table before rolling up new characters. This framework gives your party a good idea of who they are and how they are connected before the game begins. There are no hard and fast rules here, it’s not a full game, tailor them to suit your campaign.
Most role playing games have a problem inherit to the character design process. They have the individual player create a character alone. As a DM if you are tired of players generating ‘lone wolf’ anti heroes, stop making your players work in a vacuum. If the intent of your game is to have players that work in a group then have the players create a foundation which sets the scene. Whether it’s a crunchy hack & slash, or a storytelling Theater Larp, use some improvisation to build a better party.
Cabal is the character creation mechanics of the tabletop RPG Fiasco put to use for any RPG (Fantasy at the moment, but that could expand) or larp. If you haven’t played Fiasco at this point, you are really missing a great game. At the moment the Cabal Relationships and Needs are built for Fantasy RPG style games. Much like Fiasco and it’s play sets, the concept could expand to many other themes and settings.
There also exist two supplements to Cabal, which will be posted in the future. These supplements are for creating a location and creating the Heraldry of a house. For the larp crowd knowing the layout of their home is probably not as relevant as generating heraldry which could actually be sewn on a banner. For table top players a banner is probably good for inspiration, but not as needed as knowing what their town of origin contains. Each group will find different degrees of usefulness with the supplements, but everyone should find them inspiring.
Use this tool for free, but if you do, send some feedback. Write up a post event report and send it to me via G+. Or tweet me a picture of your group and how you use Cabal. If you think it sucks and you have a good reason to back that feeling up, let me know. And of course if you have suggestions for making the pdf look more professional definitely let me know!