Thursday, September 3, 2015

Steal This: Character Creation Word Jumble

Staring a blank character sheet, a lot of players - myself included - can struggle to come up with a character concept.  


I have found this particularly true with  "new school" story games (like FATE) that allow players to play any character concept they can come up with.  Strangely enough, complete and unlimited freedom - without the traditional constraints of randomly rolled ability scores, or a limited menu of races and classes to choose from - can be overwhelming and even paralyzing for a lot of players.

One tool I've found surprisingly helpful for breaking the ice at character generation is the "Word Jumble" - basically, just a list of random words and concepts that fit the campaign you want to run.  Just pick 2 (or more) concepts, mash them together, sprinkle with your own ideas and creativity, and bam - you've got a character concept.

Below is an example of a "Word Jumble" I put together a couple years ago for a short campaign of Dresden Files I ran.  Some players, of course, needed no help at all coming up with a character concept.  But those who struggled said that this was very helpful for getting their creative juices flowing.

So, without further ado here's my Word Jumble for the Dresden Files campaign.  What do you think?  Helpful?  Would something like this be useful in other games?


The Dresden Files Character 
Word Jumble
(pick 2 or more, and mash them up)

Accountant ● Addicted ● Agent of ● Alchemist ● Army of ● Angel ●Anonymous ● Apprentice ● Aristocrat ● Assassin ● Assistant ● the Angel of Death ● Banshee ● Beauty ● Betrayer of ● Black Court ● Black Court Vampire ● Blue-Blooded ● Blue-Collar ● Bodyguard ● Boggle ● Born Sucker ● Born-Again ● Broke ● Brooding ● Bully ● Burglar ● Businessman ● By Night ● Captain ● Carries a Holy Sword ● Champion of God ● Changeling ● Charlatan ● Church Mouse ● Club Owner ● Clued-In ● Con Man ● Con-Artist ● Cop ● Corporate ● Crime Lord ● Crooked ● Cultist ● Curator ● Dabbler in ● Daughter of ● Dead ● Demon ● Demon-Summoning ● Denarian ● Detective ● Dilettante ● Djinni ● Doctor ● Drafted by ● Drug-Dealer ● Drug-Dealing ● Duelist ● Duergar ● Duergar ● Duke ● Ectomancer ● Einjeriar ● Elemental ● EMT ● Enemy of ● Enforcer ● Escaped ● Ex-Con ● Executioner of ● Exiled ● Faerie ● Father of ● FBI Agent ● Fetch ● Fixer ● Flesh-Eating ● Flunkie ● For Hire ● Forensic Examiner ● Former ● Former ● Frat-Boy ● Free Agent ● Freeholding Lord ● Friendly Neighborhood ● Gangster ● Gargoyle ● Gentleman ● Ghost ●  Ghost-Busting ● Ghoul ● Goblin ● Golden Boy ● Golem ● Goon ● Grad Student ● Guardian ● Guilt-Ridden ● Gun-Toting ● Hag ● Half Demon ● Half-Ogre ● Hatchet Man ● Haunted ● Haunted by Dark Knowledge ● Hedge Wizard ● Hellspawn ● Hexenwulf ● High Class ● Historian ● Hit Man ● Homeless ● Homunculus ● Hostage ● Hot-Headed ● Hydromancer ● Ice Cold ● Immortal ● In Hiding From ● In Training ● Indebted to ● Indiscrete Lover of ● Inexperienced ● Infected ● Infernal ● Information Broker ● Investigator ● Jaded ● Jann ● Journalist ● Kid ● King ● Kingpin ● Kitchen Witch ● Knight ● Knight of the Cross ● La Familia ● Lackey of ● Ladies Man ● Larcenous ● Last Champion of ● Last Disciple of ● Lawyer ● Lieutenant ● Little Brother ● Lovable ● Loyal ● Lycanthrope ● Made Man ● Mafia ● Martial Artist ● Mastermind ● Medieval Knight ● Medicine Man ● Medium ● Mentor to ● Mercenary ● Monster-Hunting ● Mother of ● Mummy ● Muscle for ● Mysterious ● Necromancer ● Nixie ● Noble ● Notorious ● Novice ● of Ferrovax the Dragon (“Mr. Ferro”) ● of House Malvora ● of House Skavis ● of Shadows ● of the Cross ● of the Dead ● of the Downbelow ● of the Major Crimes Unit ● of the Nevernever ● of the Roman Catholic Church ● of the Summer Court ● of the Summer Lady ● of the Summer Queen ● of the Venatori Umbrorum ●of the White Council ● of the Winter Court ● of the Winter Lady ● of the Winter Queen ● Ogre ● Old Money ● Old World ● on Campus ● Overly Credulous ● Paranormal Investigator ● Part Time Student ● Patriarch ● Pawn ● Pixie ● Politician ● Possessed by a Dead God ● Power Mad ● Preacher ● Precognitive ● Priest ● Prince ● Prison Guard ● Private Eye ● Professor ● Psychic ● Pyromancer ● Red Court ● Red Court Vampire ● Reformed ● Reluctant ● Renaissance Fair ● Renfield ● Reporter ● Representative of ● Retired ● Rookie ● Sadistic ● Satanist ● Scion of ● Scrupulous ● Secret Society ● Seen It All ● Senior ● Shaman ● Shape-Shifting ● Shop Teacher ● Sidekick ● Smooth-Talking ● Smuggler ● Son of ● Sorcerer ● Soul-Stealing ● Spell-Slinger ● Spy ● Squire ● Strong-Man ● Spirit ● Succubus ● Summoner ● Supernatural ● Superstitious ● Swordsman ● Sword-Toting ● Sylph ● Teenage ● the Spear of Longinus ● Tattooed ● Thief ● Thrall of ● Toadie of ● Trailer Park ● Trenchcoat Wearing ● Troll-Blooded ● Troubleshooter ● True Believer ● Two-Fisted ● Undead ● Underworld ● Unknowing ● Unwanted Ward ● Valkyrie  ● Vampire ● Vampire Hunter ● Vengeance Seeking ● Vigilante ● Viking ● Vindictive ● War God ● Warden of the White Council ● Warlock ● Warrior ● Wealthy ● Werebear ● Weremouse ● Werewolf ● Wheelman ● White Court ● White Court Vampire ● Voodoo ● Witch ● Wizard ● Working for ● Wyld Fae ● Young ● Zombie ●