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 p
ick 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?