Mass character creation can be a bit of a mess and it’s still the only way that I like to do character creation these days. It typically means burning an entire session to get the job done and if done properly results in a group of characters that actually know each other’s capabilities and have some interconnecting elements.
I recently got started on a new game: Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd Edition from The Onyx Path, successor to old White Wolf publishing. This one is designed to be a short campaign from the start since I’m going to having some players leaving the group before too long but I really wanted to try the system out right now.
We ended up with a larger than normal group. Two spirit tracking hunters, two assassins, an all business negotiator, and a spirit shaman. Their pack is set up in northern California so they’ve decided to use a redwood tree for their secret hideout and their pack is organized around a small travel adventure company.
Werewolf is all about group creation and the second edition has added to the existing mechanics of creating a pack of werewolves. In the previous edition the characters formed a pack and created a totem spirit who worked with them. Now they’ve added two layers of sub-characters to the game beyond the werewolves themselves: wolf-blooded and humans. Each layer down has increasingly simplified stats so it isn’t like having to make four full characters were player and the whole excersie creates a network of named individuals whom the pack interacts with through the campaign. The only especially difficult part can come when players start to get overwhelmed with just how many things they need to create or they start to run a little dry on original ideas and interactions. Creating an organic network of relationships is difficult withouth the inclusion of supernatural shapeshifting or magical powers so Werewolf demands alot of it’s players.
Whenever you plan to do a session of group character creation it’s polite to let the players know ahead of time so they can spent some time thinking about what they want to do with their character and how they might be able to relate to others. Farther, be willing to take some time after characters have been created because people will nearly always come up with more stuff after they’ve had some time to sit and think on their concepts.