Character creation in flashbacks?

I´m starting up a smallish game with a new group tomorrow. This is only the second time that I run it (and aside from that, I have never played) but I am already thinking about ways to make it exciting, to really get into that BitD groove from the get-go.

Then it struck me - a lot of the game sort of encourages a non-linear approach to the timeline, with flashbacks and actions that get put into a specific order only in retrospect. Why not embrace this fully and try for character creation in flashback?

What I am picturing is this: we start off by creating the Crew as normal - type (I will push strongly for Shadows, because the whole heist thing was what was appealing to me in the first place) etc. Possibly Playbooks, but no more details. Then, we will jump right in medias res as the characters, masked, enter the target location for their very first job as a gang.

Follow up by small IC vignettes inbetween which we pick all the normal stuff - Heritage, Backgrounds, put down action dots etc, and finalize the PC:s as part of their intro job.

Do you find this workable? Am I setting myself up for disaster? Any special issues to watch out for?

1 Like

I did something similar to start a campaign of my hack. I had each player create a unique faction from a few prompts that I gave them. For characters, I just had them define a name and a concept based loosely on playbook descriptions.

We started at the end of a heist, where the characters were be pursued in a grand chase. I had a few prompt that I inserted during play, and eventually asked them “what’s in the box” that they stole. Also asked the which faction hired them, who was the target, etc.

I just made up the dice pools on the fly (0-2) and they had stress, but no special abilities. They just had to describe what they wanted to do.

They made full characters for the second session. It was great - and the players have full buy-in to a short story arc to get things rolling (about 5 sessions).

When I do tho next time, I’ll have them start with three stats. Prowess, Insight, and influence (social) and have them ranked 0, 1, 2 dice.


Hey it’s a very nice idea ! I think I’ll propose something similar if I start another campaign.
From the top of my head, I’d only do that with experienced players, that way they already know the background of the game, to make things faster and limit “exposition spouting”.

1 Like

My inclination would be to get everyone to choose playbooks, but leave choosing Actions and special abilities until during play.
That way they get an overarching sense of their characters’ roles in the team, and some action dots, and gear ideas, but they can colour other things in as they go.
I really dig this idea. It makes me think a bit of Grant Howitt’s “One Last Job”.

Yeah - I finally decided against the idea for now since I´d like teh players to be more familiar with BitD before we go there. If everyone is comfortable with jamming ideas, I feel that we´d get better results than if it becomes another stressor early on.

Still wanna do it!