So a player wants to play a different kind of character for a while, so they’re making a new one. This is totally fine by me but I’ve been thinking about some things that are inevitably going to come up.
So if we devil’s advocate this stuff and go to the worst possible case: every player makes two characters (at least) and they all use them all the time. This will ofc break the economy of the game a whole lot, and remove any limitations the crew might have.
Not ideal, so I know I probably don’t want them to play multiple characters at the same time.
We’re playing Glow in the Dark, so fictionally the other character is going to be around, they don’t just disappear into the city whenever they aren’t working for the crew.
Downtime abilities like “A Little Something on the Side” and Calculating, as well as the two free downtime actions start to pile up if you have a background character that’s just working on projects or whatever.
So how do I limit the shenanigans?
The three main approaches I have are:
- The character works as normal and hope that you don’t have problems.
- One character becomes entirely background, and the player has to choose who to play per session or however long makes sense.
- The character is a basically a cohort they get to use, so they can’t use stress but otherwise work similar to normal. They don’t get XP, downtime actions or downtime abilities.
Not sure if Glow does the fundamentals differently from Blades, but here’s how my group has been doing the 2 character dynamic.
The player has to choose which character is going on the score(could attach it to picking Load before the engagement roll), and only that character gets downtime and downtime-related actions, the other character is merely there for freeplay. Both characters are eligible for XP, but since one isn’t in the score it usually means that character earns only like 1-3 XP at a time.
Keeps many abilities in check, since the character that wasn’t used for that score can’t reset their ability economy, but lets them still have time in the spotlight.
If everyone is playing two characters and they happen to pick the alternate character after every score, it can even fit into the fiction as a “while team A did this score, team B did this” style storytelling.
Hope this helps.
My crew used the Overindulgence “Lost” rule, where the main character burns out and you play as the backup. However, to balance things out they only cleared out Stress, not Harm. You could say that one half of the crew is still at their base, while the other half goes out on the actual mission.
Only the character played gets downtime, XP, and is included in Entanglements.
I’m playing two characters in our game because of the Overindulge/Lost result. Our rules are similar to the above. Draco, the secondary, tends to be called on for specific jobs as she has a skill set that none of the other characters have. If I’m playing her, my main isn’t played at all and gets no downtime or xp. Other times she’s used as a cohort for downtime so when for example one of the other characters wanted to use her physicking skills that character had to use their downtimes to fund them.
It’s working well. I’m careful not to take the mick with the characters and the other players and GM are happy.
One character per score, and only that character gets downtime is a good limiter. Maybe it’s the only one I need actually? The other character can come around for freeplay but is just a contact or cohort until the next score they’re picked for.
In my campaign I had three players running two PCs each, and two more with a PC each, and honestly, it just worked out fine. For upwards of 80 sessions in fact.
At the beginning, I had put all kinds of provisional restrictions in place, bit after a few sessions it became very apparent that they really weren’t necessary. In the end, the only rule that stuck around was “no playing with yourself at the table”.
It’s just a hallmark of my group’s style that we split the party A LOT. Having multiple characters ensures that you’re not left out if the B Team goes and does something while the A Team is out on a job.
Also, if you have multiple PCs, you’re probably less likely to resist retiring a character when it becomes apparent that their story arc is coming to an end.
As far as breaking the economy, just make sure that there’s always more stuff that they need to take care of in downtime that they have actions to cover. Mo Money, Mo Peoblems.
In my game, my players have 2 crews, so we bounce back and forth between them to keep things balanced. If you have only one player wanting two characters, I’d probably limit them to 1 character per score/session, and only that character will get score xp/coin, but probably allow downtime for both (within reason - using one purely to help the other is in pretty poor faith). I’d basically play it like they have 2 different players that can’t be at the table consistently.
This is also based on Blades core, so if Glow mechanics make this unhelpful, my apologies!!