(Note - this is aimed at authors writing for Freeform Games. If you are writing your own freeform you can use whatever format you like, but at Freeform Games we don't have much space.)
We haven't clearly explained what we intend the purpose of the "Other People" section of our character booklets, so I'm going to try and provide a bit more detail here.
The Other People section is used to introduce new plot information (facts and observations about other characters) that isn't mentioned in the general character's background. Generally, the Other People section should be no more than 250 words long. You should aim to have at least for or five characters listed. Seven or eight is the maximum number.
You might wonder why this new plot information has to go into Other People, rather than into the general background. Well, we don't do this for several reasons:
- It helps break up the character booklet and makes them easier on the eye.
- It means we can create an ability around them (After speaking briefly to another player, point to another person. They must then tell you everything that their Other People section says about that person. If that person isn't mentioned in their Other People section (and not everyone they have information about is), then they must tell you about another person of their choice.).
- Including them in the character background sometimes feels clunky and rather artificial.
Space is at a premium in our in our booklets (we have about 850 words to cover background, goals and other people) and so we prefer not to double up information if we can help it. There should be enough plots in your game that the Other People section should be filled with new information.
Article by Steve Hatherley.