Sometimes a player has more than one really good idea for a character. Sometimes you don’t have enough players to build a good sized party out of just one character a piece. Sometimes a player makes a random suggestion for an NPC that turns out massively popular with you and the other players. Whatever the case, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering the option for one or more players having more than one character they control.
- You and your players should be certain that whoever has multiple characters will be able to keep track of them during roleplay.
- Some players may have issues with roleplaying from multiple perspectives at once, especially when their own characters are interacting with each other directly. Those with GM experience should be fine, though.
- You should also make sure that any player with more than one character isn’t unduly ignoring one of their characters. If they are going to have more than one, they should make sure that all of their characters are involved.
- If one of a player’s characters is of a lower “power level” than the rest of the party, the player needs to understand that that character isn’t going to be quite as capable as their “main” character. However, this can also provide obvious opportunities for the weaker character to grow and potentially catch up to some degree with the rest of the party.
- One of the more potentially problematic matters for dealing with multiple characters controlled by a single player is making sure that the player keeps their characters’ individual knowledge separate. If they have an archeologist and a technician, the technician probably shouldn’t know much about ancient lore while the archeologist probably doesn’t know much about the myriad models of ships and tool kits. This also goes for events that only one of the characters was present for.
- Be careful that you aren’t overloading any of your players with characters. Having a few characters is one thing, but having to manage an entire extra party of characters may be a bit much.
- If only one of your players has extra characters, you are going to have to balance the attention given to your players a bit more than you would normally. Having more than one character can eat up a lot of the limelight, leaving other players feel like their characters didn’t get their turn in the spotlight.
- If you want to give all of your players the opportunity to have more than one character, keep the resulting party size in mind. Having three players with two characters a piece already fills out a six person party. If each player has more than one character, you should limit the number of both players and characters you accept for the game.
- There’s also the option of giving players temporary control of transient minor characters. This option means that your players get to have fun with making the janitor, base mechanic, or local astromech a bit more interesting and maybe giving the party a laugh or two before you move on. They aren’t responsible for that character when they aren’t around, but it lets them explore other characters for a few minutes when that special “N”PC is around.