A Kingdom Without Issues
Time is precious gaming treasure. To streamline Kingdom character creation, I’ve been experimenting with removing Issues and using Bonds to take over that duty. I’ve found it to be faster and actually make better characters, for reasons I’ll go into below.
To use this change, simply remove the Issues step entirely. When you are creating Bonds, also ask:
“What’s the downside of this relationship? What makes it difficult?”
The Bond doesn’t have to be entirely bad, but it should involve some trouble or tension for one or both of you.
Here’s a new character sheet with the Issue removed. You can use the old character sheet and just cross the Issue section off, but if you’re teaching the game, players might be distracted wondering why you’re removing bits, and distraction is no good.
Removing Issues is a small change but I find it cuts off a nice chunk of time since you only have to think of one thing instead of two. As I mentioned above, it’s also an improvement because it connects your troubles to the other characters (“he doesn’t trust me because I have a drinking problem”) instead of just being an island-problem that doesn’t involve anyone else (“I have a drinking problem”). Attentive viewers will note that some of the best Issues already turned out that way: the player thought up the Issue and then reintroduced that same problem as part of the Bond (like Doc Wallace in the Cactus Flats example in the book). This just codifies that good strategy and does it all at once, for a tighter, meaner, Kingdom.
I recommend this change for all Kingdom sessions. Go take it for a spin.