Last month we covered campaign pitches, but it isn’t only the GM or DM who can use the pitch format to make sure your game is the best it can be.
I believe it’s improper tabletop etiquette to show up to a campaign with a character you built and haven’t shared with the game master yet. How will they know how or even if your character will fit into the world if they’ve never heard a thing about them before?
Instead of simply handing over a character sheet and a couple pages of backstory only to need some details changed afterwards, I prefer for players to pitch their characters, this can be written or verbal but there are a few things I think should be gone over before a player delves deeper into the character creation process.
What should a character pitch include?
1- Character Class
Starting with the basics, include your class (or class equivalent for the system) and if you have plans to multiclass (even if the multiclassing will come later).
I believe in letting players choose to multiclass at any level up but if you know right away you’ll be multiclassing its always good to include this information. Your GM can help add situations that might inspire that multiclassing throughout the campaign.
Some GMs also prefer to know class information to balance the party, some would love an all bard party but other games just won't accommodate it well.
2- Character Race and Variance
Another TTRPG standard, this should be included in your pitch as the setting might present unique challenges for some races while others might be commonplace.
For example: if dragonborn are thought to be extinct and you show up as a dragonborn in the starting town you and the GM will both be prepared for how your character will be received.
Some settings can be even more restrictive as certain character races may not even exist within them, it's better to find out as soon as possible if your character will fit into the world before building out their background and aesthetics.
Help your GM understand your intended character’s maturity level and how much they’d know about the world through letting them know your character’s age.
Keep in mind that this might vary by character race, an elf that has a lifespan of several hundred years might mature a little more slowly than a short-lived dragonborn.
4- Main Motivations
What motivates your character? What are they searching for? What are they running from? What’s most important to them? What motivates them to work with others?
Answering even one of these for your pitch will give your GM an idea of if they’ll fit with the campaign, or even better, how to hook them down the line and make the campaign conflicts personal.
5- Personality Basics
What is your character's base personality like? Are they social or introverted? How do they tend to approach people and situations?
Any of these or similar answers will give an idea of how you’ll fit into the party dynamic as well as how NPCs they already know might approach them.
6- Connections to the World
This one usually requires more communication with your GM than the other sections, unless you already know their setting well.
Where in the given world do they come from? How long have they been there? Have they traveled and if so where to? Who in the world might they know? What kinds of communities do they lean towards?
These answers can be a little vague at first as your GM will know more about the world and help you fit into it, but giving them an idea of your background in terms of community and location will allow them to further integrate you into the world. This has the added benefit of showing your investment in your GM’s setting as a living breathing place.
You also might gain valuable information that your character can share later in the campaign should there be a return to any of the places your character has connections to.
7- Hooks and Loose Ends
A personal favourite of mine is including a small list of hooks and loose ends for the GM to play with when building the story.
This includes events from your past, things you wonder about, or even things your character doesn’t know but you as a player might. Feel free to list multiple things in this category, not all loose ends will wrap up in the span of a campaign but the few that do get picked up will help tie the character to the world they're living in, motivating them further to protect it.
This list isn’t exhaustive or a hard set of rules, you should feel free to use any selection of these categories and even add your own. The point is to get in the habit of approaching your DM or GM with your ideas for the character you want to play before you build them.
This practice will allow both of you to match your expectations for the campaign and help you create a character who is better integrated into the campaign world, which is always more immersive for everyone at the table.
Once your pitch is complete and you want to start fleshing out character details use our free Character Creation package, free to download in our resources section.
<- Download the Character Building and Notes Package PDF here.