The Tim Game

There are few things more satisfying, to me, as a GM than having a tight knit group that will end up providing you and the other players at the table with content to play with. What that means is small things that bind the group together, or lines that may be said in jest that can be made into a running gag, or little tidbits of information that reveal more about the character than race and class.

Sometimes it takes a long time to get this information out. One group I had took nearly 6 months of playing every Sunday, other groups in the past never had more than one or two of these moments in the few months we played. So i decided to come up with a way to promote and facilitate that style of play. The first group I used it on called it “The Tim Game” and the name stuck.

After we go around the table and do the usual introductions: Character Name, Race, Class, and any relevant major points (a sentence or two) I make the players go around a second time. This time however, they are not talking about their character, they are creating a connection between their character and the one next to them. I also give them a single question to ask. They have to answer that question and both players will have a bond between their characters.

For a short version, take a d6 and roll as you go around the table, (or ask without rolling if you don’t want to have doubles)

  • Tell us about the FIRST time you met x and what were they doing?
  • What was that thing x did that made you laugh so hard milk came out of your nose?
  • Where was that place x took you to that you were nervous about, but had a really good time?
  • Can you keep that secret x told you, and do they remember telling you?
  • When did you realise this was not the first time you met x and when was that first time?
  • What’s that one thing that x did that makes you trust them with your life?

This works for almost any RPG I have ever played. I have other questions and I am going to compile a full list for a patreon (not too much) later down the road.

I love this for team building. In a world of make believe we can often get lost in the setting: I’m a fighter – I bash things, I am a smuggler – I sneak things around, I am a parent – I worry about my kids, too often we forget that these characters, like ourselves, likely have different masks or presented selves. Rarely does a game start with a character starting at age 1. So what happened during the rest of your time until the moment the character started in the game story?

We as people have many different layers to us. We present different masks or aspects of ourselves to different people at different times be it online or in person, depending on where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing. Everything from our language, to behaviour, to outward personality it all changes. So why don’t we think that way for our characters? The Tim Game helps with that, and it does so with the whole group. By having it come from another player it creates a shared experience, which is what the biggest part or roleplaying games is about. A shared fun experience.

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