A creative guide to help D&D players who find themselves roleplaying more than one character in a campaign.
While it is expected for a Dungeon Master to juggle multiple characters and creatures simultaneously, it is not the same for players. You are expected to come with one character and focus on them throughout the campaign. Or are you? Some D&D books, such as Out of the Abyss, has an option for players to control an entire military-style group of “NPC’s”. And for those that are playing singe-player campaigns, having a fuller party makes much more sense.
But are there any drawbacks? After all, if you are the type of player that likes to delve deep into your character and fully bring them to the table, you might be concerned about having difficultly. You might worry you can’t juggle two, or even more characters at the same time.
That’s where this guide steps in! Coming from a player who has spent years playing three characters at the same time, I’ll give a breakdown of how this can be easy, fun, and rewarding!
Choose Your “Protagonist”
This may sound harsh to your other characters, but choosing a main character for your D&D campaign is really beneficial. This will be the character that you default to, that drives scenes, and that spends the most time talking. Collaborate with your DM regarding the campaign’s conflict, as it will help a lot if the overarching conflict is tied to this character.
Tips for choosing: make sure it is a character class you enjoy playing. You should feel really passionately about this character and more intrigued by them than the others you roleplay.
Whose Scene is it, Anyway?
While you are playing the game, determine which character benefits the most from a certain “scene”. If you are navigating a forest, perhaps it is time for your Druid to shine! If you are negotiating with dangerous people, perhaps your extraverted character with the highest Charisma score will lead. If you are back in your Ranger’s town, then they will guide the party around. Think about who makes the most impact in a certain situation, and focus on them.
Have 1:1 Moments
To ensure all your characters have time to develop, make sure they get one-on-one moments. Either with other characters or NPC’s. Having time to voice their own thoughts without overlapping roleplay is great to ensure they get their time to shine.
Collaborate with Your DM
When you are in a single player D&D campaign, player-DM communication is key. Make it clear what each of your characters want, and what they will pursue in the coming games. This helps tell the tale of all of your characters, instead of all but one being silent.
Learn to Narrate More
Playing multiple characters at once requires some narration. This not only helps tell your characters apart, but it also helps set the scene for what each of them are doing. I’ll pull an example from our most recent game. The party just got some critical information and were taking time to digest it.
Through this, I was able to convey three different reactions and emotional states without having to overlap dialogue or get the characters confused.
Quick Reference List
- Choose a main character to lead interactions.
- Allow different characters to have the spotlight depending on the situation.
- Give a single character private conversations with others.
- Communicate with your DM on each of your character’s motivations.
- Narrate scenes to avoid too much character overlap.