Character creation can often be dull and monotonous, though the RT origin system is a great improvement. Unfortunately, as it is DMs are often left having to choose between not letting the players make the characters/ships they want or giving the players far too much freedom, so I came up with a compromised system that has really spiced up the character creation process.
It is well recognized in game design that one of the most important parts of creating a game (especially an RPG) is provide the player(s) with the opportunity to make interesting choices that have both good and bad consequences. With that in mind I made a system that gives the players both more freedom and more hard choices to make. It also helps serve to bind them together as a crew early on.
When the group is initially started characters are made together. Each player is given 2 'fate points' for character creation. They can be used during any part of character/dynasty/ship creation. This is how they work:
1) During any dice roll you can burn 1 point to re-roll, keeping the second result
2) During any dice roll you can burn 2 points to choose your result
3) During origin creation you can burn 1 point to "jump" (you no longer get 1 automatic jump)
4) Players may pool their points
It basically breaks down so that if the players REALLY want something they can get it, but they can't get everything. If a single stat is REALLY important to a player, they can max it. If a stat is to low they can re-roll it. If they REALLY want that one mutation/weapon/ship history, they can get it by working together. If they work together they can have EXACTLY the ship and dynasty they want, at the cost of their characters. If one of the players really fudges up his/her rolls they can work together to help him/her overcome their bad luck.
After some experimentation I found 2 points to be the right amount because it provided the group with some freedom while still forcing them to make tough decisions. With a larger group I might give less points (1 a piece and 2 they can spend as a group), with a smaller group I would give them more (3 poitnts).
The benefit here is that players have more control over their characters/dynasty, but THEY are making the decision, not the DM. It provides them with tough choices to make, and makes them work together from the outset. Character creation becomes PART of the game instead of something you do BEFORE the game.
So, thoughts? Comments? Critisizms?