A Matter of Britain
A Second Character
This is what the core rule book has to say about back-up characters. I didn’t want to press this point going in, as I wanted everyone to get a feel for playing their first character and for the mechanics. But, as we saw last night, it can be a good idea to have a back-up on hand so that you can bring him in if you lose your primary character mid-game.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to generate a back-up ahead of time is up to you.
The following is taken from page 35 of the Pendragon rulebook:
Every player should have a second character ready to play. Sometimes it happens that the primary character is incapacitated and unable to continue the adventure. In such a case, the second character comes into play, being found nearby or riding up from the rear in time to join the expedition and avenge his kinsman’s incapacitation.
Because the game places such importance on your character’s family, this second character should be from the same family as the first. Thus, the coat of arms and history are similar, and the new character knows the things that the first one knew.
In the next chapter, the families of player knights are examined more closely. If you used only this chapter in making your first character, you might consider trying the next chapter in creating this secondary character. That way, the new character should have some variance from the primary one, perhaps being religious instead of chivalrous, more loyal to his family than to his liege, or whatever suits the player’s fancy. He might also be younger or older, and so start the game with more or less experience, glory, and skills.
[In other words, use the system from The Book of Knights and Ladies, summarized here, to get a bit more variability in your character build.]
Sometimes the secondary character piques a player’s interest more than the initial one, and Gamemasters ought to allow the change. After all, the point is to have fun.