WISH 78 asks:
Do you think allowing one player to play more than one character in a game is a good or bad idea? Does the style of the game make any difference? What about the format (FTF, PBeM, etc.)?
Well, you wouldn’t want multiple characters in a LARP, I imagine. (I joke!)
I think that playing two equal characters face to face is generally a bad idea. I was in a game recently in which everyone had two players, and while I enjoyed the game, I gotta say I would have enjoyed it more if I’d been able to focus on one PC. If you’re playing in a purely tactical game, it perhaps makes more sense, but I like exploring personalities.
Troupes seem to work better. I’m defining “troupe” as “one primary PC, and multiple secondary PCs,” in Ars Magica fashion, which is perhaps a little too specific but it’ll do for a working definition. I expect this is purely psychological; a troupe-style game allows me to concentrate on a single PC, with the others being adjuncts. (I really looked forward to Amelia Wellstone’s band of street kids. Alas.)
I s’pose I had multiple PCs back on AmberMUSH, come to think of it. Usually only one primary, though. There, the trick was maintaining a serious amount of separation, and occasionally going through contortions to avoid having PC interests intersect. It was really more like having separate PCs in overlapping campaigns.