[RPG] As a GM, how does one deal with all of the players playing nearly identical characters


I'm running a Deadlands campaign with players who come entirely from D&D and have never played Savage Worlds before. All five people in the group have made nearly identical characters (gunslingers) with practically the same stats, hindrances, and edges. I've tried to get some of them to branch out, but everyone is dead set on being a gunslinger.

This is going to make things sort of hard to deal with, because the group is very one-dimensional. Should I try to change the adventure around this so they can deal with it? Or should I just let them have a hard time until someone dies and decides to mix it up? Should I be extra mean and throw something at them I know they can't handle?

Best Answer

Unless this makes the game boring for you as a GM, don't make it a goal in itself to have the players vary their characters. The players won't like being forced into roles they don't want to play, and the game can be a lot of fun even with a homogeneous group.

Draw your inspiration from westerns and other action movies where all of the characters are gunslingers, like Young Guns and The Expendables. Focus on combat, but don't be afraid to throw in other types of challenges every once in a while. Ingenious players will always find some way to solve a problem.

If the players are having a hard time getting past a noncombat obstacle you put in their path, consider tossing in an NPC with the required skills—and then have the bad guys attack him. While the NPC is doing his work, it falls upon the players to protect him. Dramatic scenes like these are usually enjoyed by everyone at the table, and the players won't feel that the NPC did all the work.

Finally, encourage the players to flesh out how their are gunslingers are different from each other. While their skills may be similar, there can be a great deal of difference in their personalities and backgrounds. If the players are reluctant to provide this backstory themselves, consider adding social encounters (like negotiations) or moral dilemmas (like hostage situations) into the game to have these differences form naturally during play.