Below are ten questions to help you develop an effective group template with an eye for the history and traits the individual characters will have in common. This worksheet is a good starting point, but it is neither comprehensive nor always necessary, so answer as few or as many questions as you like.
Make sure your characters are unified enough to participate in the Game Master's main plot, but don't feel this means your characters all need to be carbon copies of each other or in perfect agreement on all issues. Diversity and conflict can make games interesting, provided they don't rage out of control and grind the game to a halt or leave other players sidelined for long periods of time.
1. Does the Game Master need our group to be something in particular for his/her plot?
Yes. A Shadowrun group, located in or around Seattle. Each character should have been betrayed and nearly killed by the red-eyed Johnson. Each possesses an exchange commlink and is at least moderately interested in following the requests it issues.
2. In brief, what will our group be when the game starts?
3. When and how did the characters first meet?
4. Are the character located in the same place or willing to travel to a common meeting place? If not, how will the characters be brought together for the game?
5. What major events have they shared in their past?
6. On a personal level, what keeps the characters together?
7. What goals are shared by all of the characters?
8. Is there enough moral agreement among the characters to keep them from abhorring each other?
9. Is there any potential conflict between character personalities, goals, or ethics that could become so great the plot will fizzle out or players will be excluded?
10. What plot elements are in the group's history the Game Master can use in his/her plot?