I have a game starting in a couple of days and we’re using the Inverse World setting. We’re leaning towards a kind of pulpy, high-flying adventure feel and I am thinking about shaking up the Bonds process a little by adapting / borrowing / stealing the “Novel / Guest Star” phase of Spirit of the Century character creation (also known as the Phase Trio in Fate Core):
1) Take an index card and write down the “title” of your character’s first true adventure – if your character were the star of a series of adventure stories, this is the title of the first in the series. Write a sentence or two on the back that describes what happened in that adventure. No need to get into detail, no need to even tell us how it ends. Think of it like an abbreviated back cover blurb. Leave space!
2) Pass the card to another player and someone will pass their card to you. Read the title and blurb, and think of how your character can make a “guest appearance” in that adventure. Does your character complicate the situation, or help to solve it, or both? Write in a sentence (or two, at most) about how your character gets involved in the adventure. Then, on your character sheet, write a Bond with that character that relates to your involvement in their adventure.
4) Repeat step 2, but make sure you end up with a card that isn’t your own and is different from the one you just had.
Each character will end up with two Bonds and a shared history with the other characters at the table. Plus, I get all kinds of interesting hooks to work with. I have no idea how this will pan out, but I think it could be interesting!
Feel free to share your stories of doing something different with Bonds.