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Author Topic: A how to guide on how to create effective characters  (Read 19668 times)

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Offline Gabag

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A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« on: December 04, 2009, 12:56:12 AM »
Welcome everyone to my laboratory. To Start I would like to introduce myself as Dr. Freekill, the mad doctor. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with creating a roleplaying character, and I will get to that in a second.

Your first step to creating a character is to think of what your character will look like.

This is an important step, due to the fact that appearances can say a lot. By having a 900 foot dragon who breathes fire and glows yellow, people will be put off from roleplaying with the creator and that character. However having a 5'9 Dragon kin sage is an interesting spin on characters.
To describe your character, so everyone else knows what they look like, start with basics.
Species
Eye Color
Fur Color
Skin Tone
Scale Color
Body Type (muscular body builder thin etc.)
Height
Weight. (if thin dont be extremely heavy as that doesnt make sense at all)
Hair color
Markings.

After you come up with all of this, your next step should be designing your characters outfit.
Do they wear armor?
If so is it armor from the future?
do they wear accessories like necklaces or collars?
Match your character's outfit to their personality, or just throw on an outfit.
Do they use a sword or gun?
Do they have a Gatling cannon or a simple rock?

As such, a Holy Warrior would wear holy armor, a typical mage would wear a robe, a battle mage would wear armor with a robe over their lower body armor.

Now we come to personalities.
You can create your Characters personality as a reflection of yourself, something you hate, or something you want to be
and having a personality, comes the things they hate.
As such the Holy Warrior would be very disgusted to see black magic in use or see any demonic item of any sort, but a black mage would be almost bursting with enthusiasm.

Once you come to their personalities, we go onto names
You could name your character after just about anything really, your name could be binary code for a 3 letter word and everyone would just think your either really clever, or a computer, both work really.

Once you creates a character, and their personality, and a name, you should now focus on creating a background for your character.
Are they a disenfranchised teenager who wandered into the wrong section of woods and ended up joining the Black Hand?
Were they an orphan adopted by a monastery and raised in their holy ways?
Were they a former soldier going out on his own and working for hire?
Are they a Pizza chef who was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
If your character has a job of some sort, allow their background to explain how they got their training, what they encountered along the way, etc.

Lastly, once you have created a background, you need to apply what you have learned to the field.

Most roleplays on this forum have an OOC board
OOC stands for out of character, it's where you discuss the roleplay, while being out of character
If you see a roleplay that looks interesting, go to the OOC and Character boards first, or you'll get a message from the maker saying to post in that thread.

Some roleplays allow you to post as soon as you join, others you must wait for ratification, and others provide you with a character sheet to basically layout your character's information for pending review.

once you have read through this guide, and applied the information within, you should pm it to someone you could trust who could peer edit it for you, just incase something sounds a little weird or wrong, or there are plotholes in the character background.
(if we're allowed, you could just character sheets here to get a public opinion)
Good Luck out there, and remember, keep roleplaying, and dont drink the spoiled milk!


Offline ___

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 01:02:40 AM »
This is really good!
This should be a sticky in the RP section. :)

Offline Gabag

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 01:03:50 AM »
huh....
i thought cause i was giving advice it would be in the rants in advice board but i could be wrong

Offline Vosur Aekira

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 12:02:54 PM »
After you come up with all of this, your next step should be designing your characters outfit.
Do they wear armor?
If so is it armor from the future?
do they wear accessories like necklaces or collars?
Match your character's outfit to their personality, or just throw on an outfit.
Do they use a sword or gun?
Do they have a Gatling cannon or a simple rock?

As such, a Holy Warrior would wear holy armor, a typical mage would wear a robe, a battle mage would wear armor with a robe over their lower body armor.

A way to sum up all of this is "Follow the theme of the plot." if you wanted to be simple. And if it has to do teaching people how-to's in Roleplay, Training Grounds is an ideal spot. Otherwise, good compilation of information here and a good way of presenting it.

Offline Asia Kali Yusufzai

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 12:07:09 PM »
Can I add some stuff about personality building. I mean, you've got all the visual and occupational things, but for personality, you've only done 5 lines with (what i think is) not enough information to create a well rounded, interesting and engaging character.

good stuff though, great idea.
"Parents always think kids are wasting their youth, and always have done [so] down through the millennia," says Tom Forsyth of RAD Game Tools. "'That Ug, always holding things. His front paws will develop in funny ways. Why can't he walk on all fours like normal proto-hominids?' And so, whatever the kids spend the most time doing, that's always what parents think is a waste of time, and what is corrupting their lives. It doesn't matter what that is. If all they did was homework, parents would be worrying that their kids aren't becoming well-rounded people. And, in fact, parents do this - enrolling math nerds in karate classes and the like. There is no way to win - parental paranoia ensures that kids are always doing the wrong thing."


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Offline Gabag

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 08:40:15 PM »
feel free to add in whatever you want whenever

but i set the appearance part up if you just want the character for something like The Random thread,
but the skin tone and fur color and the actual appearance could be for serious rp characters as well

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 10:21:32 PM »
great, well... I never go on the fun RPs so i wouldnt really know :P

Right well, I have a sheet of things needed for a full character (it's fine to skip out a big chunk of these, but a character is better off in the long run if those things are there.) I've taken out those already said before:

Single/Married
Sexual Orientation
Nationality
Economic Status
Education
Languages spoken (This one is seriously non-essential, but you never know when it could come in handy.)
Politics

Achievements
Defeats
Emotional Stability
Basic Drives
Attitudes/Prejudices
Diseases/Handicaps

Favourites including:
Colour
Food
Drinks
Music
Art
Hobbies
Sports

People important to them (Stuff like, mother, husband, old schoolfriend, that sorta thing.)

Anything Extra (Just anything important that the others didnt cover.)


And yeah, I think that 's all of it.
Hope it helps people.
"Parents always think kids are wasting their youth, and always have done [so] down through the millennia," says Tom Forsyth of RAD Game Tools. "'That Ug, always holding things. His front paws will develop in funny ways. Why can't he walk on all fours like normal proto-hominids?' And so, whatever the kids spend the most time doing, that's always what parents think is a waste of time, and what is corrupting their lives. It doesn't matter what that is. If all they did was homework, parents would be worrying that their kids aren't becoming well-rounded people. And, in fact, parents do this - enrolling math nerds in karate classes and the like. There is no way to win - parental paranoia ensures that kids are always doing the wrong thing."


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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2011, 04:53:14 PM »
You want to know the best way to create a character? Don't state how they act when you add them. It limits you to emotions.
 
Then just follow the other information posted here.
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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 04:04:20 AM »
Personality is actually very important, and rather helpful, to first time Roleplayers and GM's.  While fleshing the entire character out is a rather nasty move (That's when you limit yourself), putting a few of the basic, noticable traits is necessary.  GM's often plan a little ahead, and it helps to do so.
 
One nasty side effect of newer RPers oes end to crop up: Unreliable personalities, or Unreliable Personality Disorder as some have called it.  It's when a character sheet says one thing (usualy one with a lot on personality), but the text says another.  It is rather nasty and tends to recur with more characters, but it can be minimalized with monitering and practice.
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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 06:46:26 AM »
http://www.elfwood.com/farp/thewriting/crissychar/crissychar.html


I saw this and think it'll be great for people who really are into the making of new characters like myself...



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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 05:50:56 AM »
For first timers, right?


A small bit of advice from a vet: sometimes it's best to write the bio later. Talk to the GM of the RP you plan on entering and tell them you want to go without a bio until you get a feel for the character. Say a couple weeks of playing. I understand the pain of trying to write out a biography of a new character without getting the feel for them. In fact, my first ever character did not have a biography. I created it as I went. And now I'm writing a whole book on her.


Play it out, then write a bio. Sometimes that's easier. And always keep trying, no matter how hard it is. Because of you enjoy it, there's no reason to stop just because of a small block.


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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 02:14:52 AM »
Personality is a HUGE deal when creating characters. While I haven't done serious roleplays in several years (planning to change that soon :P), I write stories that often focus heavily on the characters' emotions and thoughts. One of the ways I attempt to develop the personality of a character is to actually try out "being" them, most often on the IRC. If you've seen me using another nick on the IRC and talking a bit different than usual, that isn't just some new fursona. It's a character I'm attempting to develop by interacting with fellow chat-goers.

It's like a mini-roleplay. I often start out with a basic idea of a personality. I might base it off traits from a friend or a popular person, then branch out from there as I interact with people in the IRC. I think about different ways to respond and react to what is being said in chat, the wording of what is said, and the way they behave. Having an idea of what that character went through in the past makes this easier, as it allows me to mold their behavior with their experiences. It's pretty fun when people are willing to play along. Eventually you'll find the "perfect" attitude and mindset of that character, and will often return playing as them for amusement. I've developed many "blank-slate" characters this way, and they turned into ones I really enjoy.

I gotta admit, though. It's hard to find people in the TFF IRC who are willing to keep up a nice conversation where you're able to develop your character's traits lately. But I'm certainly willing to help people out if they happen to pop into the IRC and give it a shot. Heck, I might be doing the same thing as well. :3
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 02:19:03 AM by Evnamishko, Reason: I add emotes too much sometimes. »

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 05:01:56 AM »

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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 07:04:04 AM »
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Re: A how to guide on how to create effective characters
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2018, 09:49:33 PM »
Mhm. Quite good guide for those that doesnt have an idea of their OCs. I cant draw my OC 'Cause my skills are bad.   :(
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