Creating A Character
So you need some help making a character. You've come to the right place. This page will cover how to create a character viable for a heavy roleplay setting.
- 1 First Steps
- 2 A Bit More Advanced
The first steps to creating a solid character is to figure out concepts for one, and what tropes will apply.
Pretty much the first thing you have to decide is what sort of character you want to play. Do you want to be a swashbuckling rogue? A mage apprentice? A brooding anti-hero? There are a number of such concepts. But one should avoid just picking one and saying 'Okay, my character is a mage,' then being done with it. This will cause your character to fall flat.
So you decided to be a mage! Why? Were you bullied and wanted undeniable power? You're a rogue? What drives you to steal? Were you an orphan? Was it the only way you could survive? Or did you do it for the thrill? Or maybe you're a 'rogue' in class only. Sure, you know how to pick locks and disable traps! But you're a locksmith! That's what they do! Or they're just skills picked up from exploring ruins.
No matter what path a being goes in life there has to be a reasoning behind it. Knowing that reason ahead of time will help keep your character well rounded.
Clan and Species
Well. We have your character concept and motivation for it. Fantastic! Now. What species are you? This is tied with your character concept to a great extent. You decided your character is a sailor! They come from a family of sailors! Sailing is what they do! So, are they Water Folk Clan? A beaver, or otter, or fish of some manner? Or are they Heavy Folk? A big elephant or rhino that works on the ship doing any heavy lifting, and helping to fight off pirates? You don't need to be thinking that you have to be a specific race just because it's the one that fits. Not all sailors are a Water Clan species.
Following this is a decision on what happened before now. You do not need a hugely detailed background, a fifty page novella about every event in their life. But you do need to know their background. Did they have both parents? Only one? None? Was their family wealthy? Poor? Wealthy then lost everything?
What about that old childhood friend you grew up with? Did you serve in an army? Were you under pressure to follow your families footsteps as far as a career?
How were you treated growing up as a soulless?
Just coming up with a basic concept of your characters past will help you decide on their personality, and will save you from contradicting yourself when asked something like 'Where are you from?' by two people at different times.
Now for the personality. The big one. What sort of character are you going to play? Answering questions from the last three sections will help you decide this. For example:
- Decided to be a mage due to natural talent, and seeing the power they wield. Something as runt that was unknown to her.
- Clever Clan Raccoon. Skilled at figuring things out, and smart enough to able to take advantage of situations.
- A beggar growing up in Cliffside. Such a life left her a bit jaded, and with an uncommon compassion for those in a similar situation.
So. From these answers to questions we know race and what character concept to be going for. Further we know that she's clever, and magically skilled, and knows it. So she's probably a bit arrogant. She's jaded and had a hard life, so she probably resents those who haven't. And so on. The more detailed the answers to your questions, the more full of personality your character will seem.
NOTE! Lone wolves NOTE!
For those of you wanting to play a lone wolf type character. The mysterious loner who doesn't rely on a group and doesn't need anybodies help... Be aware this is a VERY challenging type of character to play in a game like this. Or at least a challenging one to roleplay playing.
See, lone wolves are just that. Alone. So a lot of times if your character is sitting in a corner, alone, quietly brooding, they're going to be ignored. Why? Because they're sitting alone in a corner, being quiet. If you are in a scene and you try to do your lone wolf thing, going off by yourself, it will degrade the quality of the scene unless done carefully and well. And I'm sorry, but most people don't have the capability to do it well.
Lone wolves make fantastic protagonists for novels and other fiction. But they do not work well in a fiction like this where you are interacting with others, due to the very nature of a lone wolf going counter to the multiplayer interactivity of the fiction.
So you need to know what your character looks like. But you've looked at a few people in game and seen these huge walls of text! There's no way you can just sit down and do that! Who do they think you are?
Well. It isn't as hard as it looks. Instead of sitting down and trying to pound it all out at once, we have a few questions you can answer.
- Body build? (athletic, muscular, lithe, anorexic, sickly, etc.)
- Eye color?
- Do you have fur?
- Fur color?
- Do you have ears?
- Ear color
- Any scars?
- Any markings, usual or unusual?
- Are you visibly aged? Wrinkled? Do you have a youthful appearance?
- Do you wear skirts?
- What about a shirt?
- Coat? Cape? Cloak?
- Shoes? Boots?
- What color are all these clothes?
- What condition are they in?
- How well groomed is the being wearing them?
The list can be much more detailed than that. The point is that instead of trying to write out a block of text you are just answering short, simple questions. Once you've gotten them all answered, then you can move on and start arranging them into descriptive sentences or paragraphs.
A Bit More Advanced
Well! By this point you should have an idea of what sort of character you're playing, and what they look like. You know they're a swordsman, one who has been obsessed with being one since they were a kid. Or a traveling tinker, going town to town and fixing things. Or whatever struck your fancy!
But... What now? How do you get involved in some of that sweet, sweet RP?
No. Not the sort you fish with or hang your coat on. These are less tangible.
You want in on some RP, give people a reason to RP with you. Give them a location to go to. So you're a swordsman! Want to be the best! Well then. It makes sense you would spend a lot of time training, doesn't it? So you find a training ground. That's one location you spend time. Maybe you stand in the marketplace, challenging other swordsmen for your own pride, and to earn some coin by entertaining the masses. That's another location you can be found. You like to relax in the evening in the local tavern or inn, having an ale or two!
Basically the hooks are places for people to find you, common situations you can be located in, or any aspects of your personality that a person might approach you for. You are playing an amazing swordsman? Don't be surprised when they try to hire you. Or when someone else tries to challenge you.
There has to be more to your character than that, though. If a person spends all their time training, then people will get tired of RPing training with them. Don't be surprised if they go 'Who is that over there?' 'Oh. That's just Grognar the Mighty. Training. As usual. It's really quite dull.'
So when coming up with hooks, come up with more than just one aspect of their personality to try and attract RP with. Yes, they are an amazing swordsman! They practice a lot. They are also a caring member of their family. They spend time with their kids. Or maybe they have a small garden somewhere they tend to. Or they're also working on selling wares.
Proper levels of variation are key to keeping all your RP from going stale due to it all being the same.
Here are some example hooks, situational and non, so you have an idea.
- Your character has a penchant for being kind-hearted, always helping those in need. Others can approach you for help.
- Your character is an important member in society; a guard, councilman, noble, or wealthy merchant, drawing others to them so they can handle things in a more official capacity.
- Your character is searching for something. A missing relative or friend, ancient ruins from an old tale, or the legendary blade of some forgotten king.
- You want to broaden your horizons. Swinging a sword is getting dull. And your arms are so tired... Find those with other souls and learn what you can about the souls from them.
- You are looking to join a specific group! Maybe it's an army devision, or a newly formed craft guild! Either way, this makes a good hook for interacting with members of that group.
- You've heard of some ruins in need of delving! Enlist some help for that!
- Your character just underwent a personal crisis. At times like these it may help them to seek the guidance of the Creators. Those with a priest soul make wonderful people to do an RP like this with.
Noble houses make for great hooks. You can work for them, or against them. Or even in some cases try to join them! following is a brief list of the houses.
Longtails: A former noble house composed of felines. Now largely involved in the underworld. Recently brought under new management and fractured into those that would see the new High Lady fail, and those that wish her to succeed.
Stronghearts: A bovine house, largely into farming and other agrarian matters. Though word has it they are looking to expand...
Solacious: A family of foxes. Earned their nobility in war, and work for the crown. If you're looking for a warrior house, this is it, full stop.
Ironsoul: A new family, composed of one member. Rumored to be forming a division of Gifted.
Blackbacks: A family of skunks, but non-exclusive when it comes to species. Creators of soulgems and always looking to expand by accepting the brightest Gifted out there into their fold.
Wirefur: Minor noble family of canines. Associated with the scholars and inventors of Cliffside as guards.
Duskcaller: A family of bats from the religious city. Not noble in the sense that they possess a title granted to them by a king or ruling body, but possessed of the same position, respect, and importance as the noble houses of other cities.