RPG Guide To Characterization

Discussion in 'RPG' started by Miss Lockheart, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Miss Lockheart Administrator | Aesthetics Leader | Mother

    So you’ve found a RPG that you’d just love to join, but have no clue how to create your own original character? Well I’ve been there, faced that and conquered it. I’m here to guide you through the most basic steps on character creation; from then on it’s your call.


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    Theme
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    Before you give ANY thought to your character, yes even before you come up with a name, you MUST consider the theme of the RPG you are entering. The theme of the RPG is what rules everything that revolves around it. Whether the theme is horror, epic, romance or even comedy, the theme is what must be considered before anything.

    I won’t go over all the possible themes because that is a technical impossibility, seeing as there are endless theme combinations to consider.

    There are different ways to go about considering a theme, but I’ll give you the main rundown.

    • A theme is a category. It’s the ruling god, in other words, of the universe the RPG takes place.
    • Settings will usually revolve around the theme. (i.e. theme: horror, setting: desolate graveyard)
    • A theme rules the general mood of a story (i.e. theme: Romantic, mood: happy, lovey dovey)
    • Non-player characters (NPC’s) will also be theme related(usually).
    • Themes generally outline the course the story will take.
    • Multiple themes may also be in place which means that you’ll be dealing with a mixture of things in the areas mentioned above.

    Now that you’ve got more or less of an idea of what a theme can do for you, you can begin to form thoughts and basis for your character.

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    Developing your Character
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    There are four main areas that define a character:
    • Appearance
    • Background
    • Persona
    • Miscellaneous/Special Extras

    Appearance:

    Now, you may or may not want to start off with appearance. People tend to base off the rest of their character with the appearance, if the case is that the appearance is a picture (on this particular forum, its commonplace to use a picture). Now I don’t oppose this because it’s really simple to do so. It’s always so much easier on your head as well, but it’s technically cheating on the being original bit (unless the image belongs to you of course).

    Because of this, I’ll include a short guide (since I’m horrible with appearances I can’t give you a very detailed explanation) The appearance of your character is what other characters in the rpg will notice first, so if your character has horns, walks on four legs and has three tails its suffering some horrible disease or its not human.

    Depending on the race of you character(which I’ll carry out in the background section) it’s appearance will change(or not). I can’t describe every kind of race out there because it would take ages so I’ll only go over humans(which in some case your character even if not human, may have the ensemble of one).

    If you’ve ever taken a look in a mirror you’ll notice that you have a head, torso, and a lower region(not sure what the technical term for this is). Your head obviously has hair, eyes and your torso body and arms, just like your lower region are legs and feet.

    The head:
    • Consider your character, will he be wild or tame? Cool and mysterious? Serious or goofy? The head is a major aspect of your character’s appearance.
    • Hair. Consider the color and style. Vibrant colors may indicate aloofness or happiness. Darker colors may indicate depression or solemnity. Spiky hair might indicate a fierce determination, while long sleek hair elegance. These are just generalities and not to be taking as official rules.
    • Eyes. These are generally not given any importance to, but I see these as prominent aspects of your character. It’s through these eyes that it sees the world. Give some life and meaning to them. Put some story behind them.
    • Shape: Not as important really, but you may keep this in mind.
    • Others: The head is a place for many accessories. Eye patches, scars, hats, markings, tattoos, deformations. Have fun with it!

    The Torso:
    • The body is usually clothed so you don’t have to worry too much about anything on it unless it’s worth mention (i.e. huge scar on the abdominal region)
    • Clothes. What can I say? There are limitless possibilities. If you’re really stuck though you can save this part for later and wait till you get to your characters personality or background and base the clothes off of that. My advice in this area is to look back to the theme and base it off of that. Look at the setting of the story itself to get an idea.
    • Extras. These range from gloves and bags carried in a book bag style or other. Again, have fun with it.

    The lower region:
    • The lower region is similar to the body, in that its possibilities are infinite. Follow the same advice as for the clothes in the Torso section.

    Extra:
    • There isn’t much else to add other than in general for here.
    • Whats your characters build? Average, thin, fatter, athletic.
    • Any special features that you’d like to mention (i.e. missing limb, glowing items, etc..)
    Background:

    This section is the ground for your character. This will be the fountain of information provided by your character. This part of your character tells the other roleplayers a little bit about your character so they have some sort of familiarity and therefore create interesting twists later on. It’s just basically the story of your characters life, before the roleplay. This should be thought out for a good amount of time. A good background explains a lot about the character, who it is and why does it act some way. Even if you don’t write down everything you’ve thought up, it’s important to keep it in mind. If you’re stuck with this area here are a few questions to consider.

    • What’s his/her name?
    • Where did he/she come from?
    • Is he/she human or some other being?
    • How was his/her childhood?
    • How was he/she raised?
    • Who does he/she look up to?
    • What’s his/her age?
    • What are his/her dreams?

    This isn’t a definite list, just some questions that you may use as a guideline.

    Persona:

    This is probably the most important part of your character. This right here is who and what you’ll roleplay. The personality of your character, that is who you will represent. The persona of your character dictates how he/she should or would react when faced with certain questions and situations. If you’re a bit inexperience in roleplaying, creating a persona that fits your own is the most appropriate. This way you would take a step back whenever you’re lost and think of what you would do to solve a problem. Now, creating a totally different persona is very engaging. This is the point where the “role” in roleplaying comes into play.

    As a roleplayer it is your job to contribute to the story, and depending on your characters persona and your whim interact with other roleplayers.

    A characters personality can be very diverse, or very simple. This is completely up to you, who and how your character is. Again, if you’re stuck look back to the theme or possibly try and predict future events and place your character in them.

    • How would you like him/her to react to a certain situation?
    • What would his/her general mood be like?
    • Is he/she intelligent or not?
    • Does he/she have a tendency to always be acting strange?
    • Does he/she have an addiction?

    These are again, just suggestions and things to think about while you’re creating your character.

    Miscellaneous: Special Extras

    This section will be short because it covers a broad range of options. Depending on your rpg it may be something supernatural or weapon oriented. For this reason you need to think over the weapons you think your character might be comfortable using. You don’t necessarily have to think on extreme levels for your weapons unless specified by the thread creator. You guys are good enough at this.

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    Character Submitting
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    The general character sheet in a roleplay.

    • Username:
    • Character Name:
    • Age:
    • Gender:
    • Personality:
    • Appearance:
    • History:

    Also think about any special abilities your character may have, although remember to abide by the rules when considering this, as you don't want to be seen as Godmodding!!

    These are the essentials and usually present within an RPG. This is all subject to change depending on the roleplay and for this reason it’s good to keep old character profiles around. You can just edit an old one to fit into the new roleplay and therefore lessen the load on you.

    After creating, you follow the thread rules and present your character and skills to be evaluated by the thread creator. Whether you participate or not is his/her decision.

    Lone Wolf

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