Posts belonging to Category Character creation

Have Character; Need Image?

We’ve all heard about people who describe their characters too much, too florid, often when it really doesn’t make sense to do so; I think most of us can agree that that’s generally a bad idea. But some people have the opposite difficulty; they can settle down in a character’s head, dredge up personality, skills, [...]

Seven Advantages of Coordinated Character Generation

I’ve seen two general patterns of character generation in my time gaming. There’s the one where everyone comes up with their own characters individually, coordinating with the GM but not really comparing notes unless they feel like it or they want to make sure someone else hasn’t already chosen the role they want; I get [...]

Researching Characters

We all know it’s a good idea to know, in general, what a character’s good and bad at, what she looks like, and what her personality’s like. Most games will let you get away with just that (all right, plus or minus a little backstory); most writing gives you a chance to fill in details [...]

RPG Characters and Secret Identities

Every now and then, you just want to play a character with a secret identity. And why not? Secret identities are fascinating; they give you a chance to play two (or more!) characters for the price of one, more art-fodder if you sketch as well as play, and they’re a fun little “this will come [...]

Fear and Loathing in Chargen

(Warning: This is a late-night post, deals with some rather intense subjects, did not go through my editor, and as a result should probably be read as conjecture. Hopefully it’s interesting conjecture.)
One of my friends asked me today, “why do so many decent character types get outlawed in literature?” He went on to talk about [...]

The Bare Minimum to Hold a Conversation

One of the things I’ve found about my characters is that I don’t really understand who they are until I’ve gotten to play them a time or two. The converse to this, unfortunately, is that the first time I play any given character, odds are she isn’t ‘complete’; I don’t have the full sense of [...]

Avoiding Gimmick Takeover

Some characters have roles that encompass most of their personality. Some have traits that are supposed to set them apart from other characters. Still others can be traced pretty easily to a standard character archetype, and then there are those who sling their catch phrases whenever possible. These are all character gimmicks, and they all [...]

Characterization Exercise: Free Time

It’s not just what people do for most of their time that defines them; it’s also all the little things they do in whatever free time they might have. But a lot of characters—particularly the main characters of books and most RPG characters—don’t seem to have hobbies, unless those hobbies are things that in and [...]

The Issue-Powered Character

I had a friend once who had trouble with long-term characters. Give him the same character for too long, he’d run out of things to do—sure, the mechanics might still be fun, but the personality would go static and he’d start casting about for a new concept. When another of my friends started having the [...]

The Importance of Emotion

Some people write their scenes from big epic images, some from the demands of the plot. But some base what happens on what the characters are currently feeling, whether they actually show the feelings or not. I find emotion to be an important part of any story, cementing the characters’ role as people and not [...]