Posts belonging to Category Character development

Growth and Revelation

In the comments to yesterday’s riff on why I don’t tend to start with my characters pre-heroed, UZ pointed out that there are two things that can both mean character development. It’s a topic I couldn’t resist poking a bit.
I’m going to start by assigning names to them so that we can keep the silly [...]

On Differentiating Antagonists

We know all characters need to be differentiated one way or another, but it’s particularly important for antagonists. After all, even in standard fiction, villains drive the story enough that it takes a really spectacular main character to make up for a bad one, and—well, since the protagonist in a game’s been outsourced to the [...]

Characterization Exercise: The Stories They Follow

From time immemorial, people have told each other stories—about why the world is the way it is, about generic youths who all had one of three or four names and somehow managed to make good, about the kinds of people they’d want to be and the kinds of people they’d want to sleep with. For [...]

Memo, Please?

One of the things I’ve always found interesting about character development in RPGs is that it is possible to express it in such a way that some people (both IC and OOC) will notice, some won’t, and those that notice might notice different levels of change. With the right combination of trust variation, sidechats, and [...]

Character Exercise: Conclusions IC

Yesterday, I introduced an exercise for two people based on taking information and drawing conclusions. But there’s another use for it, one that can be done with two people but works just as well with one, one that’s a little more character-driven.
It’s pretty much the same sequence of events, with one minor difference: instead of [...]

View from the Gallery

Back in January, I proposed an exercise involving writing plot synopses for the story as it would be seen if centered around one of the secondary characters. At the time, I was mostly thinking about it in terms of caring as much about the secondary characters as the lead, but I’ve found another use for [...]

With One Scene

Often, a writer can get away with establishing a character slowly, over time. In this scene, emphasizing this quality. In another scene, another one. A slow, gradual process. A GM with a long-term enough plan, or a player who wants to dole out the information bit by bit, might be able to do the same.
But [...]

Ramblings on Motivation

Without motivation, there is no story. If there’s already a plot, it needs to be possible to get the characters motivated to do something about it. If there isn’t one already planned out, the characters need to want something enough to pull the story themselves.
When they don’t, bad things happen.
A character without motivation might follow [...]

On Finding Love (for Your Characters)

I talked a lot about understanding your characters through looking at what might work well for them in terms of romance, but as Brickwall pointed out yesterday, I never really went into much detail on explaining how. Here are a few tricks for figuring out what kind of places and what kind of forms a [...]

Characterization Exercise: What Image Does This Create?

One of the fun things about the idiosyncratic nature of people is that you can expect them all to have different visualizations for different events. Sometimes, getting into the main image language of a character can result in better understanding her.
In many cases, this image is going to be visual. One way or another, the [...]