Shattered Kingdoms

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 Post subject: Fleshing out your Character
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:36 pm
Posts: 521
Thirteen questions to help you develop your character.

These are the basics, with suggestions below each question to help flesh out your next character.

1. Where was your character born?
- Under what circumstances were they born?

2. What does your character look like? This is a broad question. Here are some specifics to get you started:
- What color is his/her hair? How do they wear it.. in a braid, with a bow? Hanging loose about their shoulders?
- What texture is their hair? Soft, rough, ragged, frayed?
- How tall are they? How much do they weigh? Are they obese, or stout? Fat or muscled?
- How does their nose look? Is it big and bulbous? Petite and narrow?
- What about their cheeks? Dimpled? Freckled?
- Is their chin narrow and pointed, or short, and parted?
- Do they have any facial hair?
- How would you describe their ears?
- What color(s) are their eyes?
- Are they disfigured? Do they have any scars?

3. Tell a little about his/her family?
- Are his/her parents alive now?
- Were they rich or poor? Loving, or abusive?
- What did his/her parents do for a living?
- Do they have any other remaining family members?
- What is their relationship with them?
- Has their life been difficult?

4. Where or how was your character educated? Why?
- Did they enjoy their education? Was it what he/she wanted?

5. What did you do before deciding to become a ...?
- Did they try to be anything else in life before becoming a ...?

6. What is the characters moral code?
- Do they think killing is acceptable? Why, or why not?
- Under what circumstances will your character kill a (sentient) creature? (Person)
- Under what circumstances will they kill a non-sentient creature? (Animal)

7. Does your character have goals?
- What short-term goals (less than five years) do they have?
- What long-term goals (more than five years) do they have?

8. Why or what circumstances has caused the character to become a ___?
- Was it a forced decision? Is it a profession they just "fell into"?
- Do they regret their decision?
- What did they do before becoming a ___?

9. What is the character's personality?
- Are they stoic, or do they wear their heart on their sleeve?
- How do they carry themselves? Are they noble, and proud, crafty, and shifty, or clumsy, and aloof?
- What does their voice sound like?
- How would they act under duress, or in a critical situation? (Murder, violent conflict, death of a friend/enemy, natural disaster, having or raising children, mugging, unexpected kindness or compliment, interracial relationships whether in or witnessing one.)
- Do they have any phobias?
- What would they sacrifice their life for?
- What do they think of religion?
- Are they a loner, or do they *need* social input?
- What is their strong point?
- What is their weak point?
- Do they feel any tie/bond to their kingdom/country/province?
- Do they have any talents? (Singing, drawing, fine literacy.)
- Do they have any habits?
- Do they have any secrets?
- Do they have a sense or lack of humor?
- If they were to die unexpectedly, what thing would they most regret not telling anyone?
- Have they ever genuinely wanted to kill someone?
- What is their most treasured memory?
- If your character could choose the manner of their death, what would it be?
- What does your character feel most grateful for?
- Do they often exaggerate or embellish stories? If so, why?
- How forgiving is your character? Why or why not?
- How much does your character feel in control of the course of their life?
- Is it easy for your character to ask for help when they need it? Will they ask for help?
- Are they compulsive?
- Are they the "thinking" or "feeling" type?
- How easily embarrassed is your character?
- Does the fact that your character has never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to them?
- Are they greedy or altruistic?

10. Are there certain things the character can not or will not do? This goes above and beyond murder.
- Will they steal?
- Will they share secrets?
- Would they accept bribes?
- Would they betray their kingdom/country/province?
- Would they betray their friends?

11. What does the character hate? Not just races, but places, situations, weather, magic, armor, technology.

12. What does the character love? Again, not just races, but places, situations, weather, etc et al.

13. What is their status NOW?
- Where do they live?
- Do they live with anyone else?
- Are they rich/poor, happy/depressed, abusive/loving, due to their situation?
- Was this a forced living situation?
- Are they happy there?
- Why do they live there now?

Composed and compiled by yours truly.

Hope it helps.

Last edited by Nath on Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:39 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:20 pm
Posts: 82
Location: South of Heaven
I didn't think an essay would be the result, that's oober long!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:03 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:26 am
Posts: 633
Location: Powder Springs, GA
Good post.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:08 am 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:16 am
Posts: 4124
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
SK Character: Achernar
Yes, very. TYVM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:00 am 
Mortal Contributor

Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:50 pm
Posts: 789
Location: UK
SK Character: That'd be telling
Good post, but can you give it a meaningful title please?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:36 pm
Posts: 521
To clarify the difference between 5 and 8:

5 is in reference to your character's class.

8 is in reference to professions, or their livelihood.

I'll edit the title of the topic.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 7:26 am
Posts: 1908
Location: Under my covers... sleeping
Good job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:55 pm
Posts: 1110
Location: Ithaca, NY
A few people suggested I post this guide here on the main forums, so I figured I would post it here, as a complement to the above questions, which focus more on background and history. This is a bit more SK-specific, but gives a somewhat different method for crafting a character.

I've noticed that a common problem with many characters is that they develop a history before they develop a personality. A character's personality is what will guide every single interaction in the game; it's the single most important feature of any character. A character with nothing but a sad story to tell offers very little depth, and leaves little room for improvisation or growth. There's nothing wrong with making up a story to support your character, but stories usually don't help you develop the rest of your character. And, realistically, it's pretty hard to make a story that someone hasn't heard before. In short: don't put all your coppers in the "story basket", as it were.

So, whenever I'm thinking up a character, I always try and imagine what I want him/her to look like, before anything else. There's a reason you're supposed to have a description by the time you reach Novice. You'll have to think about him/her for possibly thousands of hours, so it better be something you enjoy thinking about. That doesn't necessarily mean thin and pretty, but intriguing and unique from YOUR perspective. The easiest way to start THAT, is by choosing a race. I figure it's helpful to have everything you need to consider listed out in one place. I just copied it all from the helpfiles, as well as linked to them, because my car is in the shop and I have a lot of time on my hands. SO!

Once you've got some images down in your head, THEN you can start thinking about what kind of MORAL personality you want this character to have. Will this personality be reflected in the physical appearance of your character? If so, will it fit with the race you've chosen? If not, reconsider your race choice, to make sure you have as cohesive a character as possible! Remember, you aren't even considering class, yet. Just think about aura, first. Keep it simple. Evil or good? How evil? How good? What KIND of evil/good? How passionate? How firm? The more you define the character's morality, consider which alignment they'll fit into.

Remember your OPTIONS!
Once you've developed a MORAL personality, think about an INTERACTIVE personality. What do they sound like when they speak? What kind of motions and gestures would this person use? Just like in real life, this person's demeanor should have some sort of recognizable pattern or flavor to it. How does this person's moral convictions affect his/her interactions with others? This goes back to how passionate/firm this person is about their beliefs. This is also where you should start thinking about the kind of class you want to play. Your interactions are heavily colored by the kind of abilities you have to offer and utilize during RP as well as PK.

Examine yourself as a player. How creative are you,and how much do you want these creative abilities expressed into the game? Not everyone can pop a rhyming poem out at will, so make sure you're not working outside your capabilities. That said, don't be afraid to stretch yourself, but know that different styles of RP take a lot of practice to improve at. If writing and speeches are your thing, consider a character with a position of leadership (of any class), a priest, a sorceror, a paladin, or a hellion. Song and dance? Bards obviously offer the most in this regard, but there've been plenty of sailor-type swashbucklers and rogues. The sky is the limit. You can do anything with any kind of character, but remember that many types of RP are simply easier with certain classes.

Look at your OPTIONS!
    Mercenary -- the basic warrior profession
    Swashbuckler -- skilled in swift multi-handed strikes
    Barbarian -- uncivilized warrior of brute force

    Priest -- the basic clerical vocation
    Paladin -- knight blessed by the gods of light (see also: vow)
    Hellion -- knight blessed by the gods of darkness (see also: code)
    Shaman -- uncivilized cleric with spiritual powers

    Rogue -- the basic adventuring profession
    Scout -- skilled in woodlore and bush-fighting
    Bard -- performer and minor magician

    Sorceror -- the basic wizard profession
    Warlock -- worships and uses the elemental powers
    Necromancer -- diabolical master of the undead
If you've got some ideas for personality down, think about the OOC future of the character. If you want him/her to be a leader, be certain that you have the time and will for it. This applies to both religions and factions. If you intend to take up both, this is extra important. Dual leadership saps the joy out of playing pretty quickly, if you're not careful. It gets better the longer you're at it, but you're looking at minimum play-times of at least 15 hours a week, and that's on the pretty low end. Regardless of leadership, do you want this character to accomplish something significant, or be remembered in a particular way? How will you make your mark? Every good character leaves an impact on the world in some way.

This is where religion and faction can start to come into play. While these are both aspects that can easily be left up to the way things progress as the character grows and meets people, it's equally viable to decide beforehand, and is especially important with priests, paladins, and hellions. Just consider what fits the character's moral and interactive personality best, and if you're non-clergy, think about joining a religion with low numbers, as well (not quite as highly recommended for clergy). If you're considering a tribunal, you should start in the corresponding city. Do what you feel is most fun. Remember your OPTIONS!

Cabals (roughly in order of alignment):
Nations (prominent cities):

After all this, be sure to remember that change is good. Don't be afraid to let your character evolve with time, even if the changes aren't a part of your original plans. The only pitfall in this regard is with alignment - you'll never be able to change your character's alignment, no matter how leet the RP might be, so you've GOT to stick with it - there are NO exceptions!

So, good luck, and I hope someone out there found this useful.

Last edited by Salandarin on Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:05 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:04 am
Posts: 886
Location: Hampton, VA
Yay! I say again: awesome post. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:41 am
Posts: 1979
Location: Canada
I'm kind of embarrassed to post here after the great posts that came before mine but if it helps anything I always imagine my character as a character in a fanatasy setting. I've read alot of books, so I think about them and pull something out of a medieval/science fantasy setting.

I suspect everyone does it like this. You don't have to just think about what'll be good on SK. Make something you like.

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