Three things to make an interesting character

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06 Jul 2007 22:27 #9582 by shepherd
I'm still struggling with my character and rp'ing it well, and recently I scoured the internet for advice on character creation. One bit of advice for writer's that struck me as useful was the following. Just three little things you need to make an interesting character.

1. A good NAME
For example, Huckleberry Finn, Frodo, Gandalf, Strider (okay, all the names from LotR)

2. A QUIRK
A good example is an AL character that often clicks his tongue. Read the RP logs and you'll see who. And for those who read the Wheel of Time series, how about Cadsuane and how she always says, "Phaw!" Or Gollum and the way he talks about himself as if he were more than one person. "We be goods to them if they be goods to us..." Not to mention the Sssss's, precioussss.

3. Finally, a DESPERATE NEED
More LotR examples: Elrond has a desperate need to protect his daughter, Frodo needs to destroy the ring, Sam needs to protect Frodo, Aragorn needs to confront his forefather's actions, Gollum needs the ring. And so on.

Of the three, 'desperate need' has to be the hardest. Still workin on that one myself. But Ive found them useful overall. Hope they're also of use to others  :D

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06 Jul 2007 23:49 #9583 by Synthesis
I take it that "a desperate need to master every skill in the game" doesn't count?

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07 Jul 2007 02:05 #9584 by Parker
To Synthesis: No.

A desperate need is really something that needs to be worked on (as stated by Shepard). If you've ever played/heard of the tabletop RP Exalted, they have a nice little guide to Motivations, which I can't fully recall at the moment, nor find on the interwebs (google, you- you've failed me!), but it roughly goes as such:
A character's motivation is the one thing at which he/she is consistently working towards. In the beginning, Players may choose non-epic motivations, but they may choose to epic-ify them later in the game. Once a motivation has been acheived or found to be incorrect, another motivation must be chosen to keep play interesting (e.g., once the evil Wizard who was terrorizing your village has been killed, you need another life-defining goal, else ye shall fade into aimlessness.).

While the epic-ness doesn't need to be there for AL (we are more realistic than Exalted, after all), more interesting motivations do (imo) make for more interesting characters.

Of course, you shouldn't really come out to strangers with your motivation, either. This is a rather large bit of personal information that will essentially make most of your actions rather predictable. Even close friends should probably be kept in the dark about the character's motivation; however, it is entirely up to the character.

Edit: If the whole Desperate need is too difficult for you to figure out, you can always just pick a couple of psycosies and play out an insane character. However, this seems like it would be a little more research to start out with and a little less fufilling in general.

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07 Jul 2007 12:21 #9585 by Shadowslay
I like these. Start with the above 3 for making a character, and you'll be one step ahead of a lot of people already.

For those looking for ways to conceptualize/develop a character I would also suggest taking various online tests/surveys and applying them to your character. Everything from a "What's your D&D Alignment?" to Personality Types to... even political beliefs. Rather than answer how you would, answer how your character would act/think/feel. Even if you disagree with the results and the test is bogus (most are), you may obtain some interesting insights. Most importantly, you'll have practice thinking as your character thinks. Here's one of many out there: www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20001222b







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07 Jul 2007 14:53 #9586 by ladyimp
Kriss's advice rocks. I used to do something similar to that when I created a character, until I started DMing and it just got to big for me to plan out. Then I turned to grabbing handfuls of myself and flinging it at the game world, and seeing what came out ;P

But yeah, things like personality tests, or just imagining a walk in the woods or down a busy rl city street, as your character would do it, can give a huge amount of roleplaying resource to you. For some people, it's better to imaging watching the character doing stuff, for others, better to imaging being the character and doing it from inside.

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07 Jul 2007 18:38 #9587 by Blakat
:) Great advice all. Actually I've never played DnD so I never thought to try the alignment thing, but sounds like a good idea.

FYI:

Here are a few things I had perviously posted on some ideas.
www.accursed-lands.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1167176592

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08 Jul 2007 05:56 #9588 by BaddieX51
If I might, I'd like to add a thing that I've noticed as well. I enjoy characters that feel alive. While your character may be a tough and strong fighter, he is not some god or demon, or some unfeeling undead. Some of the most memorable moments with characters I've encountered are the ones where the character shows emotion. A strong character can break down, or at least show some sort of inner conflict on their face or whatnot. I've seen too many characters who are just sword swingers that have no emotion other than anger and "Look! It's alive! Kill it!" reactions to things. Maybe a phobia, maybe something that they cannot stand and fear? Little quirks like this on top of these other things help to define who the character is much more than an unfeeling robot.

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