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 A Guide to Character-Making

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Fallen Elf
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Join date : 2010-11-12
Age : 22
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PostSubject: A Guide to Character-Making   Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:57 pm

A Guide to the Art of Character Making.

(With some other character-related things thrown in.)

I. Introduction.

If you think all you need to make a good character is a name, age, gender, appearance, and one to two sentence history, you are sorely mistaken. The best characters are the ones that take time to develop, not the ones you throw together in two seconds just to get it out of the way so you can RP. Characters may not seem important, but without them, there is no RPG to be played.

We're going to take you step by step through the creation of a character, and show you what makes a good character - while also showing you what to avoid. We recommend that you read through the entire thing if you're new to RPing, or even new to the site. Some text-based RPG sites have different formats than we do.

II. Things to Cover in Your Sheet.

Standard character sheets look a little bit like this.

Name.
Age.
Gender.
Personality.
General Appearance.
Weapons/Usual Equipment.
History.
Miscellaneous.

Depending on the RPG, you may want to include your character's Faction and Position.

Name.

Pretty self-explanatory. Try to make it something original or unusual, depending on the RPG. If you're doing an Inheritance RPG, don't name your character Mary Jane. Make the name fit the universe you're playing in.

Age.

Again, self-explanatory and dependent on the RPG. If you're in a game that's going to involve a lot of fighting and such, don't make your character seven years old with zero skills. It's no fun to play cannon fodder. Also avoid making your character fifteen years old and the best fighter the world has ever seen. Sorry, kid, it's not the case. The older characters would own you.

Gender.


Personality.

Now this is where you really get to use your noggins. Personality is one of the most important part of a character. You need to include the character's good and bad traits, to give it a little balance. You can't have a perfect character with no faults whatsoever. It gets boring for you, and irritating for the other players. Make your characters interesting. Take a look at the other characters, and give yours an interesting trait that no one else has. You'll want to write at least a well thought-out paragraph for this.

General Appearance.

Things to mention in this category include height, weight/build, eye color, hair color and length, usual clothing or accessories, and any other distinguishing characteristics. Does your character have a scar, tattoo, or piercing? Does he/she have long legs or a short torso? Is your character missing a visible body part? Tell us about it here.

Weapons/Usual Equipment.

Depending on your character's individual skills, he or she will have certain equipment. Is he an excellent archer? You'd list that he carries a bow and a quiver with some arrows in it. Is she a nurse? Have a first aid kit listed here.

History.

The most feared thing of all the topics in your character sheets. Most people write a few lines and call it a history, but if your character is over fifteen, you're going to want to lay out some of his or her childhood. Is your character a total sadist? Or maybe she's just obsessed with the color green? Tell us why! A good solid paragraph or two will earn you points in an RPG creators eyes.

Miscellaneous.

A random fact or two about your character. Does he sleep with a stuffed animal? Is she deathly afraid of spiders? Any relevant (or humorous irrelevant) information that doesn't fit the above categories can go here. It doesn't even have to be long.

III. Fights and Battle Sequences.

Whether it's a bar brawl or an epic battle to decide the fate of Sparta, fights are bound to happen in an RPG. When starting a fist fight, we advise that you okay it with the creator of the RPG and the member you are about to punch/slap/kick/do something to instigate a fight with. Don't try to control the entire fight just because you want your character to come out looking macho. You can always co-post with someone if you're doing a one-on-one fight. Taking countless NPCs out easily in a big fight just to look tough or valiant is also a no-no.

During fights that include all of the members of an RPG, try to make your posts a bit lengthy and detailed. Your posts should flow with the other members', making it easy to read - and enjoyable, too. No one wants to read a selection of posts that read:

QUOTE
Andi saw the army coming at them and drew her sword. She looked at Adrienne. "Are you ready to fight?"
QUOTE
Adrienne nodded at Andi, her sword also drawn. "Yes, I am ready," she replied.
QUOTE
Balthasar growled, drawing his sword. "Let us fight!" He ran off into the battle.
QUOTE
"No, Balthasar! We do not attack yet!" yelled Andi, running after him.
QUOTE
"Oh no!" shouted Adrienne, following the two.

It's not interesting, it sounds like everyone's a robot, and it's not how to write your battle posts!

Godmoding and Battle Scenes.

There are two extremes you do not want to go to during battles - never being injured, or being severely wounded left and right. If you come out of a massive battle without a scratch on you, you'd better be shining, wearing a white cloak, and preparing to be resurrected in three days (and no, that isn't a loophole). At the same time, if you come out of every battle cut up and passing out from blood loss, your fellow members might turn on you and kill you themselves. Just go in, fight to your (character's) best ability, kill some enemies, and get maybe one or two small, non-life threatening injuries. Well, unless you want your character to die.
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