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Shen

How do you go about creating a new character?

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Seriously, this is one aspect of RP that I just hate. It's not about what kind of template you use for your character, it's more about what mental process do you go through when creating a new character for an RP? I mean do you spend time reading/researching lore and then decide who and where your character would be? Do you come up with the character first and then try to fit them into the world? How do you do it? 

I just suck at coming up with new characters and turning them into a solid concept. All I ever have in my head is rough drafts and hazy concepts of characters. Like if you just throw me into an RP I'd probably come up with a very rough concept for a character on the spot as I type up my entrance post, but ask me to actually take time and submit a character sheet and it'll probably take me literal days to do it. It's like a form of writer's block, but for characters... Does that make sense? 

Anyways let me know how you guys do it, I'm really interested in this. 

Edited by Shen

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First I go into my Emporion homeland, then I abduct some people, and send them here.

In better terms I scroll though my thousands of listed charaters and choose the one that will fit in the most.

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25 minutes ago, Hurttoto said:

First I go into my Emporion homeland, then I abduct some people, and send them here.

In better terms I scroll though my thousands of listed charaters and choose the one that will fit in the most.

Thanks, that's super helpful. 

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It depends. I don't usually need a lot of backstory since I'm usually making characters as they come to me. So I'll get a flash in my head, then use a super basic template to get down super basic, foundational information. Then, after that, part of the fun for me is "discovering the character". Having them go through roleplays reveals to me their attitudes, their history, their capabilities. 

If I need to make one for a specific purpose it's usually a little easier. For example I made a quick vampire hunter to roleplay with a new member and looked at their history for a rough idea of how they handled pacing then emulated it and threw in some character specific stuff that I just made up on the spot without much thought, because again the fun is in discovering the character, not in fully capturing them in exhaustive detail in a sheet. 

I also keep in mind that as writers in this hobby we have the gift of editing and revision, and if you find that you included something that doesn't work or that it's missing something you want to include, it usually isn't a big deal to do so after the fact - the first move you make doesn't have to be flawless

Edited by supernal

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18 minutes ago, supernal said:

It depends. I don't usually need a lot of backstory since I'm usually making characters as they come to me. So I'll get a flash in my head, then use a super basic template to get down super basic, foundational information. Then, after that, part of the fun for me is "discovering the character". Having them go through roleplays reveals to me their attitudes, their history, their capabilities. 

If I need to make one for a specific purpose it's usually a little easier. For example I made a quick vampire hunter to roleplay with a new member and looked at their history for a rough idea of how they handled pacing then emulated it and threw in some character specific stuff that I just made up on the spot without much though, because again the fun is in discovering the character, not in fully capturing them in exhaustive detail in a sheet. 

I also keep in mind that as writers in this hobby we have the gift of editing and revision, and if you find that you included something that doesn't work or that it's missing something you want to include, it usually isn't a big deal to do so after the fact - the first move you make doesn't have to be flawless

I like that approach to it. Make a basic info sheet and then discover the rest by actually playing the character. I think I just end up creating fictional boundaries for myself by worrying too much about silly details most of the time. I'll try to follow your method and see if it works for me. Thanks! 

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Typically I'll try to find the simplest beginning point possible, and actually build the character up as I play. 

For instance my character Jinsoku was launched into play as a young adult human with no powers what so ever. He was a street/pit fighter. Now, he's well established as a Slayer's Apprentice, is employed within a guild relevant to his career/life style, and had the pleasure of playing host to a Raiju which have him electric based powers after being struck by lightning. 

The growth and development was gained through play, mostly. I chose the Raiju bit. However the choice of shifting gears from a wanna be prize fighter to a training slayer was gained purely through play without any planning. He almost died, he was terrified, he got saved by whose now his Master, and he begged the guy to train him to be just like him. 

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I'm completely in supernal's boat. For me, at least, there's a small percentage that it doesn't work out since there's a deal of winging it. Sometimes I'll make my basic outline, throw my char into the fray, let his roleplay experience help define his character, then keep roleplaying and realize that I might have since contradicted some personality traits or background points along the way.

But so much of roleplay is one giant journey, and it's no different with my characters. Overall, the technique works. Because roleplaying is often at the mercy of who is active and where roleplay settings take place, I find that too much character development on the front end can be detrimental.

For example, if I cram a new char full of backstory, have him be a Genesaris-bound, gnome-hating technophobe because insert backstory here, but for one week the only active roleplays take place in Terrenus and everyone's character is a technogenius gnome, then it might be difficult for me to actively roleplay? It just might.

There are some things that textbook profiles can buy, and some things that backstory can't buy, but for everything else there's a deck of cards and the hands to shuffle them.

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3 minutes ago, Die Shize said:

but for everything else there's a deck of cards and the hands to shuffle them.

I thought you were gonna for everything else, there's Mastercard. 

Nah but I get what you guys seem to be getting at now. I've been too concerned with trying to create a character and put down his complete personality on paper, but I've failed to realize that by doing so I'd actually be harming my roleplay experience more than enhancing it. Character development and growth is a huge part of rp and if I make a complete character before I even use them in a story then that kinda takes half the fun out of it I think. 

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One of the best things about roleplay is that you get to develop your character by writing them out against other people's characters. You essentially bounce your character off someone else like a bouncy bouncy ball in a room filled with bouncy bouncy balls.

Compared to writing a solo story where you have to rely on just yourself. In roleplay, you might enter a scenario or bump into a character that you might not have conceived of if you were writing solo. Your knight might have truly been planned for a medieval setting, with any idea of time travel sounding utterly stupid to you in your cozy book.

But, in the roleplay world, some rper comes along with an entirely legitimate IC time travel device and all of a sudden your knight is caught up in it and transported to the future. You didn't plan this. It all came about in live action. But boy do you have a story to tell your five children after playing with pitchforks all day.

Roleplay is just so incredibly dynamic and can be totally unpredictable for those who, like me, really want it to be. It's why I shy away from CLOSED roleplays as much as I can and refrain from planning a thread out too much. And for the hardcore roleplayers, it can be so dynamic and wild that you could lose characters like you lose socks and loose change (I used to attend a Star Wars site where conflict was the agenda so I'd say I'm hardcore in that sense).

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I will admit, my method is only good for free form/t1 rp in general, combat heavy or not. 

When making a character for a specific play that's already established I either dig around for lore and such and try to reach out others involved prior to play to figure out how to make said character more cohesive to the grand scheme. Just like I'm doing for Nymeria with The Hound.

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Sometimes I'll pluck characters from tabletop RPG's that I selfishly want to spend more time with. (Like Bard, who really drives my party crazy during game nights). Other times I just think of aspects of characters in film/books/games I really enjoy and try to make a mixture of their traits into something of my own. Than, there's times when I shape the character very much like myself if I want to create a more grounded experience, and make the character come off as genuine as possible. 

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I figure that aside from Akiris I have about two or three other characters I could produce. Assembly very much required.

Considering OP's question, I have quite a few fragments that would make up a character. Names, personalities, powers, ect. I enjoy kicking ideas around in my head and anything that comes off as an ability typically requires a massive amount of refinement to not suck.

But the end result is that I have concepts that I've been waiting to play. Should I find a rp that I want, I'll deal one in. If not, they may very well shift into something else as time goes on.

Footnote. If you have 'friends' that require you to make a character in order to fill out thier 'very interesting role-play'. Then yeah, I can see how that would suck.

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I've been RP'ing since waaaayy back with Prodigy Internet and CompuServe. Me and my friend Tim used to play a lot of Fantasy online games and the like. We used to sit at his house and just create characters from out of the blue, with room to add new abilities and the like. We met up each week on Fridays after School to discuss powers, abilities, storylines and the like. As time went on, my sister and I started just assembling characters by the hundreds, with full knowledge of each and every SINGLE character's abilities, background and history.

 

Since I already have a repertoire of 1800+ Characters, it's really not that difficult for me to pick someone that I have not yet introduced into the Valucre World. My concepts are always a spin-off or a cast-off from some other major character that I might already be USING at that moment. On the other hand, I might just be sitting him/her out for the time being until I can come up with something that would require that character's set of skills for THAT storyline itself.

Creating CREATURES is something that I'm so USED to, having watched tons of sci-fi/Horror films and even low-budget ones. The Spark is the imagination itself, and it drives me to keep creating more and more unique ones that have not been done before by virtually ANYONE. The Invectium Race are my PRIME example, as I don't leave complete clues as to how they behave. I keep it LIKE that to leave the readers wanting more and to ask MORE questions. I even DREAMT that Benaires came to my House and that I couldn't get him to fit through the FRONT door!!! He scared the hell out of my neighbors too!!! XD

In short, there are tons of variables to take into consideration when I create a new character. I even get stuck on creating a damned Character Sheet quite often, as the idea sounds GOOD in your mind, but typing it out is totally something different, as you are QUITE sure how to describe Him/her/IT.

Benny

 

 

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4 minutes ago, princeben07 said:

I even get stuck on creating a damned Character Sheet quite often, as the idea sounds GOOD in your mind, but typing it out is totally something different, as you are QUITE sure how to describe Him/her/IT.

Pretty much how I feel 

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Ah, so you're stuck like I AM, lol. Don't rush it though. Take your time and think things through. I usually scribble down some ideas on my new character and what makes him/her different from any OTHER character. Sometimes it works, other times, it leaves you guessing.  --'

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