JP On Gaming

Monday, January 7, 2013

More tips to create fun characters

Following my Friday's post, I received a few additional emails through various sources. I chose some "choice morsels" to re-post here.

Sean Clark is one of the "old guys". Okay not so much because of his age, but because he was around in the days of Living Greyhawk. Sean really creates unique and colorful characters... I like his advise. It's simple and to the point. I especially like the catchphrase idea, what a great idea to get into your character.

Don't stress on fleshing out your characters life story - work from a solid concept and let the character develop over time.

If you have problems staying in an accent, work on a catch phrase for your character, using that accent. That catch phrase can help keep you " in the groove" and also helps people remember you character. Example? Try saying "That's freakin' huge!" With a Scottish accent ;)

One of the great questions that I always ask myself about each character is "what motivates this character to risk life and limb to go adventuring?" Kind of a basic question, but it can really help nail down what drives your character.

Make sure your character is really good at something. Role playing is awesome, but if you party TPKs because your character has a lot of personality, but brings nothing to the table, the players WILL remember you, but not in a very positive light.

And Jeff Kokx, owner of Enchated Grounds added to the discussion. I consider Jeff one of the best player (and GM) I've played with over the years. His point reaches mine about not predetermining everything about your character. Play and interaction with others creates ties and recurring relations that make for unmistakable moments.

His advice is great. Great point.

I'll also add on to Sean's idea about letting your character develop over a bit of time: don't be afraid to let other players' influences define who you are. One of my favorite characters to play is Khaldun, my dwarven guide. He is uncouth, butchers names on a regular basis, and respects people with really nice hats. The uncouth and hat parst came from another player's input, and I love those aspects of his personality.

Eric Ives shared the following thought which I really liked. A character is never "mysterious". In an organized play setting, Eric is 100% right that a mysterious character remains mysterious. If, as a player or GM, a mysterious character is someone who simply gives you no hook.

That's not to say that the "mysterious" thing cannot be used. Having a character with a mysterious tattoo or mark or a weapon of mysterious design at least prompts the question "what is that?" But being a mysterious stranger... Well see Eric's comments.

I've played at quite a few of the Learn-to-Play nights over the last year and one mistake I see a lot of new players making is to define their characters as "mysterious", thinking that that means "cool", but in this context it usually means "boring", both for the player and his teammates. In this setting, no one has time to draw your character out of his shell, and most people just aren't going to care about the slow reveal of your secret origin. From what I've observed, the people that have the most fun playing in PFS are usually playing characters that are relatively up-front, understandable and at least somewhat entertaining to the other players.

Do YOU have any tips, comments of advice?


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