Author Topic: How to make an interesting character  (Read 4785 times)

boog

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2010, 11:51:26 PM »
I usually do much better and stick with 'character themes' if I plan someone out thoroughly beforehand.

That being said though, I like to randomly assign traits based on things that happen in game. My current character was simply random - I wanted to get into Arm rather badly and composed only a crude outline so I didn't have to fumble with quirks, perks, and otherwise. She's turned out well!

That being said though, I very much prefer to have a strict guideline, with characteristics, personality, things that offend and don't offend, etc.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Old Kank

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2010, 11:13:23 AM »
Live longer than a week.

Personally I like to make them fairly average background wise and let the world shape them how it will rather than come in  with everything preset.

This has been my approach for a long time.  If you take an average personality and join a clan, and then live for 2-3 months, your character will usually have enough actual experience under their belt to be pretty interesting in their own right without any carefully developed character flaws.

That being said, my new test of an interesting character is, "How will they act in the face of death?"  When that band of gith comes around the next bend, or that silt horror defiler of death storms into the Gaj, is my character afraid?  Does he have anything to live for?  Is he brave because he no longer fears death, or is he brave because there are things he fears worse than death?

No matter how interesting of a character I create, I've come to find that most, if not all of my characters eventually reach the same worn-out plateau where most of their friends have died, where they've been through the trenches and seen it all, and where they've become skilled enough that they rarely have to fear a surprise death, and in the end they become so grizzled and hardened that all they do is sit around waiting for a fitting end.

I haven't figured out how to prevent that eventual slide into a veteran cliche.

Semper

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2010, 11:48:18 AM »
I haven't figured out how to prevent that eventual slide into a veteran cliche.

Thirst for power and recognition or something along those lines. Usually leads to corruption or rebellion. That usually leads to an interesting ending. Course, not every Zalanthan ever reaches that point...
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Twilight

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2010, 12:52:39 PM »
I haven't figured out how to prevent that eventual slide into a veteran cliche.

Die before you reach that point.  Or play a southern noble, so you aren't actually grizzled and hardened at all.
Evolution ends when stupidity is no longer fatal."

Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2010, 01:28:05 PM »
No matter how interesting of a character I create, I've come to find that most, if not all of my characters eventually reach the same worn-out plateau where most of their friends have died, where they've been through the trenches and seen it all, and where they've become skilled enough that they rarely have to fear a surprise death, and in the end they become so grizzled and hardened that all they do is sit around waiting for a fitting end.

I haven't figured out how to prevent that eventual slide into a veteran cliche.
I'm totally with you there.

I think a separate thread for brainstorming solutions to that would be a great idea.  I'd make one but I have a meeting in 5 minutes.

X-D

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2010, 02:01:48 PM »
I make a blank slate PC, he will have some very basic personality that will keep through his life, I make no flaws, twists or what have you. I make a basic and easy to remember and follow backround.

I then let the PC grow into personality, twists, flaws etc organicly. Much more fun for me and far more interesting. But since my PCs have an average lifespan of greater then six months, I can afford to do this.

Of course, that means I eventually run into the problem Old Kank stated.


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No matter how interesting of a character I create, I've come to find that most, if not all of my characters eventually reach the same worn-out plateau where most of their friends have died, where they've been through the trenches and seen it all, and where they've become skilled enough that they rarely have to fear a surprise death, and in the end they become so grizzled and hardened that all they do is sit around waiting for a fitting end.

I haven't figured out how to prevent that eventual slide into a veteran cliche.
I'm totally with you there.

I think a separate thread for brainstorming solutions to that would be a great idea.  I'd make one but I have a meeting in 5 minutes.


I tend to fall in there as well.

Although, Since I have played a large number of dwarves, I am good at finding something new for my PC to do.

Of course the entire "I've been around for 9 generations of PCs." That is hard to get past,  It tends to bog my play down some, making me or my PC more distant to each generation, it is very hard to get past that.

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Aaron Goulet

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2010, 03:07:29 PM »
Moral of the story: the rest of us need to start living longer.
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Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2010, 03:16:09 PM »
See, here's the problem I've found with "blank slate" type PCs (both playing and interacting with):  In those first few weeks of play, you've only got about 1 conversation's worth of things to talk about with other PCs, if that.  Beyond that, I think you're lucky if you come up with something worth chatting about once per RL week.

Personally, I absolutely notice when a new character shows up that obviously had a lot of through put into them.  It makes me want to get to know them, hear gossip about them, and interact when possible (sometimes even stretching the limits of types of people my character is willing to speak with).

And honestly, on the flip side, when I see another farmboy Amos who makes it a point to assure me that his family is boring (possibly so I don't ask more questions about details that haven't been invented), I want to leave them alone until they do something worth knowing about.

X-D

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2010, 03:30:46 PM »
I suppose, for me, that is exactly my point. Since I don't care if you find my PC interesting, specialy not early on.

Well, I never care, since I play for me and anybody else is incidental.

That and something that looks great on paper tends to not be so great in play. I've seen thousands of well thought out interesting PCs enter the game. I bet most of them have max backrounds, the player figured out every bit of past life, all likes, dislikes, fears, loves etc etc etc. And 95% of those PCs are stored or suicided in a couple weeks.

And to be honest, most PCs SHOULD be rather boring to start. Though you might have made them with 40 years of history, the fact is, they do not have that, and it is something easily seen through by other players as being at best a facade.

Even worse is the PC that was well thought out to start, lives a long time and is still exactly the same 6 months later. Yes, he was interesting in the beginning, now, man, boring. People who have everything worked out ahead of time do not normaly let the PC grow and change. Some might enjoy that style, I do not and will avoid the PCs.

Of course, it is all just opinion and preference. I like organic in game growth. I wish that it extended to 2 classes in fact, I do not think either of them should be aloud to be apped. But thats another topic.
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Riya OniSenshi

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2010, 03:38:32 PM »
I know this isn't what Moe's talking about, but it's been presented to me in-game quite a few times:

I don't see how telling everyone that I meet my life story the first time I meet them, or when someone I barely know asks, would make me more interesting, and without a specific personality type, my pcs can't/won't find that justified, either.

Becoming friends with someone up to the point where that could be a topic of conversation could be interesting, however.

I tend to develope pcs initially very similarly to Zoltan's guide, but I keep a lot of things basic, and let the first week or so of play give me a better shape. Somtimes I think of "twists" or whatnot to add that I hadn't originnally thought of, personality traits or habits develop, but I very rarely volunteer important background information/details to people who havn't earned any trust.  It's just like real-life - I'm not going to tell you about my secret painkiller habit because you said "hi" and sat down at my table in a bar without asking.

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Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2010, 03:44:33 PM »
I suppose, for me, that is exactly my point. Since I don't care if you find my PC interesting, specialy not early on.

Well, I never care, since I play for me and anybody else is incidental.
What I mean is it's about getting more interaction, not (just) entertaining other players.

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That and something that looks great on paper tends to not be so great in play. I've seen thousands of well thought out interesting PCs enter the game. I bet most of them have max backrounds, the player figured out every bit of past life, all likes, dislikes, fears, loves etc etc etc. And 95% of those PCs are stored or suicided in a couple weeks.
Forgive me if I'm a little dubious regarding these statistics.

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And to be honest, most PCs SHOULD be rather boring to start. Though you might have made them with 40 years of history, the fact is, they do not have that, and it is something easily seen through by other players as being at best a facade.
Wow... so if it didn't happen in-game, it's a facade?  That's really a really disheartening viewpoint, honestly.

I mean, don't get me wrong: a character with a lot of in-game history really is something special.  I know, I've had 3 PCs who lived more than 1.5 years.  Still, to treat someone's background as any less than fact is... well...   :-\

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Even worse is the PC that was well thought out to start, lives a long time and is still exactly the same 6 months later. Yes, he was interesting in the beginning, now, man, boring. People who have everything worked out ahead of time do not normaly let the PC grow and change. Some might enjoy that style, I do not and will avoid the PCs.
Again, I'm dubious regarding your evidence.  It seems to me that it'd be really hard to have a PC live for 6 months and NOT change, regardless of how detailed the concept was.

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Of course, it is all just opinion and preference.  I like organic in game growth.
Me too.

X-D

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2010, 03:55:57 PM »
I'd give names of some, but would rather not, don't wanna be seen as bagging on somebodies beloved long lived PC.

As to the dubius parts, Oh, I'm assigning numbers not actually keeping count, but it is still high from what I've seen and heard from MANY players over the years, Hell, you can see it on the boards.

How many threads have started with "I had this great concept, put it into play and it is a week later and I'm bored."

As to the written history part. One can only suspend disbelief just so far, as you well know. And even if you go along with it, you, the player are still sitting there going, Meh, that never "really" happened. And so, simply does not carry the same weight as things that did happen IG. I never said it was treated IG as anything less then fact mind you. but OOCly, you still know.

A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

KankWhisperer

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2010, 03:59:07 PM »
I think people should have a general feeling about certain world powers.

I don't/do like <organization> because of <some event> to <this> extent.
I don't feel one way or the other or am ignorant of <organization>

A nenyuk clerk stole all my money one time so I refuse to make deposits.
Kadians always make me good deals so I shop there and refuse to buy from tribals.
Tuluki templars killed my uncle (I think), so I always try and avoid them.
Southerners are scum but I don't really care enough to insult one.

Merchant houses.
D-elf Tribes.
Tuluki Templars and Nobles.
Allanak Templars and Nobles.
Tuluki commoners
Allanaki commoners
'Rinthers
Stormers
Non D-elf tribals

Then know where your character has lived or been.
Sands.
'Nak.
Storm.
Luir's.
Pah.
'Luk.
'Rinth.

Then have a little blurb about how you became <class> and <subclass>.

I used to watch my <some character>'s back while he cut wood and etc.
They are  too old for that shit now so I have to find my own way.

Possibly:
I don't/do like <race> because of <some event> to <this extent>.
I don't feel one way or the other or am ignorant of <race>.

A dwarf used to beat my ass when I was a kid so I slightly hate them.
A half-elf saved my father once so I pretend to hate them but don't really.

human,
elf,
tribal elf,
dwarf,
half-giant,
others

I have these goals:
To get rich or die trying.
To get an expensive sword.

I have these (other) quirks:
I really like red heads.
I only look out for myself. I'll abandon anyone at the first sign of trouble.
I refuse to ride war beetles.


It seems like with a few of these kinds of things filled out you could be pretty interesting without being completely set in stone.
All subject to change but it might be harder for you to trust a dwarf but eventually you could etc.
More quirks as time goes on and changing goals (for non-dwarves).

Someone should make a little cheat sheet or something you can fill out.














Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2010, 04:05:24 PM »
I know this isn't what Moe's talking about, but it's been presented to me in-game quite a few times:

I don't see how telling everyone that I meet my life story the first time I meet them, or when someone I barely know asks, would make me more interesting, and without a specific personality type, my pcs can't/won't find that justified, either.
Agreed, and that's not quite what I'm advocating.  spewing out your background story without being asked about it probably isn't interesting to other people.  That's why I suggested that character should have an "outward twist".  Something apparent about them, either how they look or how they act, that is unusual but not readily explainable.  A mystery that people will want to solve (by interacting with your character).


Also, I'm not saying that anyone should (or even could) flesh out everything about their PC.  While I do like to have a lot of detail these days, I also like to leave myself room to flex the concept, especially in the area of personality (because I end up playing most of my characters somewhat differently than I envision them acting like).  Detail doesn't have to be limiting.

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Cutthroat

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2010, 04:17:28 PM »
That and something that looks great on paper tends to not be so great in play. I've seen thousands of well thought out interesting PCs enter the game. I bet most of them have max backrounds, the player figured out every bit of past life, all likes, dislikes, fears, loves etc etc etc. And 95% of those PCs are stored or suicided in a couple weeks.

And to be honest, most PCs SHOULD be rather boring to start. Though you might have made them with 40 years of history, the fact is, they do not have that, and it is something easily seen through by other players as being at best a facade.

Even worse is the PC that was well thought out to start, lives a long time and is still exactly the same 6 months later. Yes, he was interesting in the beginning, now, man, boring. People who have everything worked out ahead of time do not normaly [sic] let the PC grow and change. Some might enjoy that style, I do not and will avoid the PCs.

Just wanted to touch on this before offering my own advice.

For the first point, it seems counter-intuitive that a player that puts a lot of effort into a character application would suicide or store their character in a short time. Players regularly lament the loss of their (presumably) well thought-out special applications or sponsored roles after a short time, so there obviously is an expectation that a character's lifespan should be roughly proportional to work put into an app. If your statement is remotely true, I can get behind the idea that these characters are dying accidentally, and you are assuming that they are stored or have committed suicide. That has nothing to do with fun or lack thereof.

As for the second point, either you truly believe PCs should not have a unique personality until they are played for a reasonable amount of time, or, more likely considering your line of argument, you are confusing history with skill. New characters don't have a lot of skill (unless staff alters their abilities somehow), and oftentimes history has nothing to do with skill (though the initial background should certainly reflect the starting skills or a lack thereof to some extent). But all characters have some sort of history, and to be frank, it is ridiculous to say that is all a facade because it happened virtually, and I hope that is not what you're saying. It would certainly be odd if someone apps a warrior whose history includes 20 years of them being a master swordsman without any staff assistance, but that is obviously something staff are there to catch. You wrote about your PC with arachnophobia - was that something included in the background, or something developed during play? If it was the former, did you disregard it as a facade?

And to the last, what you're talking about is a static character. How static a character is has absolutely nothing to do with how defined a character is to start... or, put in another way, characters that are well-defined to start and characters that are vaguely-defined to start can all be static. Obviously, you and I both prefer dynamic characters, but the truth is characters with any sort of background can be dynamic. Being able to change a PC over time is really a simple matter, and a PC that exists for 6 months and hasn't experienced anything that could be considered life-changing seems, at least to me, pretty bland.

As for my advice pertaining to the original topic,

I like Marauder Moe's suggestion at the start, as well as what Aaron Goulet and Anaiah's suggestions. Weaknesses are very important to me, as a player. No one is infallible, and it's important to account for that. I like to write about my PC's personality, about things that won't necessarily go into a background but be kept in a place that can be easily changed, for my reference. When I write about my PC's personality, I like to balance perks with flaws - strengths and various things my PC is good at, likes, or likes doing, contrasted with things that they dislike, dislike doing, or are bad at. This essentially helps me check myself and prevent me from making a PC that is good at politicking, AND obsidian-mining, AND singing, etc. Instead, if I decide my PC will be good at singing to start, then they will invariably start off poor at dancing, or painting, or sculpting.

KankWhisperer

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2010, 04:37:51 PM »
Obviously, you and I both prefer dynamic characters, but the truth is characters with any sort of background can be dynamic. Being able to change a PC over time is really a simple matter, and a PC that exists for 6 months and hasn't experienced anything that could be considered life-changing seems, at least to me, pretty bland.

What exactly do you mean by dynamic. Not everyone is going to change their whole concept every six month such that they seem dynamic. Sure a character may be doing the same thing and the same job but that doesn't mean they haven't changed. So you see the same guy six months later and he acts the same in public to you who are probably a stranger cause your old character is dead. You don't get to see if they have changed internally. Maybe they are bitter or have turned traitor. To me it sounds like you want every long lived character to just go off on a tangent every time something bad happens to them? Oh he is still working for so and so and still hates Half-giants. NOT DYNAMIC.

Cutthroat

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2010, 04:46:56 PM »
Obviously, you and I both prefer dynamic characters, but the truth is characters with any sort of background can be dynamic. Being able to change a PC over time is really a simple matter, and a PC that exists for 6 months and hasn't experienced anything that could be considered life-changing seems, at least to me, pretty bland.

What exactly do you mean by dynamic. Not everyone is going to change their whole concept every six month such that they seem dynamic. Sure a character may be doing the same thing and the same job but that doesn't mean they haven't changed. So you see the same guy six months later and he acts the same in public to you who are probably a stranger cause your old character is dead. You don't get to see if they have changed internally. Maybe they are bitter or have turned traitor. To me it sounds like you want every long lived character to just go off on a tangent every time something bad happens to them? Oh he is still working for so and so and still hates Half-giants. NOT DYNAMIC.

You misunderstood. Let me clarify.

When I say "dynamic" I am referring to internal as well as external change. In fiction, static characters are those that do not change internally or externally at all in response to something that would normally change a person. Generally, dynamic characters change in the way that makes the most sense: in gradual steps. Some things about a person will never change, but some things will. A dynamic character is simply a character that develops with the plots they are involved in, and a vast majority if not all of PCs on Armageddon that I have seen are dynamic. In fact, it is extremely difficult to play a static character on Armageddon realistically, unless the PC is absolutely uninvolved in everything.

Mr. "Still working for so-and-so and still hates half-giants" can indeed be dynamic, if one of the many experiences he has been involved in has somehow changed him in the slightest.

There are articles on static and dynamic characterization, written with regards to fiction, on the internet. A good one to start with is http://www.k-state.edu/english/baker/english320/cc-static_vs_dynamic_characterization.htm What constitutes an important change, imo, is debatable, but anything that affects a character's thought process, personality or habits could be considered important.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 04:48:52 PM by Cutthroat »

KankWhisperer

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2010, 04:58:37 PM »
The problem is you don't really know if someone has changed internally.

I understood you just fine. What I am asking you is how are you judging a character if you can only see what they present to you. Unlike (some) works of fiction you only see what they want you to see unless you are Staff basically. If they do not spill their guts to you then you just don't know. You can't even apply the standards set by your web link.

Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2010, 05:01:03 PM »
Perhaps when he said "bland" he was thinking in terms of judging his own characters, not those of other people.

X-D

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2010, 05:01:39 PM »
Gah, Cutthroat, either I'm doing a far worse job of explaining or you understood nothing I posted.

First, like I said, go back and look at all the posts/threads on the subject of "looked good on paper" well thought out PCs.
As to others, Storage, is usually easy to figure out IG, accidental deaths, less hard, but if somebody walks into the silt sea, you can normaly assume suicide.

Next, I never said anything of the sort, I never said that a PC should not have a unique personality from the start. I in fact said something totally different. But one can be unique without having every hate/love/fear/twist/quirk thought out ahead of time. So your entire paragraph on confusing skill, blah blah, is moot.
As to the backround crap, again, as I posted before, the PLAYER...knows it to be facade or virtual. Sure, it does not matter IG, it really happened and IG you have to treat it that way. But from a player interaction/enjoyment standpoint, which is OOC, you still know that...no, it really did not happen.

As for the static char part, in one way, somebody can be applauded for remaining true to a template they made of a PC that they are still playing a year later, but a year later, all the PLAYERS that knew that PC a year before are going to find them far less then interesting. That does not mean they are a bad PC or player, but the topic is making interesting PCs, and making an interesting PC should not be only at inception.
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

Cutthroat

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2010, 05:12:43 PM »
Perhaps when he said "bland" he was thinking in terms of judging his own characters, not those of other people.

Right. I have no idea what's going on in the minds of other PCs other than my own, except I can make inferences about what appears to be. Whenever I do that I can reasonably guess that another PC is changing, because it is being reflected outwardly in one way or another.

Gah, Cutthroat, either I'm doing a far worse job of explaining or you understood nothing I posted.

First, like I said, go back and look at all the posts/threads on the subject of "looked good on paper" well thought out PCs.
As to others, Storage, is usually easy to figure out IG, accidental deaths, less hard, but if somebody walks into the silt sea, you can normaly assume suicide.

Next, I never said anything of the sort, I never said that a PC should not have a unique personality from the start. I in fact said something totally different. But one can be unique without having every hate/love/fear/twist/quirk thought out ahead of time. So your entire paragraph on confusing skill, blah blah, is moot.
As to the backround crap, again, as I posted before, the PLAYER...knows it to be facade or virtual. Sure, it does not matter IG, it really happened and IG you have to treat it that way. But from a player interaction/enjoyment standpoint, which is OOC, you still know that...no, it really did not happen.

As for the static char part, in one way, somebody can be applauded for remaining true to a template they made of a PC that they are still playing a year later, but a year later, all the PLAYERS that knew that PC a year before are going to find them far less then interesting. That does not mean they are a bad PC or player, but the topic is making interesting PCs, and making an interesting PC should not be only at inception.

OK. I know some people grow to hate their well thought-out characters. I also know that others regret losing them. I'm not going to ask about your method on how you find obvious suicides and come to the realization that the character must've been intensively planned out.

I agree that one can be unique without having various things thought out ahead of time. The sentence you wrote  "And to be honest, most PCs SHOULD be rather boring to start." is a poor way of explaining that position, because it equates boringness with lack of development, but I can stand by that position.

I also agree that characters aren't only interesting because of how they start - it's the experiences in the end that flesh out a character. The plans for a character at the start are, at best, the first step towards making an interesting PC. Each step is as valid and as important as the last.

Edit: to add this is going to be my last post arguing against the ideas of others in this thread. If anything, I'll add thoughts keeping in topic with the original post. If you want further clarification, PM me or make a new thread about it.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 05:27:31 PM by Cutthroat »

Marauder Moe

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Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2010, 05:13:47 PM »
Gah, Cutthroat, either I'm doing a far worse job of explaining or you understood nothing I posted.

First, like I said, go back and look at all the posts/threads on the subject of "looked good on paper" well thought out PCs.
Can you give us some examples?  Or better search terms?  "Looked good on paper" only returns this thread.

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Next, I never said anything of the sort, I never said that a PC should not have a unique personality from the start. I in fact said something totally different.

But... you did say:
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And to be honest, most PCs SHOULD be rather boring to start.
???

That doesn't seem "totally" different to me.

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But one can be unique without having every hate/love/fear/twist/quirk thought out ahead of time. So your entire paragraph on confusing skill, blah blah, is moot.
I dunno, I also sort of thought you meant this as referring to skill:
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Though you might have made them with 40 years of history, the fact is, they do not have that, and it is something easily seen through by other players as being at best a facade.

If you're not talking about skill, what exactly is it that said 40-year-old character doesn't have?

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As to the backround crap, again, as I posted before, the PLAYER...knows it to be facade or virtual. Sure, it does not matter IG, it really happened and IG you have to treat it that way. But from a player interaction/enjoyment standpoint, which is OOC, you still know that...no, it really did not happen.
Except... it really did happen.  It's in my character's background, which has passed immortal approval.  It's documented fact in the game world.

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As for the static char part, in one way, somebody can be applauded for remaining true to a template they made of a PC that they are still playing a year later, but a year later, all the PLAYERS that knew that PC a year before are going to find them far less then interesting. That does not mean they are a bad PC or player, but the topic is making interesting PCs, and making an interesting PC should not be only at inception.
No one is trying to say interesting PCs happen only at inception.

I started this thread suggesting, however, that interesting PCs can happen at inception, and how one might go about doing that.

X-D

  • Posts: 5421
Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2010, 05:44:39 PM »
Yes, it is in the backround, staff passed it, so it did happen. No arguement. But OOCly, no it did not happen.

I make a 40 year old PC who lived through the gith invasion, it says so in the backround, he was in the fighting, this that whatever. Alright.

That makes for interesting stories and reasons for his fear of scales and hatred of anything hunched over.

But Other players know that he really did not live through the gith invasion...Not the PCs, From a player perspective, or at least this player, it actually makes the PC LESS interesting.
Combined with the next part, if a PC should be more boring to start. Yes, they should. When you start a PC, no matter what virtual history you wrote up, you do not have ANY of the things that would come with that if it was real history. You don't have friends, other then virtual, you do not have enemies...other then virtual, you do not have contacts, you don't have money, you don't have a place to stay, no stories have been told about you, no songs sung.

If you pop out the box spouting all these past deeds you just get people nodding IG and OOC they think, whatever newb and go on their merry way.

It is more interesting to see that PC who has led a boring life to this point, but something brought him/her out into this more dynamic life along with the rest of our PCs. It is interesting to see the growth and change, the friends made, the enemies killed or avoided...etc etc.

As to the "looked good on paper" part, Heh, I wrote it that way because there is no easy way to search it. I did not mean for you to think I was talking about some thread you might have missed. But over the last 10-12 years I've been reading the GDB, I've seen MANY posts on the matter.

Really, so, if I check the thesaurus I'm gonna find that Unique and boring are antonyms or something? No, I won't.

But the entire reason I even posted to begin with was to point out that a fun way to make a PC who is interesting to play (important) and interesting to others (less important) is to leave as much open to growth as possible while having a unique personality to start and work from.

Personality is nothing more then a style of thinking, it colors everything else you experiance. Twists, quirks, likes, dislikes, all the other things mentioned are not personality.






A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12476
Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2010, 06:04:22 PM »
Yes, it is in the backround, staff passed it, so it did happen. No arguement. But OOCly, no it did not happen.

I make a 40 year old PC who lived through the gith invasion, it says so in the backround, he was in the fighting, this that whatever. Alright.

That makes for interesting stories and reasons for his fear of scales and hatred of anything hunched over.

But Other players know that he really did not live through the gith invasion...Not the PCs, From a player perspective, or at least this player, it actually makes the PC LESS interesting.

Combined with the next part, if a PC should be more boring to start. Yes, they should. When you start a PC, no matter what virtual history you wrote up, you do not have ANY of the things that would come with that if it was real history. You don't have friends, other then virtual, you do not have enemies...other then virtual, you do not have contacts, you don't have money, you don't have a place to stay, no stories have been told about you, no songs sung.
As you said, he has his stories, fears, hatreds....  ??? ??? ???

Why do those things not count?


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If you pop out the box spouting all these past deeds you just get people nodding IG and OOC they think, whatever newb and go on their merry way.
I do actually somewhat agree that a background of being a great Gith War hero does create an unfortunate schism because you know they still have the skills of a newb.  It's also rather cliche, and not particularly interesting in my opinion either.

"Impressive" is not the same as interesting, though.  What if instead of your character being a great war hero, they were a street urchin who barely survived the invasion?  Perhaps they're mentally damaged from watching their family get raped and killed by the gith.  Figure they're a scrawny little thing with a meek personality, completely unsuitable for the fighter lifestyle, yet has driving desire to learn combat and someday kick some gith ass.

That's the kind of "interesting" I'm talking about.

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It is more interesting to see that PC who has led a boring life to this point, but something brought him/her out into this more dynamic life along with the rest of our PCs. It is interesting to see the growth and change, the friends made, the enemies killed or avoided...etc etc.
Why is transitioning from boring to interesting more interesting than transitioning from interesting to interesting in different ways?

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As to the "looked good on paper" part, Heh, I wrote it that way because there is no easy way to search it. I did not mean for you to think I was talking about some thread you might have missed. But over the last 10-12 years I've been reading the GDB, I've seen MANY posts on the matter.

Really, so, if I check the thesaurus I'm gonna find that Unique and boring are antonyms or something? No, I won't.
::)

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But the entire reason I even posted to begin with was to point out that a fun way to make a PC who is interesting to play (important) and interesting to others (less important) is to leave as much open to growth as possible while having a unique personality to start and work from.
Perhaps I should have clarified that I was interested in discussion on creating/designing interesting characters.  I thought my initial post implied such, but looking back I see it wasn't particularly clear.  I apologize.

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Personality is nothing more then a style of thinking, it colors everything else you experiance. Twists, quirks, likes, dislikes, all the other things mentioned are not personality.
Not sure what this relates to, but I do mean "make and interesting character", not solely "make an interesting personality".

Old Kank

  • Posts: 665
Re: How to make an interesting character
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2010, 06:08:37 PM »
I agree with X-D on this one.  I don't want to discourage anyone from creating a well-thought-out PC, but I don't think that necessarily makes a character interesting.  

I don't worry about a schism between skills and history, I worry more about interactions between people.  When your PC enters the game for the first time, everyone else in the game is a stranger to them.  When one character begins relating his life story to the stranger next to them at the bar, it feels like really, really bad fiction.  On the contrary, if you wait a couple weeks until your character has made the kinds of friends that it would make sense for them to relate their life story to, usually they have enough in-game time behind them that that their life story conversation is less interesting than their conversation of in-game things.

To me, what makes an interesting character is their personality, and I think that's such a fluid trait that having carefully crafted responses to any given situation can actually hamper it.  As KankWhisperer suggested, I think a quick and dirty idea of likes and dislikes, an odd personality quirk or two, maybe a physical tic, and a concept of the character's physical self (and an ability to portray that through emote) is all you need.