Author Topic: What brings a character alive for you?  (Read 1840 times)

titansfan

  • Posts: 940
What brings a character alive for you?
« on: February 06, 2017, 03:27:06 PM »
Having been around for quite some time, I know what really strikes me as an "alive" character.

1) Emotes flavored to the character.  I like seeing how your character speaks. Their hand gestures that match their flippant nature, or their cruel ways of ignoring your nasty breedy butt.

2) Flaws played out. Making perfect decisions can be fun, but seeing people purposefully do things because their character is a greedy arse and likes shiny things. Things like that.

Obviously no specifics unless they are from over a year passed and not secret sensitive please! :)
"People all die for a reason....your reason? I didn't like you...."

"Sirihish, do you speak it!"

"Ever heard my war-cry? It kinda sounds like you dyin'."

ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 117
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 03:33:30 PM »
I think when a character surprises me. After playing for a while I tend to subconsciously box characters into certain archetypes when I meet them, like the gruff merc or the naive ingenue or the sexy sex-person, but when these characters do something that isn't in keeping with what I've seen people do with that archetype time and time again it really brings them to life :)

Riev

  • Posts: 4793
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 03:36:41 PM »
2) Flaws played out. Making perfect decisions can be fun, but seeing people purposefully do things because their character is a greedy arse and likes shiny things. Things like that.

To this day, following orders despite them being bad has been a huge issue with my character. The flaw being he did what he was told, not the best choice in the situation.

For me, what brings someone to life is similar to what EP said. When the 'typical Bynner' does something out of the ordinary. When a lifelong Tuluki enthusiast gets banished from his home because of something he had no part in. When an obsession with gambling turns into someone gambling away their 800 coin mount.

The stuff that doesn't HAVE to happen in game, but people allow.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 03:53:12 PM »
Suffering.


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Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Fathi

  • Posts: 4515
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 03:59:38 PM »
1. Consistency and continuity. I like to see characters that have consistent personalities but are visibly affected by the things that befall them. As someone who tends to play a lot of longish-lived PCs who age up from teenagerhood to adulthood, I love to see people RP the subtleties of aging, a personality that stays the same at its core but matures (or immatures!) over time.

2. Emotes that reflect a character's positioning in the world. Interacting with room descs, the weather, NPCs, furniture, anything like that. If you're a half-giant and you emote ducking under doorways and crouching in cramped rooms, you're probably gonna get a kudos from me.

3. Characters who hemote. It's not a requirement by any means, but catching a hemote during a scene when I didn't expect it is an absolute treat. I still remember the first time I ever tensely met someone in the wastes on my first PC, this terrifying mul who may have been a raider, may not, and he hemoted his hand twitching toward his belt before he actually drew his weapon. That took an already-tense standoff into PUCKER FACTOR ELEVEN HOLY SHIT. It was like reading some particularly potent foreshadowing in a book that gives you this horrible sinking feeling.

4. Everyday average commoners played well. I've played some pretty snowflakey shit in my day and enjoy a good high-magick high-intrigue plot, but the core of my Armageddon enjoyment is dusty mundane average people against a world that impossibly outmatches them. I love simple scenes: cooking, hunting, hunkering down against the wind in the wilderness somewhere, Byn chores.

5. Fear. This is totally self-indulgent but if you act afraid of my scary characters, I'll remember you fondly forever. :) Nothing against people who don't as I assume every PC has their reasons for acting how they do, but people who quake in their boots when book-quakey shit goes down are good people.
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Share the same space for a minute or two

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Armaddict

  • Posts: 5940
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 04:54:32 PM »
For me it's little things.

I don't need a monstrous regard for everything going on all the time.  Just the small interactions that make a character seem like they're actually going about their day; it isn't a special day because they're logged in.  The person in the crowd isn't any different than the one the day before.  But there are consistent and small interactions, still based around the character rather than -trying- to put life into the world, that make you view the character as someone who belongs there, and has belonged there for far longer than they existed as a PC.

It's a fine balance, but I think when people -try- to make their character come alive, it comes across as forced, whereas long lived PC's that have settled into their place often suddenly spice up the world around them with ease because they're so comfortable with where they are in it.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Miradus

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Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 05:25:24 PM »
Almost all of my characters are just "me", only with one aspect or another amped up to a higher degree.

I have tried playing characters who aren't even in the remotest way similar to me and I get bored with them real quick. So instead I take some aspect of my nature and make it dominant in some way, then throw in cultural differences and see what happens.


whitt

  • Posts: 1672
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 05:33:48 PM »
For me there are a few things that really get me, beyond what's already been mentioned.

- Walking in on someone that's alone and they're actively engaged in a something with emotes and conversation with NPCs and "things" going on that show me this character wasn't just idling even though they were alone.

- Characters that make mistakes and live with it.  The disgraced aide, the treacherous bynner, the thief that lost a hand.  Characters with interesting backstory that happened during play, instead of in their typed up history where the player was in full control and the outcomes were certain.
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Delirium

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Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 06:01:39 PM »
- layers.. an evolved personality with a solid, believable core

- to the point of someone always being "alive" - yes, though I don't see that as a need to always be presenting something interesting outwardly. Right now I've been sitting and typing into a glowing box for hours on end, which would be painfully fucking boring for someone to watch. Sometimes your characters are doing the equivalent.

- I prefer to see characters who are simply realistic; they're fully realized people, not wish-list avatars.

- I don't care about fancy emotes. They're nice, but it's the consistency of the character that grabs me.

- people who play the story, not just the game.

my 2˘.
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Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 06:21:27 PM »
Emotes that show a character has a particular personality -- command emotes go a long way.  There are characters with rich personalities that don't command emote, but they're few and far between, I think.  A lack of emoting often makes a PC seem "flat" in the personality department.  They aren't bad... just... flat.

I will say that I don't mind caricatures, unrealistic characters, overdone tropes, or even Mary Sues -- at least, I don't think characters are shit because they are these things.  In fact, if a PC can get me to roll my eyes at them, that often means they're doing a good job making that character come alive.

As with all things in Armageddon, hate drives everything.  I live for people to make me hate their characters. It's easy to love a flat character -- I oftentimes catch myself projecting endearing qualities on flat PCs.  It's harder to hate a flat PC.  So, when I hate them, I suspect that means they're doing it right.
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Refugee

  • Posts: 1579
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 09:29:59 PM »
My PCs usually start out very common regular guys.  I have a background figured out for them, parents, siblings, how they gained the skills they have.  Then whatever happens to them in game shapes their personalities and goals.  I don't know when he becomes real to me, but it takes awhile.  He has to have some experiences, I guess, and reactions to his world.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1245
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 05:29:48 AM »
My lasy few PCs have truly come to life for me, they have just been long ish lived and I have gotten to earn a place within the world and coe to belong as part of it.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 10:31:33 AM »
My lasy few PCs have truly come to life for me, they have just been long ish lived and I have gotten to earn a place within the world and coe to belong as part of it.

This makes me really really happy to hear, Hauwke. I hope you're one of the people I recently baptized with fire.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 261
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 11:10:16 AM »
Usually I will start the character with a heavily written background and gameplan. But, it's armageddon. All of my truly fleshed out characters have all been long lived, and IG events have -shaped- who they became. For me, bringing a character to life, is not animating it, personally. It is watching your character grow. Also, playing out flaws. My characters may be ugly as fuck to perfectly symmetrical, but they will always have a flaw. And, even if I know it's going to make Pc's IG cringe, or players OOC cringe, I still go through with it. Even if it means the death of my PC.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2580
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2017, 11:13:14 AM »
I've gotten into the habit of making characters with tons of biographies and background info.[


And then I realized.
Half of the shit doesn't matter.


So I wrote a generic ass background and I'm hoping to start creating my character as I go along, though not necessarily ass pull stuff.

But getting into that mentality of "I am the character" is tricky.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

Akaramu

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Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 03:51:24 PM »
I think when a character surprises me. After playing for a while I tend to subconsciously box characters into certain archetypes when I meet them, like the gruff merc or the naive ingenue or the sexy sex-person, but when these characters do something that isn't in keeping with what I've seen people do with that archetype time and time again it really brings them to life :)

This!

Also, consistency. And flaws - I don't see many flaws, to be honest, it would be nice to see more - and I don't mean scars. Personality flaws.



Hauwke

  • Posts: 1245
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2017, 07:04:02 PM »
I put plenty of flaws into my characters, mostly my personal flaws because I for example fond it hard to be a silver tongued rogue.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2017, 10:41:56 PM »
I put plenty of flaws into my characters, mostly my personal flaws because I for example fond it hard to be a silver tongued rogue.

This, kind of. Not the rogue part, but I feel like even though the details shift around, all my characters share the same underlying thread: "vaguely antisocial, artistic in some way, would do anything (including die) for love if circumstances are right". I find it almost impossible to hold to social convention not because I'm hot to disregard the documentation but because in real life as well, social convention holds like no weight to me in favor of personal preference and past experience.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Ourla

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Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2017, 02:30:58 AM »
ISo I wrote a generic ass background and I'm hoping to start creating my character as I go along, though not necessarily ass pull stuff.

Thissss, so much. Once I realized it was okay to create a generic background, the first few days of play for a new PC were wonderfully informative. I never knew what they were going to say. I was playing a female dwarf a bajillion years ago and I finally felt comfortable enough with her speech affectations and emotes to go have a seat at the bar. Naturally someone hits on her (never change, Arm) and there was this strange, timeless moment when I found myself at a loss for a response.

I didn't know her. Not well. What would she say? Would she be flattered? Would she be pissed? There was this crazy distinct sensation of knowing that my phrasing of this retort would shape my nascanet PC's future personality completely.

She said something sexual. They loved it. And thus was that character born.

My PCs constantly surprise me.
The secret to great RP is having the balls to be weird and the brains to make it eloquent.

whitt

  • Posts: 1672
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2017, 03:07:04 AM »
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

RogueGunslinger

  • Posts: 18783
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2017, 02:54:41 PM »
All it really takes for me is that they survive long enough for multiple interactions so shared stories can grow.

Sort of hypocritical considering how much I die and store.

TheGoose

  • Posts: 127
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2017, 04:29:53 PM »
I worked _super_ hard on my new guy's background.

So far, I hate playing him.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2580
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2017, 04:31:28 PM »
I worked _super_ hard on my new guy's background.

So far, I hate playing him.
What I've learned from making huge ass backgrounds is I felt like I was limiting my self in what I wanted to do.
Now it's just.
"I slightly dislike X more than usual because of Y"
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2017, 06:33:42 PM »
Too true. I prefer a generic background with broad stroke tendencies on a few things, then to fill in the details with the 'why' in ways that make sense for how they turned out as a result, on the fly. I've found when I use too much detail (and ESPECIALLY when I dictate what direction they are heading and stick to it rigidly, right out of the gate), I wind up resenting being so 'boxed in'.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Akaramu

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Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2017, 06:45:10 PM »
I'm the opposite - I only get attached to, and enjoy my characters when they enter the world as fully fleshed out people. I was already roleplaying my current character in my head weeks before she got approved. In my head, she was in situations that never actually happened ingame. If I entered the world as a blank slate with only a few broad strokes worth of background, I wouldn't even find the motivation to log in.

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2017, 04:16:24 AM »
Flaws, Flaws, and more flaws. And staying consistent with those flaws, even when they are a detriment to the character. I try to practice what I preach, and have lost many a treasured character because of this.

Nothing bores me more than a flawless character, for instance:
"H'lo, Ahm a rough and tough waster who kicks ass, takes names, and accounts to no one... But I know everything about the known world, flora, fauna, magick, foreign lands, aristocracy, and  every other subject. Btw when I talk to a templar, I lose my gritty speech patterns, and learn 24235424 new words."
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2017, 05:10:49 AM »
Flaws, Flaws, and more flaws. And staying consistent with those flaws, even when they are a detriment to the character. I try to practice what I preach, and have lost many a treasured character because of this.

Nothing bores me more than a flawless character, for instance:
"H'lo, Ahm a rough and tough waster who kicks ass, takes names, and accounts to no one... But I know everything about the known world, flora, fauna, magick, foreign lands, aristocracy, and  every other subject. Btw when I talk to a templar, I lose my gritty speech patterns, and learn 24235424 new words."

I played that guy once, but I died too quick because I forgot to sip everything, and only taste food, until I was full. Poisoned by the hot teen f-me that hooked up with me straight out char-gen who was troubled and dark, but not so troubled she didn't giggle constantly when having sex.



Ditto on the flaws. Some folks, like me, won't attack your char's weaknesses just because you have them.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 9212
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2017, 06:34:04 PM »
Text pussy.
Where have you buried the body, MeTekillot?

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2017, 06:42:34 PM »
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2017, 08:02:53 PM »
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1245
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2017, 09:51:44 PM »
God dammit I just wasted a mouthful of iced coffee.

TheGoose

  • Posts: 127
Re: What brings a character alive for you?
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2017, 02:11:48 PM »
If you havin' mate problems, I feel bad for you son,
I got 99 problems, but a kank ain't one.