Author Topic: Bios!! aka the Biography Tool  (Read 522 times)

Zenith

  • Posts: 896
Bios!! aka the Biography Tool
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:09:29 PM »
I wrote these up for my clan, and it has been suggested that I share them here. This post is about bios. I was pointed at these when I was new, and have used them ever since.

How do you get to the Bio tool?
You can go to Armageddon.org, log into your account in the upper right hand corner, and select "biographies" from the drop down list. This will take you to a page with all of your characters on it. Select your current character by clicking on the eye beside their name (unless you are just desperate to add bios to past characters, I suppose) and then hit the green "+ new entry" button to begin.

You can also bio from the mud client, but I find this much more unwieldy than using the website.

What sort of bio entries do you write?
The short answer is, anything you need or want to remember. The following is literally the second bio I ever wrote (the first being useless to this discussion):

Quote
After being taken on as a student at the Atrium, Ceria was introduced
to Lord Lucith Borsail. After a surprisingly brief meeting she was hired
as his Aide. Right after revealing she speaks Cavilish. She is of the
opinion this is the reason she got the job, but is determined to do her
best to serve no matter what reason she was hired for. She also is
beginning to like him, and is quite happy to be serving someone she is
coming to enjoy and respect.

This bio is simple and yet holds a decent amount of information. It reminds me who hired me, why I think I was of interest to them, and the mindset of my character when I was starting a new job. If ever I wanted to remember how I felt when I was hired, this is a brief description of such.

(Please note: this bio is older than 1 year past the date that everyone in it died or stored, and thus is not against the rules to share. Please do not share IC information that has happened within the last year or is about or pertaining to characters that are still alive.)

What things might I bio about?
-feelings about various PCs and ideas for how to work with them/use them/screw them/etc in the future
-events I am involved in
-plans I am developing

I now tend to write very long bios with multiple paragraphs that covers RL weeks worth of playing tailored to a single plot. So I may cover how I met person Y, fell in love with them, was betrayed by them, and worked as hard as I could to ruin them over it. Or I might discuss how I have had a long standing hatred of person Q and have spent a year trying to engineer their death. Or I may write about how I have an idea to create a new wine IC and all of the steps I have taken to see that come to fruition.

On previous PCs I would have had all of that information broken up over a number of bios. The amount I bio tends to change with how much extra time I have. When I have less time, I bio less often, creating larger bios.

Why bio at all?

It can be very helpful to go back and read your bios and remind yourself of how you felt about things, or about large events that happened. Let’s say that I have just run into Seargent J of the Byn, and I vaguely remember him, but not much. I can quickly search my bios for Seargent J and remind myself what I thought about him the last time. “Oh! That’s right. He’s the ass who got drunk at a party, felt me up in public, then vomited on my shoes.”

It can also be helpful when your character reports are getting too long. In your character report you can write “ongoing issues between Joanne and Mark, see bio titled Ongoing Issues between Joanne and Mark for more information.” Then, in a bio titled thusly, I could explain my side of the whole long convoluted tale of why Joanne and Mark are having issues. If staff wants to know what is going on, they can then go look at your bios and learn my POV. In an ideal scenario, Mark would have a similar bio discussing our problems and staff could see both sides. I am not sure how often that really happens, though. My guess would be rarely.

Bios can also be very fun to go back and read long after your character is gone. I scanned a number of my old bios in the process of writing this post, and was reminded of a lot of fun I had on various PCs, particularly things I had forgotten about.

This concludes my tutorial on bios. I hope that this comes in handy for anyone reading this.

Please feel free to ask any related questions or add more helpful tips below.

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 537
Re: Bios!! aka the Biography Tool
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 08:24:55 PM »
Thank you so much for creating these guides! This looks fantastic and I hope it inspires someone to bio. It can be hard to summon up the will to do it, but once I get going, adding bios gets me super excited about character arcs.

One thing I'd add is that writing bios can be kind of like writing a diary. It's easy to get overwhelmed when so much has happened and you don't know where to begin. The great thing is that the website allows you to easily edit bios later, so you can add one or two-sentence placeholder bios and expand on them later (or not!)

This is super niche, but a friend of mine once showed me one of her old bio entries that I really loved. It was written just like a log from the game itself, and could have easily been mistaken for one. I thought it was a super creative idea! There are so many ways to do bios, so just do what inspires you.

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 413
Re: Bios!! aka the Biography Tool
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 09:32:31 AM »
Bios are great. This post is great! Thanks for the numerous tips, Zenith!

Biographies can be pretty fun to write. Other times, it's an utter slog trying to fill up a bio. Personally, what's worked for me during those moments is immersing myself in my character. Write the bio in the PC's voice.

Also, I agree with what you said; reading bios from previous characters is always a blast.

Well, sometimes. Other times, I just found myself grimacing.

edit: Also, this submission has amazing examples for biographies. I love the diary style.