Author Topic: How do you guys tackle character creation?  (Read 2824 times)

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
How do you guys tackle character creation?
« on: February 14, 2018, 09:58:40 AM »
So, it's that time for me, and I'm curious (really, I'm just waiting for my app to go through).

How do you guys go about creating a new character?

Do you think up a background first and flesh out the rest of your character from there? Do you start off with a personality and ask yourself how they developed those traits? How your character came to be so bitter, how they developed their street smarts, or even how they ended up with a fetish for elves. From there, maybe you gradually build up a backstory? Or maybe you come up with a guild/subguild combo and toss in a background, going in with the focus of developing your character in-game.

I want to know!

Envy

  • Posts: 88
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 10:28:33 AM »
I mostly fall into the latter camp since the only way I can force myself to make a new character is to pretend they're a throwaway and then invest into them as time goes on.
If they can lift inix with their stubby claws they can lift my fat ass with their beefy backs - Eves #TameableSiltFlyers

nauta

  • Posts: 2335
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 10:42:27 AM »
I tend to view Armageddon MUD as a kind of weird hybrid of method acting and improv.  Hence, characters for me will start out as a personality or a bundle of personality quirks first and foremost, and then develop (including developments in terms of family history) as I go about bumbling around in the game.  What I tend to do is write a really sparse background, since I'm really unsure about the character until I see it play out; but within the first week, I'll write up an initial biography entry outlaying their personality quirks and filling out this background in a little more detail.

Where do I get inspiration?  All over the place: a character in a TV show or novel whose personality you think might be fun to try out in Zalanthas; that crazy woman on the street you passed who talks to pigeons; some coworker, a colleague.  I almost invariably have a RL persona (or several) that I use.  This helps keep me grounded, and prevents my personality from shifting too far from the original concept.

Sometimes, however, I come into the game as a blank slate with only the vague-est idea of what I will be, and wait for another PC to come around, and I'll just develop the concept on the fly.

The most important thing for me, though, is to document the personality in BIO entries (or on a notebook) once it gets solidified enough.  It is too easy to be too flexible, and having hangups and quirks --- immoveables, furniture in the barren ontological landscape of the psyche --- really helps make the RP experience a blast.

Finally, one thing that I always have square in front of me is that I might just die within a few days or weeks, and in case, I will die.  This is a game, and it is fun to make your character have personality quirks that will get them dead, or at least get them engaged in conflict.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:46:30 AM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 11:12:41 AM »
I mostly fall into the latter camp since the only way I can force myself to make a new character is to pretend they're a throwaway and then invest into them as time goes on.

Man, do I get this. In a sense. It's only when I try not to take my PCs too seriously when I actually dare (or attempt) to go out there, take risks, and/or go diving for plots.

Where do I get inspiration?  All over the place: a character in a TV show or novel whose personality you think might be fun to try out in Zalanthas; that crazy woman on the street you passed who talks to pigeons; some coworker, a colleague.  I almost invariably have a RL persona (or several) that I use.  This helps keep me grounded, and prevents my personality from shifting too far from the original concept.

Hehe. Guilty!

What you said resonates with me. Leaving my PC's personality too bare often ends up with me filling in the blanks in situations I hadn't prepared for with what I'd do (or, at the least, what I would optimistically do in such a situation).

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11940
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 11:16:52 AM »
A few strong personality traits and formative events. The lines get colored in and shaded during play.
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Is Friday

  • Posts: 6357
    • My Twitch Channel
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 11:22:55 AM »
I start with an archetype most of the time. It's kind of draining to build up a concept too much before playing. Then I end up not having as much fun playing out the concept and evolving it over time.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1728
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 11:57:47 AM »
I pick guild and subguild first.  Then I develop a background story that explains how he has learned to do all those things.  I think about his childhood and his family.  Then I think about how all that affected his personality and start to get a handle on that.  Finally, why is he now looking for work?  What are his immediate goals?  I often don't have long term goals for new PCs.  I let those develop as he experiences life.  Often he's just looking for a way to eat steadily.

Miradus

  • Posts: 2157
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 02:00:06 PM »
I just go with a general theme. The hardened wasteland wanderer, the wicked thief, etc. That's my outline and then the character is further defined by "living in his skin" as the game progresses. Some are easier than others. If they deviate too far from the core !ME! then I have a harder time getting into character. Even worse if they're a loner because I don't get that much opportunity to really develop them.

A character takes time to develop. I don't like to roll out of chargen with TOO firm an idea in mind. Especially since I often switch areas after a death and I don't usually know what's been going on in my new location.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1657
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 03:28:54 PM »
I pick guilds and subguilds and race. Then from there on out I just sort of bullshit my way through it until I have a solid character.

Hitsuchi

  • Posts: 262
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 05:10:15 PM »
I tend to start with OOC goals.
Do I want to have certain relationship types with other PCs? What type of character would likely find themselves there?
Do I want to learn more about a certain part of the game world? A certain part of the code? What type of character do I need to do that?
What kinds of conflict am I looking for? Solo risks and grudges in the desert or tribe vs tribe or high level political intrigue all require different character styles.

For example - I want to learn more about the Red Desert, I want to have a lot of rivalries and hubris-fueled conflict, and I'd love to have close friends but don't really need love plots or family plots. I'm rolling something desert-focused : warrior or ranger with a fitting subguild. I'll want to give my character the hubris that will be their downfall if they don't learn (hint: they won't) to control it. From there, the rest is just filler until I can flesh important parts out in game. I also like adding a "passing" character quirk or flaw - like my first character, who went from fear to distaste to liking alcohol as she grew as a person. It makes for a good on-ramp for change.

WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4595
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 06:25:23 PM »
I pick guilds and subguilds and race. Then from there on out I just sort of bullshit my way through it until I have a solid character.

Yup. If I nailed down all their quirks and mannerisms during creation I would feel trapped.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1657
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 07:37:57 PM »
I pick guilds and subguilds and race. Then from there on out I just sort of bullshit my way through it until I have a solid character.

Yup. If I nailed down all their quirks and mannerisms during creation I would feel trapped.

Bullshit bros for lyfe!

Pale Horse

  • Posts: 4497
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 08:50:54 PM »
Like others before me have admitted, I pick very few defining points and then "go with the flow."

Example:

1. Short-desc first: "The green-haired youth."  I have an image that comes to mind that then helps me flush out their Main-desc.  Name: Something-something.  Soma Ting.
2. What sort of green hair?  Chin length, kind of scraggly.  Think sea-weed.  Why is it green?  Mutation?  Magick?  File that for part of their background, later.
3. What sort of individual are they?  Greedy?  Selfless?  In what situations or circumstances are they the one or the other?  Shows strong avarice when reaching for or just beneath their goals but extremely giving once that goal has met, resulting in a never-ending cycle of give and take.
4. What do they "do" and what are their "goals?"  Soma is a such-and-such from Allanak.  Knowing what I do about Allanak, how does that information affect how I see Soma having grown up to the point they're at?  Does it change their background?

I take question and answer sessions like this and go back and forth with them for a few hours/days before I feel comfortable in submitting something.  After getting IG, their "true" character development begins.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:52:26 PM by Pale Horse »
Quote from: Dalmeth
I've come to the conclusion that relaxing is not the lack of doing anything, but doing something that comes easily to you.

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 09:17:14 PM »
I tend to start with OOC goals.

That's an interesting way of going about it. Tek knows I've ended up not knowing what to do with my character because I didn't give them any goals (OOC or IC) whatsoever.

Example:

1. Short-desc first: "The green-haired youth."  I have an image that comes to mind that then helps me flush out their Main-desc.  Name: Something-something.  Soma Ting.
2. What sort of green hair?  Chin length, kind of scraggly.  Think sea-weed.  Why is it green?  Mutation?  Magick?  File that for part of their background, later.
3. What sort of individual are they?  Greedy?  Selfless?  In what situations or circumstances are they the one or the other?  Shows strong avarice when reaching for or just beneath their goals but extremely giving once that goal has met, resulting in a never-ending cycle of give and take.
4. What do they "do" and what are their "goals?"  Soma is a such-and-such from Allanak.  Knowing what I do about Allanak, how does that information affect how I see Soma having grown up to the point they're at?  Does it change their background?

I take question and answer sessions like this and go back and forth with them for a few hours/days before I feel comfortable in submitting something.  After getting IG, their "true" character development begins.

That's a splendid, in-depth example. It's kind of similar to how I would usually develop a character. I start off with a vague idea of the character's personality and/or appearance and flesh out a backstory and the details from there.

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 09:33:05 PM »
My best PCs kind of all go through the similar process although recently I've improved it. Before, I used to just explain actions my character took to reach to the point he's at and let the personality come naturally. It worked with characters like Flaire, but in a way it felt like they were disconnected from the initial background, even though they ended developing full, individual personalities.

Nowadays, I have a better method in which I am (mostly) impersonal to the personality of my character.

1. I decide what kind of character I want. In my mind, this can end in two words like: cutthroat Fale. Nothing impressive there yet.
2. I draw inspiration from the media for usually a couple of hours on my favorite characters. Zalanthas is a unique setting, so what I am trying to search for is personalities. I want to eventually land on a PERSON to draw inspiration, and then begin taking them on a unique pathway of their own.
3. I decide on the background of this character which is usually a series of actions they took to reach the point they are at. Notable events such as any murders, any deaths, lessons, mentors, etc. Flaire was a character who had the heavy influence of two mentors before he entered the game.
4. I define the physical build of the character, which is usually based on the background. Has this character required a lot of physical activity? Has this character frequented the sun or not? How did this character prepare himself for this murder? Did that ambush he suffered leave him any marks or scars?
5. Number 4 usually goes in hand with choosing guilds and subguilds.
6. The personality then comes. This is now my biggest concern as this is what will be shifting the more the game goes. The personality of my character is usually defined on a paragraph in my own files. This personality has a direct relationship with the PHYSICAL BUILD and BACKGROUND. If they are attractive, they might be pompous or arrogant or maybe they were not particularly attractive and thus they are particularly vulnerable to emotions.  If they come from a humble background and have lofty goals, maybe he was annoying and arrogant about his skills, and people bothered them and therefore... you get the idea.

The most important part is my bios. This is something I am exploring recently. I will write a crawl text in my biographies every now and then. Usually, it is three paragraphs with the latest and perceived future of my character. This is like a control phase to make sure that I can adapt my character on very constant basis to the ever changing environment of Zalanthas.

With that method I get some characters that make big blunders, it makes me feel impersonal of those blunders (I used to be very tense when I made my character's flaws dictate mistakes, as I felt I was doing something wrong: not anymore!) Lately I'm calling them star-wars-esque crawl texts because I pretty much inspired the idea on how Star Wars presents each episode. And it's cool to read back on!

Miradus

  • Posts: 2157
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2018, 09:42:44 PM »

I've been in a bad rut lately where all my character seem to fall into one of 3 archetypes I've used before. I have yet to figure out how to break that.


deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2018, 09:45:14 PM »

I've been in a bad rut lately where all my character seem to fall into one of 3 archetypes I've used before. I have yet to figure out how to break that.

draw inspiration from stuff you like! movies and shit.

Miradus

  • Posts: 2157
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2018, 10:06:41 PM »

Yeah, that's not a bad idea. Just need to do that, plus maybe play in some spots I haven't been very active in before. New wine in new jars, and all.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7766
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 10:14:11 PM »

I've been in a bad rut lately where all my character seem to fall into one of 3 archetypes I've used before. I have yet to figure out how to break that.

Mostly the same with me, but I don't consider it a bad thing really. I just chalk it up to being "my style."

Basically though I start the process with just a general background, and develop the personality traits organically while playing after the character has been approved. I've tried it the other way - putting tons of thought into how I'll play my PC, what she'll like, dislike, kinds of people she would gravitate toward or be repelled against. Every time I try that, I end up regretting the choices I made in advance.

The more leeway I have to develop my character through roleplay, the more likely I am to enjoy playing it.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Miradus

  • Posts: 2157
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 10:21:23 PM »

You're known as a pretty good roleplayer, Lizzie, so maybe it's not a bad thing to fall into a style.


boog

  • Posts: 10830
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2018, 11:46:25 PM »
I like to have as many details planned out beforehand as possible. If I don't, they become too alike, in my mind.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:33:54 AM by boog »
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
Kismet: didn't see you in GQ homey
BadSkeelz: Whatever you say, Kim Jong Boog
Quote from: Tuannon
There is only one boog.

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2018, 11:56:58 PM »
draw inspiration from stuff you like! movies and shit.

This works wonders for me, when coming up with personalities. As long as my PC has a solid personality (which is often inspired from various sources in RL, like books, movies, and actual people, as I've already seen how those play out and have developed a good image of them), I can keep myself anchored.

I like to have as many details planned out beforehand. If I don't, they become too alike, in my mind.
This, exactly.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1657
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2018, 03:26:29 AM »
I have fallen into a style, my last three long lived characters have essentially been the same guy to a degree, not cookie cutter matches, but definately similar in that they all have the same profession and such.

I have somewhat broken the mold with my current guy, but I believe that certain styles simply need a guy who does it. We always need that badass Trooper for the Byn who carries the team for years at a time, so that the rest of the game can utilize the Byn for their basic uses. We need that guy who enjoys being a merchant for Salarr and selling stuff over and over again, doing it again and again. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, other than maaaaaybe let other guys fill the role sometimes, except, people can always fill the role at the same time as that first guy so that you get two guys doing an excellent job the game really needs.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5229
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2018, 10:39:57 AM »
I start with a very general backstory made to affect them, little quirks and what not (if someone calls her X she'll hate them, if they look like Z they'll whatever), then I choose a name.

I start them at a pivotal point, usually running from their past/losing everything/someone and not quite sure where they're going so that it develops organically where they end up.

The only time I have set goals is when I apply for a tribe, gmh or noble/sponsored roles so that my mindset is different and she's not prone to feel 'stuck'. I spend more time on the details of the shaping characters of her background than I do her. Most characters start youngish with the intent that their lives on Zalanthas will be shaped by what happens.
I'm taking an indeterminate break from Armageddon for the foreseeable future and thereby am not available for mudsex.
Quote
In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.

LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 348
Re: How do you guys tackle character creation?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2018, 12:22:25 PM »
I start with a basic character sketch and yes I actually draw them too. Mainly, itís background and personality stuff though.

I start my characters at a late teen-early adult age and try to let other characters and their experiences in the world shape them. So a lot depends on who I end up playing with and where the character is.
Just like the white winged dove,
Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oooo,ooo, ooo