View Full Version : Character Development

Monster Guy
27th September 2011, 7:48 PM
(Couldn't think of a better title. :/)

What's this?! A thread in the RPG Cafe that's not a discussion thread?! It's a miracle! xD

Ok, a pet peeve I have is when I make a Sign Up for an RPG, I fill out all the sections so they follow the rules, and abide by the standards the RPG wants, only for it to be called "decent."

I just made this character today for this RPG. I've looked at the character questionaire thread, and put in things that would be important to the plot, but I just made this character. I haven't used them before, of course they're not fully developed yet. Once I've used them in something, and I've decided what works and what doesn't then I can produce a longer Sign Up.

How do you make a Sign Up for a new character better than decent?

27th September 2011, 10:04 PM
I kind of feel like this is an opinion thing whether a character is decent or extraordinary depending on the GMís views and standards as well your own expectations. I personally almost always type up a new character for each RPG I join but I donít know if theyíre just decent or extraordinary characters to others.

I think that what makes a character extraordinary is not just length but details. Characters with descriptions that if I tried to draw and color them I would get somewhere close without having to ask something I should know. Character with dynamic personality despite them being somewhat original, normally seen personality makes the character feel alive. And history that makes you understand why the character is the way he or she are (I myself am not very good at it but occasionally I have my good ones) and how their life was up until this point. Best all is everything you read help you to better understand the character even just a little more. Sign-ups like that are great sign-ups to me. I donít claim to have many of them myself (that I considered when I look at them). But I think they get better the more you get used to putting all the details together without having a bunch of conflicts with things like personality and history.

What I do when I make a character is first try to think of character I want, how I want them to be and how they would fit in the RPG. Somtimes I just type something up and see if I like it. I always give them a name and age sometime a gender that may change then I kind of jump around with the rest of the sections. I might do a little in description to figure out how I want them to look, Iíll add a little to personality to see how I want him or her act then I try to get those detail to match up with the history (I actually recently started doing this it seem to help me with histories). I just built up with that each detail I add in certain section I add something to a different section until Iím satisfied with it. If I donít like something I rewrite it.

My recently made character, Russell Wilton, I completely rewrote his personality and history a couple times despite that fact that I was racing against time and other people (only three opened spots remaining and no reservations). I connected his description to his personality a bit about how sensitive about how short he is and his description to his history about how he can't stand the cold so he wears long sleeves all the time. As well as how his history bought about his personality. As well as tried to add something new that people didn't know before by reading the previous sections. I donít know if he fall into the decent section or not but Iím happy with the sign-up. I believe what most important is not that itís super awesome sign-up but that you like the sign-up and that you know how the character may respond and that he or she can grow through different situations. Jf the sign-up is decent to other standards you just have to show that the character in it isn't.

Thatís my opinion and somewhat of advice on this matter. I know you striving for the best but I say just do your best and I think eventually itíll get to that point. Even if you follow the instructions doesnít mean youíll have the perfect pie, so you just have keep working at it until you do.

Avenger Angel
28th September 2011, 5:02 PM
Truthfully, having a character be called "decent" isn't such a bad thing. A GM very likely isn't going to go "OMG, WOWZORS, DAT IZ TEH GRAETEST RP CHARACTER EVA!!!" and/or come up with a lengthy explanation about all the great and wonderful things about your character, especially if he or she has a bunch of others they still need to go through. Plus, knowing what it's like to be a GM, you're reading through a dozen sign ups, and you really don't have the time and energy to post a full, in-depth critique about everyone's character. That being said, I don't think the GM that called your character "decent" meant it to be belittling in any way. Besides, "decent" literally means "respectable," which is a good adjective in my opinion.

A longer sign up isn't necessarily a better sign up either. In fact, I tend to find extremely long sign ups a dull chore to read, and a plethora of paragraphs on fluffy background details may just push the GM to start skimming rather than read it all intently and closely. I've seen it where people included a long and lengthy segment on details that really didn't define or make any significant impact on how their character behaved today. As a GM, I'd prefer good and nicely detailed sign ups with originality, but please, do get to the point. Don't tell me a long-winded story about the character's experiences in a high-school baseball team if it really didn't affect too much on the way they came out as adults. In terms of history, focus on the parents is good, focus on how they regarded their education is good, and how they were raised and where it all happened is good. But don't dive too deeply into those things. It's like baseball. Touch all the bases, but don't spend too long on each of them.

Case in point, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's more important for the character to be compatible with the RPG's storyline and play an active part in the unfolding plot than it is for the character to have an overwhelming biography that tries to astound the masses and then just play a very minor role in the RPG itself.