Character Creation

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Character Creation

Post by Verence on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:18 pm

Creating a character is the first step and core of all forays into roleplaying. They are your viewpoint and your vehicle for everything you do. The task of, in effect, creating a complete imaginary person can be daunting at first, but many find that their character completes themselves. Once a concept and skeleton history is laid out, often ideas solidify and details fall into place as you roleplay. The first step is a concept.

Character Concept
What kind of character would you like to roleplay? A curmudgeonly old man with powerful black magics? An enthusiastic and naïve youngster, set on being the paragon of knightly honor? Maybe an avaricious mercenary with anger issues. Once you’ve decided on a concept, think about how they got there and what made them that way – An old man doesn’t grow curmudgeonly living a life of ease, surrounded by friends and family and a youngster doesn’t hang on to naiveté long in a harsh environment. Once you have a concept and the beginnings of a personality down, it’s time to decide on a character history.

Character History
This may sound like a lot of work at first, but there’s no need to chronicle your character’s entire life from birth to present – In fact it’s often best to leave some gray areas and wiggle room in case you later decide to revise or bring to light new things in your character’s past. It is good however to come up with some basic ideas on where they’ve come from. What is their family like? How big is it? Do they have a family? Friends? What experiences growing up shaped them into how they are today? What viewpoints and contacts with NPCs and other roleplayers might their history have given them? Having laid out the character’s concept and how they got to be that way, it’s time to get more specific.

Motivations
What does your character want? Fame? Money? Good friends and good times? Humble service to the Goddess of Dawn? What motivates your character will serve as a rudder in their interactions with others and the decisions they make for themselves.

Quirks
What makes your character unique? Are they very tall? Have a reedy, high voice? A habit of scratching their cheek when they’re nervous? Utterly convinced that airships are flying coffins, waiting for the first chance to crash? Little details can add an extra dimension to your character, and can be fun to watch as they fall back on old habits time and again.

Ask Questions
If you don't know something or want more information on something (Like the state of the Church in San d'Oria, how government is handled in Bastok, the nuances of the Ministries in Windurst) then ASK! Most members of Canta Per Me have been playing FFXI for a long time and done many quests and missions. We'd be happy to answer questions, provide information, and help you create an interesting and rounded character.
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Verence

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Potential Pitfalls

Post by Verence on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:28 pm

Some things that may seem like a great idea at character genesis turn out later to be potential pitfalls to roleplay. None of these are ironclad “do not do” rules, but are more presented to make new roleplayers aware of possible hurdles to their easy and enjoyable roleplaying. If you have a concept you’re dying to try out that’s inseparable from one of these, by all means try it!

The Lone Wolf – Who wouldn’t want a strong, independent character who could care less if the world around them went up in smoke? It’s an appealing idea, and one that can lead to a very stand-out character if done well. On the other side of the coin it often leads to difficulty getting involved in roleplaying sessions as your character stands on the sidelines, being independent. Lone Wolves are often unfriendly, and chasing away other characters with a stern look is loads of fun right up until you realize that now you have no one to roleplay with.

The Dark Past – Tragic, dark, or villainous pasts is a great way to add a lot of zest to a character in a hurry. It’s also a potential way of making other characters uncomfortable, especially if your character’s history is alluded to often. No one’s life is idyllic, so don’t shy away from conflict or hard times if that's the angle you'd like to take; just keep a mind towards moderation. A character with loads of baggage can scare off others and become difficult to roleplay.

Vengeance – A timeless theme, and a powerful one. It can serve as a very strong motivator for your character... And an obsession that keeps them from taking advantage of what is going on in the community. Other characters will probably not care about your character’s vendetta unless it involves them too, or they come to care about your character as the result of roleplay interaction. Even then they may shy away from taking a direct hand in exacting payback.

Amnesia – A popular choice; after all, it saves you the trouble of coming up with a backstory, generates an interesting quirk, and gives a motivation all at the same time! Three for the price of one, right? The difficulty is that no backstory can actually become a handicap as you attempt to flesh out your character, find reasons for why they are the way they are, and dig for things they can talk about. There’s a danger of it cheapening your roleplay, doubly so since as above mentioned, chances are nobody will care that your character is amnesic until they get to know them.

Other Origin – This is the only one I’ll directly condemn. Saying that your character comes from another planet, another dimension, Everquest, or modern day Earth changes the world setting of Vana’Diel into something else. It means that either your character is insane or that Vana’Diel is part of a metaverse – something beyond the scope of Final Fantasy XI. This is something to be avoided (unless your character is in fact a nutter and simply thinks they’re from somewhere else).
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