Friday, July 18, 2008

[ Roleplaying III ] :: A Character Template

-listening to Twisted Nether Blogcast- But, in between listing to BBB and Pike (yeah, I'm catching up -- if BBB can do Kara, notice flame wreaths and NOT MOVE, I can listen to him and Pike and write, right?), I noticed (with growing dread), that the votes on roleplaying kept climbing... So here's the next part of my little series. [Little Edit: Up to ChickGM now, Auzara. And still haven't posted this. I'm such a slacker -- why do people read this blog anyway?]

One of my roleplaying sites -- Aparecium, a Harry Potter roleplay (hush. I like it) -- along with some of the other roleplay sites I've visited, have a template to complete before one can become a full time member. A character template, a guideline for one's character development. Here's Aparecium's character-sheet (lightly edited).
Full Name;
Date of Birth;
Year(if student);

[code][ Celeb Name|Character Name ][/code]
150+ words.

300+ words.

Personal History
250+ words.

Family Background
80+ words.

Roleplay Example
Insert example here. 400+ words.
As a note, Aparecium's word count "guides" are just that. Preferably, we suggest you have more (as more is always impressive), and, generally, most people go either over it by a bit, or go over it by so much that one doesn't even want to read it. As in... 1461 words for a personality of someone's character, or a friend of mine deciding to put six-thousand words for his entire background (we died a bit inside to see it). How long it should be is [generally] up to you, however much you know about the character, and however much you care to share.

Other applications get a lot more detailed, but don't have word counts, such as the following:
full name: answer


birthday: answer

age: answer

hair/eye color: answer

height/weight: answer

piercings/tattoos: answer

clothing style: answer

scars: answer

likes: at least ten

dislikes: at least ten

fears: answer

quirks/habits: answer

random facts: answer

goals: answer

flaws: answer

secrets: answer

personality: two paragraph minimum

sexual orientation: answer

turn ons: answer

turn offs: answer

mother: answer

father: answer

siblings: answer

significant other: answer

children: answer

pets: answer

history: three paragraph minimum (read the rules to check acceptable paragraph length)
Okay, so maybe that was a little too detailed, a lot of "I-don't-really-want-to-know" things. What is a good medium? It's up to you, as the creator of the character, to decide. The best way to do it, I find, is to figure out what you would like to know about a person if you were meeting them in person. What traits of theirs is important to note? What characteristics would attract/repulse you in a person?

How very self centered. I know. But hey. Whatever you want to know about someone, I bet someone else is just as curious about it.

Most of these are fairly self explainatory. Actually, most of the second template explains the first: Appearance, Personality, Personal/Family Background. Appearance, obviously, they want to know what your character looks like. How tall/short is she? What color hair/eyes? Scars, piercings, anything that distinguishes her appearance? A blue eye and a brown eye? Personality. How do they act around friends, around strangers, or even alone. What do they like/dislike/fear? What goals do they have in life, what secrets may they be hiding (yes, your character probably has a secret, even if you don't know it -- most people do!). Even which way they swing, if you care to add that. Background -- where do their family come from? How was your character's childhood? What was it like? Background is often very important to explain how/why a character acts the way they do. [Such as my Lynn. She's utterly terrified of being alone with a man in a room because her stepfather abusing her as a young girl.]

For me, a character sheet is a way to help me learn more about my character and what makes her tick. In doing so, others can learn more about a character, and maybe want to help you develop it through roleplaying.

With all of this in mind, I really ought to go and finish Nattie's personal history and iron out the little kinks... Maybe she'll end up killing her mother's murderer, which is what brings her to be so dispassionate about killing -- the "I've killed once, I might as well kill again" mindset.

Good luck with your own characters!


Pike said...

I talk fast enough to make my own head spin x_x so good luck listening to me! XD

Megan said...

Thanks for that...I might use it for a character I'm making on my new roleplay site. If you wanna join, i'ts ( )

Just email me ( if you're interested. : )