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BardsAreAwesome

Character Advice

So, basically, my problem is that when I create a character to use in the Town, I always get bored with it after the first few days or so. I'd really like to be able to stick to just one character. Any advice on how to create a character that I won't get bored with?
Vael

Erm....
Keep trying?

Everyone knows just how many characters I've gone through- look at my title. It IS difficult to create a character that you like, and you'll run through quite a few.

Still, looking at my most successful characters, and the characters of Rebonack (who has far greater success in creating fun characters) I can see a pattern.

One of the greatest mistakes in making a character for Town is thinking that you need to actually define everything about them before they show up. It's not just okay to leave some blanks- it's a good idea. Let them change and fall into a pattern and style you feel comfortable with as you play them. Let the character surprise you as you figure things about them.
Not only will it make a character you enjoy playing more, but it will also make you interested in playing them until they've been around long enough for them to stick.

Take my character Aesa for example. Looking around Town, I can say with confidence that she's one of the oldest remaining characters. She has evolved so much in her play time in Town that it is ridiculous. She has gone from the simple characterization of a "evil magic half sister" to a character with a detailed past, many strange quirks and a number of interests and goals.
Note that your character's evolution in Town isn't always for the best though- several times I have had to curb Aesa's development to keep her interesting, even going so far as to almost retcon things out of existence. Sometimes it can ruin a character and you'll need to abandon them.

It's also hard to do, but just try to keep playing someone, even if you get a bit bored. Let them do something new, or just make something up for them to keep your interest. If you stick with it long enough, it could improve.
Jacklu

I know exactly what you mean.  I can't count how many one-off characters I have made that showed up once, then never came back.  I would have to agree with Vael, keep at it until you find something that fits well, and don't be afraid to make a character with almost no backstory.  My main on this board (and the longest lasting of my characters by far), Crow, had practically no story behind her when I first introduced her.  I intentionally kept her story and description vague and slowly filled it in as she interacted with other characters.  If you do it right, you get a character that is custom molded to how you RP and interact with other people.  Also, don't be afraid to radically change a character if you feel it is starting to get boring, but you still like it.  The Town is the perfect place for stuff like this as nobody will think twice about a character suddenly changing species, or becoming a ghost or something like that as long as you provide a reason.  Just be sure to involve other players and it can be refreshing for both you and the people you play with.  Just be careful not to overdo it though, as changing a character fundamentally every week can cheapen the affect.  Most of all, don't let yourself get stuck playing a character that isn't fun just because you want to be consistent.  If you start to dread using a character, that is a good sign to put it on the back burner and try something new.
DivineAmour

I'm also one of those people like Vael and Kyrian (Though to a lesser extent) who has played a lot of characters. I believe my current count of how many different characters I've used is somewhere in the 50s-60s range.

My advice is to just take an interesting concept, no matter how weird or out of place it might seem to you, and play it. The concept can be as detailed as "Half-Human Half-Bird Wizard created in a Genetic experiment by magi-scientists who fused his genes with that of a hawks, and when the bird genes infiltrated his optic genes he was rendered blind. He is a self-taught wizard with a thirst for knowledge and is frequently creating and adapting spells for his own use, safeguarding their secrets" Or as simple as "Drow Paladin". It all depends on what you think is fun.

I agree with Vael, that bringing in a blank slate and creating a backstory or details after is much MUCH easier and usually more fun than creating an intricate backstory and a very detailed character, and then feeling contrained when you can't do something you'd like to do because the character wouldn't do it.

Don't feel pressured to give a full narrative to any character, at any time. For the most part, what the character says and acts opens up the backstory, and you can give as much or as little away as you like. From my experiance, the characters that survive the longest use and are the most fun to play are the ones who started out with a few sentances of backstory and a physical description.
atreyu_the_masked_llama

Raistlin wrote:
From my experiance, the characters that survive the longest use and are the most fun to play are the ones who started out with a few sentances of backstory and a physical description.


Yeah.  They help you write them and they are fun to explore and learn about them.  Developed characters are no fun because you know everything about them.
Osnagard

Well I'm just repeating everything said above me, but I like to start my characters off really simple.

Idea: Man made of several thousand rats

Goals: Infest things

that was how my Plague character was born. personality came afterwards, though interacting with people and seeing who they interact with him. Eventually you get to something a little more specific than that, simply by playing along. Like a little old man who just so happens to have the curse of being the physical embodyment of disease, even if he really doesn't want to be, and all he really wants is a friend that won't get sick on him.

It can be simple, or it can be frustrating. Just a matter of keeping trying untill something clicks and one finally works out.
Deadly

I don't mind starting out with a detailed background, but there should be room for additions and you should always be willing to change things as you go, as already said.

What I think is most important is having some history in Town. The most lasting characters, and the ones that are hardest to let go of, are in my oppionion the ones with the greatest history in Town. They are the ones who know other people and are known in return. Honestly, background story is nothing compared to Town history, it's just much more fun when you've actually played through it rather than just made it up, and when others can remember it too. And to be frank, people probably don't care to remember your background anyway, unless it's really important to them or something, but your Town history is more likely to be remembered because people might have played a part in it.

This is why I think it is so difficult to play a new character, and gods know I've played my share of new, one-time characters. The most important thing to do with a new character is to establish some Town history for it, if you do that it really doesn't matter what your character is or whether or not you have a detailed background already. Get involved in things, do something, anything will do especially if it involves others. The more it involves others, the better.

Atleast that is my take on it. I'm not very good at it myself, though Very Happy
Timberwolf

*ninja appear*

I happily kept going with my first 2 characters because they're very small, very feminine caricatures of myself, at least in personality. That meant that I could really let myself go on the "given that there are no real world comebacks for this, how would I handle this ?" For instance, on one occasion back in Old Town, Aesa was bullying some poor sap in a bar so I had Snowraven, the semi evil but terrifyingly sane (so all the more mad for it) sister magically empty a bucket of water over her, something that, dare I say it Vael, Aesa had been deserving for a long, long time.

And that's been it really, I started with 1 character concept that I was comfortable with and had thought through, introduced her sister who was sufficiently similar to be called her sister but still different enough to be fun and set up the garage because I wanted mechs (see Vanity Title) and I needed someplace to keep my 70 ton walking monsters. After that I added 2 more sisters, the uptight, straight laced but still mad one and the insane as hell makes River Tam look normal one. Then I added the next generation and decided that it would be nice to have granny as well. They've all got the family resemblance (small, mad) but they'll all react in different ways. If I don't feel like playing the mad one for example, I leave her at home (she was probably the least used of the lot, direst emergency fighting a big thing in a plot / comedy value kind of character). Eventually, I found I slipped into one particular favourite character (Snowraven, as mentioned above) and, while the way things went meant that the others got plenty of play (one was involved with one of Kyrian's characters, 2 others and possibly granny as well (werewolf) was involved with some of Fenric's) she was the one that I'd use the most, although the others were seldom far away, as befits a really close family.

Anyway, I started with a loose concept of a shadowdancer who could do more interesting stuff than a normal shadowdancer, fleshed her out a bit with details of her past but not many of them and then threw a grenade at someone, pissed off a gay demon by being very friendly with his partner and got drunk and passed out in the tavern. Lo and behold, new detail for the character - complete lightweight and can't hold her drink which equals more RP potential which equals the character doesn't get boring.

*ninja vanishes*
Castaras

Wolfy, that's almost the same as how Castaras came about...although I've got bored of her now, which is why I left AMEN and left Town, tbh.

Loose concept of half-drow, servant of lloth, evil with neutral tendancies.

She changed though. Oh, how she changed. She lost the scar on her eye(aka, I forgot). She became neutral and following no God. Dare I say it, she was starting to become more good as time went on.

Ilvari was much more fun though. Evil villain who's plans were always foiled. She actually had quite a bit of backstory. But she was just such an amusing personality to play about with.

Fus and Ferir got boring very quickly. Too much like Ilvari.

Helen now, she was just insanely fun. Simply because she was a 9 year old. I did amazingly fun things to her. How'd you like to play with the wrath of that 9 year old balor-lich monstrosity who'd had her precious teddy stolen?

Jack was awesome also. Rawr, I'm a cat. I go where I want, do what I want, and FEED ME NOW.

I should come back to town. If I do, it'd be with Jack/El Susto Negro/Kitten or Helen. Ilvari might return. Castaras is unlikely to however.
The Bushranger

Castaras wrote:
Castaras is unlikely to however.


"Go with plan two."

"Plan two?"

"The puppy-dog eyes..."
Castaras

The Bushranger wrote:
Castaras wrote:
Castaras is unlikely to however.


"Go with plan two."

"Plan two?"

"The puppy-dog eyes..."


*grin*

Ooo, and I forgot about the tourists! That was so much fun, and they had no backstory whatsoever. Just me, Bookman, and Alarra going with the stereotypical tourists wandering around town.

Yeah, I love characters that make fun of things. =P
Timberwolf

Castaras wrote:
Wolfy, that's almost the same as how Castaras came about...although I've got bored of her now, which is why I left AMEN and left Town, tbh.

Loose concept of half-drow, servant of lloth, evil with neutral tendancies.

She changed though. Oh, how she changed. She lost the scar on her eye(aka, I forgot). She became neutral and following no God. Dare I say it, she was starting to become more good as time went on.

Ilvari was much more fun though. Evil villain who's plans were always foiled. She actually had quite a bit of backstory. But she was just such an amusing personality to play about with.

Fus and Ferir got boring very quickly. Too much like Ilvari.

Helen now, she was just insanely fun. Simply because she was a 9 year old. I did amazingly fun things to her. How'd you like to play with the wrath of that 9 year old balor-lich monstrosity who'd had her precious teddy stolen?

Jack was awesome also. Rawr, I'm a cat. I go where I want, do what I want, and FEED ME NOW.

I should come back to town. If I do, it'd be with Jack/El Susto Negro/Kitten or Helen. Ilvari might return. Castaras is unlikely to however.


For the benefit of the uninitiated, Ilvari is Cassies avatar.

The pink pj's were caused by her arch nemesii, (aka the original 2 midgets of mine) taking the piss out of her one day and Cassie deciding that it was such an amusing character flaw for an evil as heck drow that it had to stay.
Castaras

Yep, that sweet little power-obsessed maniac is a little tired, and needs to go cuddle up with her plushie spider in her pink PJs.

^-^
Exachix

Hehehe.

As supplied by Menzoberranzan toys.
All the plushies a budding cleric of Lolth needs.

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