Are you coming to the world of RPGs for the first time?
If the answer is yes, you probably agree that creating a character that strikes a balance between being both intuitive and enjoyable to play on one hand but with a rich background story and stats that play out in your favour strategically on the other is a daunting task.
Also, stats will matter, especially in battle or other confrontations.
But at the end, by creating a character, you are creating an extension to yourself. So, it’s important to come up with one that you feel personally invested in.
Finally, what is really going to strike most memorable chords is your character’s involvement in driving the narrative forward and interactions. It follows that weaving together a rich personality with quirks will make the character easier to connect with by making him/her more alive, so to speak.
In most cases, designing a character entails rummaging through lists featuring traits and ticking boxes for one or more. One first example is called the list of Primary Motivators – one or more character traits that define your behaviour through the setting of goals. Another set of characteristics could be defined as Emotional Disposition, which lists the set of characteristics that define what your character’s emotional state is most likely to be, even in a resting state.
In extension to Emotional Disposition, we find Core Traits, which outline how a character is most likely to act in a single given situation and how they view the world as they move within it. By combining these traits, you’ve set your character’s parameters, which outline a basic profile, and can serve as the premise for the background story.
There is the possibility to flesh out your character further with secondary traits. For instance, you may add the type of sense of humour your character possesses. Also, your character’s most likely topics of conversation – both general and specific – can add more contour to your character’s interactions.
Other lists to take into consideration include Group Affiliation, Religion and Spirituality, Quirks, Habits, and Oddities, Hobbies and Enjoyments, as well as Mental Disorders.
Other than that, it’s really up to you if you want to outline your character in a way that resembles yourself or as your exact antithesis, for instance. Newbies coming to RPGs for the first time might want to rely on familiar archetypes, maybe based off familiar fictional characters.